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Free Press Marathon: Cross-Border Travel Guidelines

Release Date
Fri, 10/14/2022

Pre-approved travel authorizations required for Visa Waiver Program country participants

DETROIT — U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Field Operations is gearing up for the 45th Annual Detroit Free Press Marathon on October 16—along with more than 19,000 runners from across the globe—and wants to remind those planning to cross into the United States by land of new guidelines for certain international travelers.

Runners on the Ambassador bridge as they cross into Canada for marathon
Free Press Marathon on the Ambassador Bridge

As of October 1, all Visa Waiver Program travelers intending to enter the U.S. by land are required to obtain an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to application for admission at land border ports of entry.

“Documented non-citizen travelers from Visa Waiver Program countries that intend to participate in the marathon will require an approved ESTA prior to arriving at a U.S. port of entry,” said Assistant Port Director David Beculheimer.  “In addition to that approval, completing your I-94 electronically on the CBP One mobile app will further expedite the process and help you make it to the starting line on time.”

This unique race provides both marathon and half-marathon routes crossing from Detroit to Windsor via the Ambassador Bridge, then back into the U.S. through the Detroit Windsor Tunnel.

“We are doing our best to ensure that every registered runner is able to participate in the event, so they can just concentrate on running their best race Sunday morning,” said Chief CBP Officer Hussien Elhady, the local CBP point of contact for the run series.

Travelers who are not citizens of a Visa Waiver Program country are required to have a visa and therefore not eligible for ESTA. Travelers are encouraged to apply for a travel authorization well in advance of their anticipated arrival at an US land port of entry. Passport and other documentary requirements remain in place, as applicable.

Follow us on Twitter @DFODetroit and @CBPGreatLakes

Last Modified: Oct 14, 2022