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Summer Travel Tips

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Are you a “Ready Traveler”? If you’re planning on traveling this summer, CBP can help make your trip less stressful – and at the same time, we’re making it safer and more secure.

First, make sure you have all the documents you’ll need for the country you’re visiting as well as the required identification for re-entry into the United States. Passports are now required for all outbound international air travel. You can find country-specific information on the U.S. Department of State’s website. If you are a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program country, make sure you have an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before boarding. For those traveling by air or sea on a visa, CBP has automated the Form I-94, eliminating the need for travelers to fill out a paper copy. Travelers will still be able to obtain their I-94 number and/or a copy of their I-94 on the I-94 webpage.

Airplane flying in the sky
CBP urges everyone to be a “Ready Traveler”

Second, make sure you’ve completed your Customs Declaration form (6059b) before you arrive at CBP’s processing facilities. If you are arriving at an airport equipped with Automated Passport Control kiosks and are a U.S. citizen, U.S. legal permanent resident, visa waiver traveler, or are in possession of a B1/B2 visa, you may fill out and submit your form electronically via the kiosks. It’s a good idea to declare everything you’re bringing in from abroad – even if you purchased it in a duty-free shop. Items purchased for personal use or as gifts may be eligible for duty exemptions, but items you plan to resell are not. We’re also rolling out Mobile Passport Control (MPC) at many U.S. airports. MPC is a first-of-its-kind smartphone app that streamlines the traveler inspection process; it’s now available at 13 airports – and more will be coming online throughout 2016.

CBP also offers several “Trusted Traveler” programs which can expedite the immigration and customs process for pre-screened travelers.  CBP recently enrolled its three millionth customer in Global Entry, bringing the number of enrollees in our Trusted Traveler Programs to five million.  Global Entry may be well suited to you if you travel by air internationally. However, if you travel by land across the borders with Canada and Mexico you might consider the NEXUS and SENTRI programs, respectively.

Third, many items are either prohibited or restricted. This is especially important for agriculture products – fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, and even firewood are subject to special rules.

Finally, please remember that CBP officers are authorized to inspect you, your vehicle, and your personal belongings. Sometimes these inspections may inconvenience law-abiding citizens, and we always appreciate the patience, understanding, and cooperation of each traveler. We want to make sure that only lawfully admissible travelers are permitted to enter the United States, and that’s a critical part of our border security mission.

On behalf of CBP, have a safe, secure, and stress-free summer travel season!

Last modified: 
February 8, 2017