CHICAGO– More and more travelers are ensuring their tray tables and seats are in the upright position as they land in Chicago. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at O’Hare International Airport are seeing numbers that haven’t seen since 2019 as passengers are starting to travel, and tourism is returning to the Chicago area for the first time in several years.
Since October 1, CBP officers have processed 1.65 million passengers as they arrive at O’Hare. In comparison for all of fiscal year 2021, which runs from October 1 to September 30, CBP officers processed 2.21 million passengers and in fiscal year 2020 it was 2.71 million passengers. With summer travel still on the horizon, Chicago CBP will process more passengers that may exceed pre-pandemic numbers of 6 million passengers from 2019.
Before embarking on a trip to the U.S., travelers should be prepared with the following:
- Possess a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative document, such as a valid U.S. passport, Trusted Traveler Program card, Enhanced Driver’s License or Enhanced Tribal Card.
- Possess proof of an approved COVID-19 vaccination as outlined on the CDC website.
- During inspection, verbally attest to their travel intent and COVID-19 vaccination status.
- Be prepared to present the WHTI-complaint document and any other documents requested by the CBP officer.
“Trade and travel facilitation remain a priority, but not at the expense of national security,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-Chicago Field Office. “Chicago CBP will continue to dedicate its finite resources to the processing of arriving traffic with emphasis on trade facilitation to ensure economic recovery.”
CBP’s border security mission is led at 328 ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders. Learn more about CBP at www.CBP.gov.