• Advanced Passenger Information Rule
  • September 1, 2005
  • Law Firm: Littler Mendelson, A Professional Corporation - San Francisco Office
  • The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adopted new requirements for advanced passenger information (API) for people arriving in the United States via flights and voyages. The new rule, which will take effect October 4, 2005, mirrors the one that went into effect for all people departing the United States (U.S.) on April 7, 2005. Travelers arriving in the U.S. or those on foreign carriers whose routes take them over the U.S. will be asked by the airline and seagoing carriers' personnel to provide the following:

    • Full name (last, first, middle if applicable)
    • Date of Birth
    • Gender
    • Citizenship
    • Travel document type (usually passport and alien or permanent resident card if applicable)
    • Document number
    • Document's country of issue
    • Document's date of expiration
    • Country in which person resides
    • Address where person will be staying while in the U.S.
    • Final destination (if the person is in transit)

    If the traveler has a machine readable passport (MRP), most of the data can be gleaned from it electronically. The last three items on the list cannot be obtained from a MRP and must be provided by the traveler (as those typically are known only by the traveler).

    Quite possibly the one item for which travelers will need to prepare in advance is the address where the traveler will be staying while in the U.S. It is prudent for people to have this information written down prior to traveling.

    U.S. citizens, U.S. Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) and transit passengers are not required to provide a U.S. address.

    Carrier personnel will electronically send the information for all passengers and crew members to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) upon departure. Data obtained from a traveler will be checked against a federal database to determine whether he or she has a criminal record or is otherwise wanted by a law enforcement agency.

    Refusal or inability to provide the required information will result in denial of admission to the U.S. As a result, if a traveler refuses or fails to provide the required information at check-in, the airlines will not accept such him or her for travel. Hotel information must include the name of the hotel, its street name, area, city, and state. Additionally, a zip code is advisable. If travelers are going to board a ship, they must provide the cruise line and vessel names as well as the name of the city in which they will board the ship.