CBP Access is an electronic newspage developed by the Office of Congressional Affairs for Members of Congress and staff. If you are interested in subscribing to the CBP Access email distribution list, please send an email to OCAInquiry@cbp.dhs.gov.
In this Update
- Message from the Deputy Assistant Commissioner
- Guidance for Individuals Traveling to the United States
- CBP Surpasses 10 Million Trusted Traveler Program Members
- CBP Encourages Travelers to Apply for I-94 Online Prior to Arriving at Land Border
- CBP Reminds Pleasure Boating Community of Reporting Requirements
- Enforcement News from Across CBP
In preparation for the approaching summer travel season, this CBP Access update shares the latest international travel guidance as well as helpful tips to minimize delays and improve the cross-border travel experience. To help reduce wait times and long lines, U.S. citizens arriving or departing from air, sea or land ports of entry are encouraged to use Simplified Arrival or Mobile Passport Control for a touchless and streamlined inspection process. Documented non-citizens may also apply for and manage their I-94s through the CBP One mobile application, which serves as a single portal for individuals to access CBP mobile applications and services. These programs – and others described on CBP.gov/travel – are just some of the ways CBP is working to streamline its traveler inspection processes as part of its mission to facilitate safe and secure travel.
–Stephanie Talton, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Office of Congressional Affairs
Guidance for Individuals Traveling to the United States
Entry at Land Ports of Entry and Ferry Terminals — Per Department of Homeland Security (DHS) COVID-19-related entry requirements, all non-U.S. individuals traveling to the United States via land ports of entry or ferry terminals, whether for essential or non-essential reasons, must:
- verbally attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status;
- provide proof of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-approved COVID-19 vaccination, as outlined on the CDC website;
- present a valid Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document, such as a valid passport, Trusted Traveler Program card, or Enhanced Tribal Card; and,
- be prepared to present any other relevant documents requested by a CBP officer during a border inspection.
Although these vaccination requirements to not apply to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, or U.S. nationals, all travelers are reminded to bring a WHTI-compliant document when re-entering the United States. To help reduce wait times, travelers can take advantage of facial biometrics and CBP One, which is a single portal for CBP mobile applications and services. These requirements for land ports of entry and ferries were first announced in October 2021 in consultation with the White House and several federal agencies, and align with public health measures that govern land travel with those that govern incoming international air travel.
Entry at Airports — Before boarding a flight to the United States, all non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrants traveling to the United States by air are required to:
- obtain a visa issued by a U.S. embassy or consulate, or, if they are eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), obtain a travel authorization through CBP’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA);
- show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19;
For additional information on vaccine requirements for air travel, please review the CDC international travel information. Travelers are required to declare all items being imported into the United States. Familiarize yourself with what is prohibited and, if you are not sure about what to declare, do not hesitate to ask the CBP officer.
CBP Surpasses 10 Million Trusted Traveler Program Members
Trusted Traveler Programs support CBP’s mission of securing U.S. borders while facilitating lawful travel and trade. These innovative programs allow pre-approved, low-risk travelers to bypass traditional CBP entry inspection lines and receive expedited processing when entering the United States.
CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs recently topped 10 million members and is on track to receive an additional 3.5 million applications for this fiscal year, the most the program has ever received in one year. Nearly 8 million of these memberships are part of Global Entry, which is available at 61 U.S. airports and 15 international Preclearance locations.
CBP continues to address the backlog of applicants caused by pandemic-related closures. In addition to scheduling in-person interviews for conditionally-approved Global Entry applicants at enrollment centers, applicants may also take advantage of the Enrollment on Arrival option, which CBP now offers to arriving international passengers at 65 airports. Applicants must comply with the local COVID-19 health and safety guidelines when completing in-person enrollment interviews. Some renewing Trusted Traveler Program members may also opt for scheduling remote interviews through the Trusted Traveler Program website.
CBP Encourages Travelers to Apply for I-94 Online Prior to Arriving at a Land Border
With the easing of many COVID-19 travel restrictions, CBP is seeing an uptick in travelers at our land ports of entry. To reduce wait times, CBP is urging travelers who require a Form I-94 to apply and prepay online before arriving at the land border. An I-94 is needed by all visitors except U.S. citizens, returning resident aliens, aliens with immigrant visas, and most Canadian citizens visiting or in transit. Travelers will be issued an I-94 during the admission process at the port of entry. If you are traveling via a land border you may apply for an I-94 in advance at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home, saving time while at the port of entry later.
