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PyCon Attendees from the US: You Need a Passport!

If you’re coming to PyCon, which takes place in Montréal, Quebec, Canada from April 9 through 17, you need a passport if you are a US citizen. If you’re coming to PyCon from any other country, you already needed a passport, but you probably already knew that :)

This wasn’t always the case, as Americans and Canadians used to cross the border with ease. I once had delicious ice cream at Twist o’ the Mist in Niagara Falls, NY after a day on the Canadian side, and it was delicious, and I didn’t have a passport. However, on June 1, 2009, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was enacted, making it a requirement that a passport must be shown to enter the United States, which in turn made it a requirement to have a passport to enter Canada.

  • If you are traveling by air between the US and Canada: you need a passport book.
  • If you are traveling by land between the US and Canada: you can have a passport book or a passport card.
  • If you are traveling by sea between the US and Canada: you can have a passport book or a passport card.
  • If you are traveling between the US and Canada by some other means (teleporting, etc), please ask the US Department of State.

Passport books cost $110, and passport cards cost $30. The cost is the same whether this is your first passport or if you are renewing an old one.

In order to get a passport, you need passport photos. You can typically get these at stores like Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid, or usually anywhere that has a photo department. The rules are strict, so be sure to follow them. Your twitter avatar probably doesn’t count.

These things take time. With standard processing, they estimate 4-6 weeks for completion. Expedited processing costs an additional $60, which will have your passport delivered in 2-3 weeks. For reference: PyCon is 75 days away, or about 10 weeks away.


Planning flights?

Another thing to consider, from Brett Cannon, our very tall friend to the north: “Customs is done on the Canadian side in both directions. This is how Canadian flights are able to use the domestic terminal in the US and why in Canada there is a special set of US departure gates at the airport.”

When you’re planning your return flight, keep in mind that you’ll need to be there early enough to get through customs. We’ve already heard from several people asking about the schedule so they can fly out Sunday night without missing anything. According to the schedule, the closing address should be done around 4:00, and the last lightning talks should be done around 5:00.

Need tickets?

If you haven't bought your tickets yet, head to https://us.pycon.org/2014/registration/ and get signed up. We're approaching 1,300 tickets sold, and with the last two years having sold out, we expect the same for 2014. Don't wait, get yours today!

Comments

Anonymous said…
If you go there by land, you can also use an enhanced driver's license (if your state issues one...)

http://www.getyouhome.gov/html/lang_eng/eng_edl.html

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