CBP Announces Measures to Facilitate Upcoming Christmas Holiday Traffic at the Laredo Port of Entry
LAREDO, Texas– U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Laredo Port of Entry advised today that CBP has already begun implementation of multiple facilitation measures in anticipation of the forthcoming Christmas/New Year’s holiday season. CBP at the Laredo Port of Entry makes necessary arrangements to assist the traveling public with their experience while crossing one of the busiest land border ports in the country.
“As we approach the Christmas/New Year’s holiday period, traffic kicks into high gear and CBP officers at Laredo Port of Entry process volumes in excess of 15,000 vehicles and approximately 5,000 permits daily,” said Port Director Albert Flores, Laredo Port of Entry. “Our proactive facilitation measures, including encouragement of filing I-94 applications online, offsite I-94 processing and use of designated lanes have greatly helped to increase efficiency and mitigate wait times these during peak periods.”
The Laredo Port of Entry strongly encourages travelers to apply for their tourist permits online via http://i94.cbp.dhs.gov. Travelers 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. The Laredo Port 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 has implemented a Mobile Enrollment Center for issuance of I-94 tourist permits. The Mobile Enrollment Center will be available throughout the Christmas/New Year’s holiday season. The mobile enrollment center is located in the second floor of the food court area, of the Outlet Shoppes at Laredo.
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, is already available this week and will continue on successive weekends and on an as-needed basis through the Día de los Reyes Magos holiday of Jan. 5-6. The designated lane, which runs the full length of the Juarez-Lincoln 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 Juarez-Lincoln Bridge.
As an added service to SENTRI participants, CBP also advised that Gateway to the Americas Bridge will process SENTRI-only vehicular traffic from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Friday, Dec. 21 through Sunday, Dec. 23.
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. Those who have renewed their entry documents within the last 24 months already have RFID-enabled documents 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 this link or also obtain the BWT app on their smartphone via Apple App Store and Google Play (CBP BWT) 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.
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 review the prohibited and restricted items list and the Know Before You Go guide and video at the following link.
For more information about filing an I-94 electronically, please consult the following link.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.