CBP Announces Facilitation Measures to be Implemented for Upcoming Holy Week Traffic at the Laredo Port of Entry
LAREDO, Texas– U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Laredo Port of Entry encourages travelers to plan ahead and avoid unnecessary delays during the upcoming Holy Week (Semana Santa) traffic. The Laredo Port of Entry is the busiest land border port within the Laredo Field Office and several facilitation measures are being implemented to assist the traveling public during this peak travel period.
“The facilitation measures implemented during the high peak season have shown to be effective and CBP has received numerous compliments for these innovative ideas,” said Port Director Gregory Alvarez, Laredo Port of Entry. “During peak travel periods, the Laredo Port of Entry processes volumes in excess of 15,000 vehicles and approximately 5,000 permits daily.”
The Laredo Port of Entry strongly encourages travelers to apply for their tourist permits online via https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov. Travelers will now receive a provisional I-94 after submitting their application and payment online. To finalize the I-94 process, travelers must present themselves at a port of entry within seven days of their application to be interviewed by a CBP officer, submit biometric fingerscans and a photo is taken. Laredo Field Office ports of entry will extend front of the line privileges to travelers who submit their I-94 applications electronically and present their provisional I-94 permit receipt.
CBP, in collaboration with the newly constructed Outlet Shoppes at Laredo, have implemented a Mobile Processing Center for issuance of I-94 tourist permits. The Mobile Enrollment Center will be available from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., April 9-15, 2017 and is located in the first floor at the west end of the Outlet Shoppes at Laredo, 1600 Water St.
The satellite I-94 tourist permit processing station at Texas Travel Information Center (TTC) at mile marker 18 on Interstate 35 will be available from April 6-15, 2017. The TTC will continue to operate on an as-needed basis during the expected high peak travel period of Semana Santa. CBP will monitor I-94 tourist permit processing lanes and will refer individuals to the TTC for further processing.
In close coordination with the Government of Mexico and the City of Laredo, the designated lane, which is designed for local cross border traffic that does not require tourist permits or other benefits will be available from April 6-15, 2017. The designated lane, which runs the full length of the Lincoln-Juarez international bridge and fans out to three primary inspection booths, has delineators installed to indicate their location to local commuters and to ensure that daily local traffic is being processed in a timely manner. CBP encourages daily border crossers to utilize these assigned lanes which are located on the three Westernmost lanes of the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge.
CBP also encourages travelers to obtain and utilize radio-frequency identification technology (RFID)-equipped travel documents such as U.S. passport cards and the newer versions (i.e. since 2011) of the border crossing card and resident alien card so that they can utilize Ready Lanes. Processing in Ready Lanes is 20 percent faster than normal lanes and provide a time savings of up to 20 seconds per vehicle. Those who have renewed their entry documents within the last 24 months already have radio frequency identification enabled documents (RFID) and may not know it. CBP encourages travelers to obtain RFID entry documents to use Ready Lanes and enroll in trusted traveler programs.
Members of the traveling public can monitor Border Wait Times via the website or also obtain the BWT app on their smartphone via Apple App Store and Google Play so that they can observe the wait times and make an informed decision on which bridge to use. These wait times are updated on an hourly basis. CBP reminds the public that they may utilize the Colombia-Solidarity Bridge as an alternate route to avoid heavy traffic and advise them that the Colombia-Solidarity Bridge will open from 6 am till midnight from April 7-10, 2017.
Also to avoid any potential delays or fines due to travelers bringing prohibited/restricted agricultural items, CBP encourages travelers to declare all agricultural items to a CBP officer upon arrival and before making their journey to consult the Know Before You Go webpage. To apply and pay for your I-94 online prior to arriving at a land port of entry, please consult the following media release.