US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep CBP.gov current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Travel Advisory – Be a “Ready Traveler”

Release Date: 
October 7, 2014

Canada Thanksgiving/Columbus Day 2014

GREAT FALLS, Mont. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations, is reminding travelers planning trips across the border this holiday weekend into the United States to plan ahead and to anticipate increased traffic volumes.

CBP encourages travelers to plan trips in advance and to obtain a valid, acceptable travel document, such as a passport, a U.S. passport card, a trusted traveler card (NEXUS, SENTRI, Global Entry or FAST/EXPRES), a permanent resident card or an enhanced drivers’ license.  Possession of these documents will expedite entry into the United States and make future border crossings more efficient.

CBP is urging all foreign travelers requiring I-94 or I-94W (visa waiver) entry document processing to obtain the essential document early instead of waiting until the day of their travel to avoid potential delays at the border.  Travelers are encouraged to obtain the required document as much as a week in advance for faster and more convenient processing.  All travelers requesting an I-94 or I-94W entry document may be required to establish financial solvency, proof of residency outside the U.S. and demonstrate that they have sufficiently strong ties to their country of origin including a home abroad they do not intend to abandon. 

Border traffic volumes are expected to significantly increase during the weekend of October 9, and continue through October 13, for the observance of Thanksgiving in Canada and Columbus Day in the United States.  All travelers are reminded of a few simple steps they can employ to cross the border more efficiently.

  1. Check out the new CBP informational website. The CBP site has been completely redesigned to help users quickly access the content they need.  It also is optimized for access by smart phones and makes use of a new content delivery network that will improve access internationally.
  1. Beat the border rush. Cross during off-peak times, such as before 6 a.m. or after 3 p.m.  Most lines at the border start building in the morning and carry on into early afternoon. Monitor wait times for the port of Sweetgrass, Montana, here.  Information is updated hourly and is useful in planning trips and identifying periods of light use/short waits.
  2. Keep travel documents handy. Make sure each passenger has the correct travel document accessible and ready to give to the CBP officer. If you are a frequent international traveler and have not already become a member of a trusted traveler program, sign up now.  For more information, please visit CBP’s Trusted Traveler site.
  3. Know the contents of your vehicles and be prepared to declare all items. Travelers are required to declare all items being imported into the United States from Canada.  If you are not sure about what to declare, do not hesitate to ask the CBP officer.
  1. Know what food products can be imported. Many fruits, meats, dairy, and poultry products are prohibited from being imported into the United States from Canada. For more information, view Prohibited and Restricted Items.
  1. Declare all firearms. Travelers are reminded that specific requirements must be met to import or export firearms and ammunition to/from the United States.  For more information on the importation or exportation of firearms and ammunition visit ATF, State Dept., and Commerce Dept. websites or contact CBP at 406-453-7631.

Our dual mission is to facilitate travel in the United States while we secure our borders, our people and our visitors from those that would do us harm like terrorists and terrorist weapons, criminals and contraband.

For more information on international traveling into the United States visit CBP’s Travel site.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017