Tucson, Arizona - U.S. Customs and Border Protection is reminding travelers planning trips across the border into the United States during the upcoming holidays to make sure they have proper documents and to anticipate heavy traffic.
Border traffic increases significantly from June 30 through July 5 for the observance of Independence Day. All travelers are reminded of a few simple steps to cross the border more efficiently.
“Historically, we see more travelers entering the U.S. from Mexico during this week-long period than during any other week in the summer,” said Tucson Director of Field Operations William Brooks. “Travelers can help shorten the processing time at the ports of entry by having their travel documents available to present to the primary officer, and declaring everything they are bringing with them from Mexico.”
CBP encourages travelers to pre-plan trips. Obtain a valid, acceptable travel document, such as a passport, a U.S. passport card, a trusted traveler card (NEXUS, SENTRI, Global Entry or FAST/EXPRES), a permanent resident card, or an enhanced driver’s license. Possession of these documents will expedite entry into the United States and make future border crossings more efficient.
To avoid potential delays at the border, CBP is urging all foreign travelers requiring I-94 or I-94W (visa waiver) entry document processing to obtain the essential document early instead of waiting until the day of their travel. Travelers are encouraged to obtain the required document as much as a week in advance for faster and more convenient processing.
All travelers requesting an I-94 or I-94W entry document may be required to establish financial solvency, proof of residency outside the United States and demonstrate that they have sufficiently strong ties to their country of origin, including a home abroad they do not intend to abandon.
Check out the new CBP informational website at cbp.gov.
The CBP site has been redesigned to help users quickly access the content they need and optimized for access by smart phones, improving access internationally.
Beat the border rush
Cross during off-peak times, such as before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m. Most lines at the border start building in the morning and carry on into early afternoon.
Monitor wait times on CBP’s Border Wait Times app. Information is updated hourly and is useful in planning trips and identifying periods of light use/short waits.
Keep travel documents handy
Make sure each passenger has the correct travel document accessible and ready to give to the CBP officer.
If you are a frequent international traveler and have not already become a member of a trusted traveler program, sign up now. For more information, please visit CBP’s Trusted Traveler section.
Know the contents of your vehicles and be prepared to declare all items
Travelers are required to declare all items being imported into the United States from Mexico. If you are not sure about what to declare, do not hesitate to ask.
Know what food products can be imported
Many fruits, meats, dairy and poultry products are prohibited from being imported into the United States from Mexico.
For more information, view cbp.gov Prohibited and Restricted Items.
Only heat-treated firewood from Mexico is allowed into the United States. Personal importations of heat-treated firewood must be accompanied by either a treatment certificate or an attached commercial treatment label. Travelers attempting to bring untreated wood into the United States may be returned to Mexico to dispose of their wood there.
To learn more about harmful pests associated with food products and firewood visit the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service website www.aphis.usda.gov/plant-health .
Declare all firearms
Specific requirements must be met to import or export firearms and ammunition to/from the United States. For more information on the importation or exportation of firearms and ammunition, visit the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; State Department; and Commerce Department websites.
For more information on international traveling into the United States, visit CBP’s Travel section.