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Canada's Thanksgiving Travel

Release Date: 
October 3, 2011

Pembina, N.D. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection reminds travelers planning trips across the border this weekend into the United States to make sure they have their proper documents and to anticipate heavy traffic during the celebration of Canada's Thanksgiving on Oct. 10.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), implemented on June 1, 2009 requires U.S. and Canadian citizens, age 16 and older to present a valid, acceptable travel document that denotes both identity and citizenship when entering the U.S by land or sea.

CBP also reminds U.S. lawful permanent residents that the I-551 form (green card) is acceptable for land and sea travel into the U.S.

Border traffic volumes are expected to be greatly increased during this holiday weekend and all travelers are reminded of a few simple steps they can employ to cross the border more efficiently.

Tip #1 - Travelers should familiarize themselves with the "Know Before You Go" section of the CBP Web site to avoid fines and penalties associated with the importation of prohibited items. "Know Before You Go" brochures are also available at border ports. For more information, please visit the "Know Before You Go" section of the CBP Website.

Tip #2 - Travelers should prepare for the inspection process before arriving at the inspection booth. Individuals should have their crossing documents available for the inspection and they should be prepared to declare all items acquired abroad. In addition, individuals should end cellular phone conversations before arriving at the inspection booth.

Tip #3 - Wait times for the ports of International Falls, Minn. and Pembina, N.D. can be monitored. Information is updated hourly and is useful in planning trips and identifying periods of light use/short waits. For more information, please visit CBP Border Wait Times.

Tip #4 - During periods of heavy travel, border crossers may wish to consider alternative, less heavily traveled entry routes.

Tip #5 - Travelers should plan to build extra time into their trips in the event they cross during periods of exceptionally heavy traffic.

Tip #6 - Know the difference between goods for personal use vs. commercial use.

Tip #7 -Do not attempt to bring fruits, meats, dairy/poultry products and firewood into the United States from Canada without first checking whether they are permitted.

Tip # 8 - Understand that CBP officers have the authority to conduct enforcement examinations without a warrant, ranging from a single luggage examination up to and possibly including a personal search. Even during the summer vacation season, international border crossers should continue to expect a thorough inspection process when they enter the U.S. from Canada.

For information on weather or road conditions in N.D. and Minn., please visit the North Dakota Department of Transportation and Minnesota Department of Transportation websites.

The United States has been and continues to be a welcoming nation. U.S. Customs and Border Protection not only protects U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents in the country but also wants to ensure the safety of our international travelers who come to visit, study and conduct legitimate business in our country.

Our dual mission is to facilitate travel in the United States while we secure our borders, our people and our visitors from those that would do us harm like terrorists and terrorist weapons, criminals and contraband.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017