Starting mid-September 2014, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began offering optimized processing for first-time Canadian TN visa and L visa applicants seeking entry into the U.S. under NAFTA. CBP has already designated 14 ports of entry that will ensure more efficient processing for the high quantity of TN and L applicants seeking admission. Among these optimized ports of entry is the Peace Bridge located in Buffalo, N.Y.
So what does optimized processing actually mean? Optimized ports are those which receive a higher volume of NAFTA applications and therefore have a higher level of expertise adjudicating applications. In practical terms, this means that a TN or L applicant seeking entry at an “optimized” location will be assigned to a CBP officer who has significant experience with these visa categories.
There are many benefits to presenting a case to a well-seasoned CBP officer. First, the officer will have a very clear understanding of the laws pertaining to TN and L applications. Thus, he or she will know exactly what to look for in each application. With an experienced officer, you will encounter fewer surprises at the border, your application should take far less time to process, and you will have a greater chance of a smooth entry into the U.S.
Keep in mind that your success at an optimized port of entry relates directly to the quality of your visa application. If an application is sloppy or missing important documentation, a well-experienced officer will definitely notice.
Berardi Immigration Law regularly makes appearances at the Peace Bridge and is highly-experienced with assisting TN and L applicants at this optimized location. By preparing our clients’ applications with utmost care, we allow our clients to confidently enter the U.S. through this port of entry.
All Ports of Entry are NOT Created Equal
Not all ports of entry service the same types of visa applicants. There are three port of entry classifications: Class A, Class B and Class C. Each type serves a different purpose:
• Class C ports of entry are designated for aliens arriving in the U.S. as crew members aboard vessels.
• Class B ports of entry assist travelers who 1) possess a valid Permanent Resident Card; 2) possess a non-resident aliens’ border-crossing identification cards; or 3) are admissible without requiring a waiver of inadmissibility.
• A “Class A” designation indicates that a port of entry may be used by all travelers. In addition to being an optimized port of entry, the Peace Bridge is also a Class A port of entry. This means that the Peace Bridge processes all kinds of visas for all kinds of applicants.
As stated above, Berardi Immigration Law appears at the Peace Bridge multiple times a week to assist our clients who seek entry into the U.S. If you have plans to enter the U.S. in the future, contact us today to schedule a consultation.