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Avoid Delays, Get Your I-94 Ahead of the Easter Holiday

Release Date: 
April 15, 2019

TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is reminding travelers that the Easter Holiday may result in delays at the border.  This season is one of the busiest travel weeks of the year at Arizona ports of entry.  CBP would like to offer the following travel tips on crossing the border.

Get your I-94 permit online and early. Mexican border crossing card holders who plan to visit the U.S. for more than 30-days and or plan to travel beyond the immediate border area are urged to obtain the essential document early instead of waiting until the day of travel.  CBP now allows you to apply and pay for the permit online prior to arriving at the port via CBP’s website https://I94.CBP.DHS.GOV

Use a Ready Lane.  Travelers who have travel documents with radio frequency identification technology such as U.S. Passport Cards, Enhanced Driver Licenses, Enhanced Border Crossings Cards, etc., consider using CBP Ready Lanes.  Because of the technology in these cards, CBP is able to process Ready Lane traffic significantly faster than traffic in the regular lanes. 

Use SENTRI. A land border management process that provides expedited CBP processing for pre-approved, low-risk travelers.  Applicants must voluntarily undergo a thorough biographical background check against criminal, law enforcement, customs, immigration, and terrorist indices; a 10-fingerprint law enforcement check; and a personal interview with a CBP Officer. 

Once an applicant is approved they are issued a Radio Frequency Identification Card that will identify their record and status in the CBP database upon arrival at the U.S. port of entry. SENTRI users have access to specific, dedicated primary lanes into the United States including three locations at the El Paso port of entry.

Those interested in joining the SENTRI program can do so by visiting the travel page on the CBP website: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/sentri. The membership fee is $122.25. The program will give approved members access to SENTRI benefits for five years.

Travel at off peak hours.  The ports are busiest during the morning and afternoon commutes as well as on the weekends.  Travelers can monitor current wait times by visiting CBP’s Border Wait Time (BWT) web page at https://BWT.CBP.GOV or download the BWT app via Google Play or the Apple App Store. 

Do not pack a pest.  Many festive items are restricted or prohibited from entering the country.  For instances cascarones (confetti-filled eggs) are restricted to 12 per passenger and the shells must be clean, dry and free from egg residue.  Furthermore, fresh eggs, raw chicken and live birds are prohibited from entering the United States from Mexico.  For more information on prohibited/restricted items visit CBP’s Know Before You Go website at https://cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/know-before-you-go.

Enjoy your travels and stay informed.  CBP has numerous resources and articles at www.cbp.gov to help ensure that your travels are fast and safe. 

Last modified: 
April 16, 2019