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Top 10 Travel Tips Recommended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection

With Christmas just a couple of days away, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has released some tips that travelers should heed to ensure smooth travel as wait times at Ports of Entry and airports will surely be increased during this busy holiday season.

  1. Prepare your documents
  • Possess a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative document such as a valid U.S. passport, Trusted Traveler Program card, etc.
  • Possess proof of an approved COVID-19 vaccine and be prepared to verbally attest to your travel intent and COVID-19 vaccination status
  • Be prepared to present any other documents a CBP officer may request of you
  1. Facial Biometrics
  • Travelers will have their pictures taken by a CBP officer during the enhanced inspections process at entry
  • This is known as Simplified Arrival
  • Travelers will now have their identity verified through secure, touchless, facial biometrics systems to speed up the travel process
  1. Research your destination
  • Travelers should utilize the website to see all information on their intended travel destinations to be aware of their rules and regulations
  1. Download CBP One
  • Non-citizens can utilize the CBP One app to apply for an I-94 up to seven days in advance, the app will guide the user through the simple process
  1. Prep your ESTA or I-94
  • With an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), travelers from visa waiver program countries can utilize this service to save time by applying for an I-94 before entering the country 
  1. Report your food, cash, and memorabilia
  • U.S. citizens and non-citizens must declare everything they are bringing into the U.S. from abroad
  • Failure to declare items can result in increased travel times, hefty fines, and loss of said possessions 
  1. Schedule your agriculture inspection
  • Using the CBP mobile app, travelers can provide an advanced request that they require inspection of agriculture and biological products upon arrival at a U.S. airport
  • Categories for this declaration include:
    • Biological materials that may require permits issued by the USDA and CDC
    • Pets accompanying travelers in various capacities, especially dogs and birds
    • Hunting trophies
  1. Avoid Counterfeits
  • Be cautious when buying from street vendors or other illegitimate shops while on vacation
  • CBP officers can inspect your belongings without warrant
  1. Consider Duty Exemptions
  • Items that are brought abroad as gifts can be exempt from duties
  • If you are bringing them back for resale, they are not exempt
  1. Consider Your Medications
  • Make sure your medications are properly labeled and in their original container
  • Make sure you know that the medications are approved within the U.S. and the areas you will be traveling to

These helpful tips from CBP are great to keep in mind as they will help reduce your travel time and will also help keep you safe when abroad. 

Make sure to follow Berardi Immigration Law’s social media channels for all the latest immigration news. Happy holidays!