U.S. Customs and Border Protection is easing the international arrivals process with new technology and procedures, alleviating travelers of paperwork and time spent waiting in line.
“Advances in automation and passenger processing are tangible examples of CBP’s commitment to making the traveler experience more efficient and welcoming,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Thomas S. Winkowski. “Programs like the I-94 automation and Global Entry allow CBP officers to process travelers safely and efficiently during the busy summer travel season while continuing the border security mission.”
Most international visitors are no longer required to fill out a paper Form I-94 due to the recent automation of the CBP Arrival/Departure Record at all air and sea ports of entry. Additional technology advances in the airport environment will further expedite passenger processing by allowing travelers to use self-service kiosks, resulting in shorter processing times. Self-service Automated Passport Control kiosks are currently available at CBP preclearance in Vancouver International Airport, and have been announced to rollout in the U.S. at Chicago O’Hare later this summer.
CBP Trusted Traveler programs continue to be one of the best ways to expedite entry into the U.S. CBP has nearly two million travelers enrolled in trusted traveler programs such as NEXUS, SENTRI and Global Entry which speed pre-approved, low-risk travelers through CBP processing in a fraction of the amount of time it takes in the general processing lanes.
Additional steps travelers can take to smooth their arrivals process include being prepared and educated on U.S. rules and regulations. Travelers should familiarize themselves with these regulations before departing to avoid potential penalties and fines.
Top 10 Travel Tips:
- Join the ranks of the Trusted Travelers through Global Entry, SENTRI, or NEXUS. ( Trusted Travelers ) Sign up now!
- Documents, Documents, Documents! Know what the required travel documentation for your trip. (Hint: you will need a passport for air travel!) Visit www.travel.state.gov for specific information. ( www.travel.state.gov )
- From a Visa Waiver Country? Don’t leave home without your ESTA! More on getting your Electronic System for Travel Authorization before boarding your flight. ( Electronic System for Travel Authorization )
- For those traveling by air or sea on a visa, CBP has automated the Form I-94 - Travelers can find their I-94 number at www.cbp.gov/I94. ( www.cbp.gov/I94 )
- I do declare! Complete your Customs Declaration (your flight staff will hand out the form) before you deplane. What is eligible for duty exemptions? ( Customs Duty Information )
- Restricted or Prohibited? Know what merchandise you can bring to the U.S. ( Prohibited and Restricted Items )
- Don’t pack a pest! Many agriculture products can bring damaging pests and diseases into the country, check to see what may be harmful. ( Bringing Agricultural Products Into the United States )
- Account for lines. Summer is a busy travel season, be prepared and work with our CBP officers as they do their job! What is CBP’s job? ( CBP: About )
- Monitor border wait times. ( Wait Times - Airport and Border ) Know what ports of entry have lighter traffic or use an alternate to spend less time getting to and from your vacation!
- Take it with you! ( www.cbp.gov/ )
Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is an immigration law firm in Houston, Texas. For over 15 years, our firm has successfully represented corporate clients across the United States in their efforts to bring foreign workers and business professionals to the United States. Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is highly experienced in working with employment-based visas, adjustment of status, green cards, and PERM labor certification. From filing, through approval, and on to appeal, we do everything possible to ensure that your company can bring the best and brightest in the world to the United States.