Under Executive Order 13867 of April 10, 2019, the Secretary of State has been designated to receive all applications for the issuance or amendment of Presidential permits for the construction, connection, operation, or maintenance, at the international boundaries of the United States of certain cross-border projects. Upon receipt of an application, the Secretary may request additional information from the applicant. After review of the application, the Secretary of State provides an opinion to the President as to whether the issuance or amendment serves the foreign policy interests of the United States. Any decision to issue, deny, or amend a permit is made solely by the President of the United States.
The Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs has been designated by the Secretary of State to receive Presidential permit applications for most facilities at the Canadian and Mexican borders, except:
- liquid petroleum and petroleum product pipelines, which go to the Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources, which can be reached by email at ENR_PipelinePresidentialPermit@state.gov
- electrical transmission lines, which are covered by Executive Order 10485 of September 3, 1953, and go to the Department of Energy;
- natural gas pipelines, which are covered by Executive Order 10485 of September 3, 1953, and go to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission;
- submarine cables, which are covered by Executive Order 10530 of May 10, 1954, and go to the Federal Communications Commission.
How to Apply
Applications for Presidential permits for land border crossings, international bridges, and certain other transboundary facilities at the U.S.-Mexico or U.S.-Canada border should be addressed to:
Secretary of State
Attention: Coordinator for U.S.-Mexico Border Affairs
WHA/MEX Room 3924
Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Secretary of State
Attention: Coordinator for U.S.-Canadian Affairs
WHA/CAN Room 3918
Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Applicants should deliver printed copies of the completed application to the Department and/or send the application (divided into PDF files of no more than 5 Mb each) by e-mail to WHAPresidentialpermits@state.gov.
Recommended Information to Include in an Application
The Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs recommends applicants provide the following information, as applicable:
- Identifying Information. Information identifying the entities and/or persons who will own and/or control the facilities (including details regarding place of incorporation or organization; ultimate ownership; ownership or control by any non-U.S. person; any special arrangements regarding control; and other relevant information). The application should specify any intention on the part of the applicant to transfer, sell, or assign to any other entity the facility or facilities for which approval is sought.
- Description of Facility. A detailed description of the proposed facility or facilities (or proposed changes thereto), including location, design, and access routes, if applicable.
- Construction Plan. A plan for construction of the facility or facilities, if applicable. The applicant should identify any specific problems anticipated in the development and construction of the facility or facilities along with an indication of how they might be resolved.
- Traffic Information. Information about current and projected levels of international road traffic and a description of the road system that would serve the facility or facilities on each side of the border. The application should project the type and volume of traffic that the proposed border crossing will accommodate, as well as the effect that traffic would have on, and its compatibility with, the existing road system and nearby bridges and border crossings.
- Financing. The estimated cost of the project, including, if applicable, inspection facilities and inspection agency staffing, and a concrete explanation of how the applicant will finance that cost, including, if applicable, the proposed toll structure.
- Protected Areas. A list of all properties in the project area which are eligible for or entitled to protection under applicable law, for example, properties included in or potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.
- Foreign Policy Interest. An explanation of why the applicant believes the proposed project would serve the foreign policy interests of the United States. This explanation may be supported by any reports, correspondence, or other material indicating the desirability and feasibility of the project.
- Other U.S. Approvals. A list of all permits or approvals from U.S. federal, state, and local agencies, if any, that the applicant believes are required in connection with the proposed project, and a description of what steps have been or will be taken to secure them.
- Foreign Government Approvals.
- For projects at the U.S.-Mexican border, information showing how the project fits with the Government of Mexico’s development plans and priorities, and a description of all steps the applicant has taken or will take to secure the approval of local, state, and federal officials in Mexico. The applicant should indicate any known views of Mexican officials regarding the facility and describe general arrangements for financing, construction, and ownership of the Mexican portion of the facility. The applicant should attach copies of any agreements or understandings about these matters.
- For projects at the U.S.-Canadian border, information showing how the project fits with the Government of Canada’s development plans and priorities, and a description of all steps that have or will be taken to secure the approval of local, provincial, and federal officials in Canada. The permit applicant should indicate any known views of Canadian officials regarding the facility and describe general arrangements for financing, construction, and ownership of the Canadian portion of the facility. The applicant should attach copies of any agreements or understandings about these matters.