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CBP in Chicago Reminds Spring Break Travelers of Regulations

Release Date: 
March 12, 2010

Chicago - The spring break travel season has begun and Customs and Border Protection would like to remind international travelers of a few important regulations. To help make travel as trouble free as possible, CBP would like to provide tips for international passengers.

On a typical day, CBP welcomes more than a million international travelers into the United States at land, air and sea ports of entry. CBP officers use the latest technologies and procedures to assure that travelers from throughout the world are processed rapidly while assuring that individuals who have ties to terrorism or a criminal background are barred from entry. CBP would like to take this opportunity to remind travelers that a list of tips, like the ones below, can be found on the CBP Web site.

CBP officer reviews the passport of an arriving passenger.

Here are a few travel tips offered by Customs and Border Protection for your visit or return to the United States:

  • Have all the required travel documents for the countries you are visiting, as well as identification for re-entry to the United States. Passports are required for air travel into the U.S.
  • Make sure you find out the rules and regulations concerning food and agricultural items prior to returning to the United States.
  • When you arrive at a port of entry in the United States, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer will process your admission. Be prepared to tell the officer the purpose of your trip and those items that you have purchased or obtained abroad.
  • If you are a visitor to the United States, the CBP officer may require you to provide your biometrics - digital finger scans and photograph - to verify your identity against your travel documents.
  • See our "Top 10 Travel Tips," as well as Frequently Asked Questions concerning international travel at CBP's Web site.
  • Visit CBP's Web site at cbp.gov to view recent wait times at the airport you will be returning to. This will help you gauge how long your clearance process will take.

U.S. citizens traveling by plane, please keep in mind that the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative requires all travelers to and from the Americas (Mexico or Canada), the Caribbean, and Bermuda to have a passport or other accepted form of documentation to enter or depart the United States. Additional information on acceptable documents can be found on the WHTI Web site.

Visitors from foreign countries arriving under the Visa Waiver Program are reminded to visit ESTA Web site before making your travel plans. The Electronic System for Travel Authorization is an automated web-based system that assists in determining eligibility for travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program and whether such travel poses any law enforcement or security risk. Upon completion of an ESTA application, the VWP traveler is notified of his or her eligibility to travel to the United States under the VWP.

"We want to welcome our returning citizens and foreign visitors," said Mary McCarthy, CBP acting director of Field Operations in Chicago. "Our officers are always available to answer any questions you may have about the entry process. Supervisors and Passenger Service Managers are readily available to address any of your concerns."

CBP wants to remind people planning on traveling outside the United States over spring break to take a moment and review the U.S. Department of State's Travel Warning Web site. Specific information is available for every country of the world. These pages include such information as location of the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate in the subject country, unusual immigration practices, health conditions, minor political disturbances, unusual currency and entry regulations, crime and security information, and drug penalties.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017