With summer approaching, wait times will inevitably increase. Travelers who apply for an I-94 online or via the CBP One mobile application prior to their arrival at a port of entry, can save a significant amount of time at the border. Travelers are also encouraged to follow the tips below:
Beat the land border rush – Cross during off-peak times, such as before 6 a.m. or after 3 p.m. Most lines at the border start building in the morning and carry on into early afternoon.
Monitor wait times – Visit the CBP Border Wait Times webpage. 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.
Become a Trusted Traveler – 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 site.
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 Canada or Mexico. If you are not sure about what to declare, do not hesitate to ask the CBP officer.
Know what food products can be imported – Many fruits, meats, dairy and poultry products are prohibited from being imported into the United States from Canada or Mexico. For more information, view prohibited and restricted items.
Declare all firearms – Travelers are reminded that 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 ATF website.
Leave marijuana at home – Although marijuana is legal in many U.S. states and Canada, the sale, possession, production and distribution of marijuana all remain illegal under federal law.
For more information on international traveling into the United States visit CBP.gov/travel.
CBP Reminds Pleasure Boating Community of Reporting Procedures
With the weather warming on U.S. waterways, CBP reminds pleasure boaters to report their off-site U.S. entry using the CBP ROAM mobile app, a free mobile application available personal smart device or a tablet located at local businesses. Users can now use the CBP ROAM application’s new Cruising License feature that allow users to apply for cruising licenses and report arrivals at domestic ports of call.
CBP ROAM qualifies as an Alternative Inspection System that satisfies the boat operator's legal requirement to report for face-to-face inspection in accordance with 8 CFR 235.1 with some exceptions: travelers who require an I-94; travelers who must pay duties on imported goods; and other circumstances as applicable.
ROAM offers a significant time savings benefit for both CBP and the boating community. Travelers input their biographic, conveyance, and trip details and submit their trip for CBP Officer review. Once done, travelers receive push notifications and emails with their admissibility decision and next steps if applicable.
Travelers should download the CBP ROAM app on their web-enabled smart device and establish a free login.gov account. After signing in, users can create and save traveler and conveyance profiles. These profiles can be reused for repeat entry into the United States. In certain locations, the CBP ROAM app can also be accessed on tablets at partner locations.
Enforcement News from Across CBP
Not So Trusted Traveler Attempts to Smuggle Cocaine Through SENTRI Lane
El Paso, TX — CBP officers working at the Stanton Street dedicated commuter lane border crossing recently seized 19.7 pounds of cocaine from a traveler enrolled in SENTRI. CBP officers and CBP Canine Enforcement officers were conducting vehicle inspections when they encountered a vehicle driven by a 25-year-old female Mexican citizen arriving from Mexico. A CBP drug detecting canine conducted a search of the vehicle and alerted CBP officers to the presence of a trained odor for narcotics. CBP officers then conducted a non-intrusive x-ray scan and physical inspection of the vehicle resulting in the discovery of multiple bundles hidden within the dashboard area. The narcotics and vehicle were seized by CBP, and the driver was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations to face charges in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.
Dulles CBP Officers Seize $46K in Unreported Currency
Sterling, VA — CBP officers at Dulles airport recently seized more than $46,000 combined during two separate currency seizures from travelers departing the United States. In the most recent case on May 1, 2022, CBP officers inspected a U.S. citizen destined to Ghana who initially reported, both verbally and in writing, that he possessed $14,000. However, officers discovered a total of $19,904 in his carry-on bag, and an additional $500 in his backpack for a total of $20,404. Officers seized the currency, returned $404 to the man as humanitarian relief, and released him to continue his travel. Earlier, on April 26, a CBP currency detector dog alerted to a couple’s carry-on bags and the couple, who were destined to Egypt, reported that they possessed $15,000. During an examination, CBP officers discovered additional currency in the woman’s purse and even more concealed inside a suitcase liner for a total of $26,043. CBP officers seized the currency, then returned $1,043 as a humanitarian relief and released the couple to continue their travel.
Philadelphia CBP Finds 900 ED Pills in Passenger Baggage
Philadelphia, PA — CBP officers at Philadelphia International Airport recently seized nearly 1,000 doses of sildenafil citrate from the baggage of a male U.S. citizen traveling home from the Dominican Republic on April 24, 2022. Sildenafil citrate is the generic name for Viagra, a popular erectile dysfunction medicine, also known as the little blue pill. CBP officers initially detected the pills while conducting a planeside inspection of baggage being offloaded from the flight. Officers notified other officers in CBP’s federal inspection station who waited for the traveler to retrieve his baggage and then conducted a thorough secondary baggage examination. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates pharmaceuticals, prohibits the import of generic versions of FDA-approved drugs from foreign countries.
Office of Congressional Affairs | May 2022