U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Provides Tips to International Travelers During Busy Summer Season

Chicago - The summer travel season has kicked off and Customs and Border Protection would like to remind international travelers this is the busiest travel time of the year.

To help make the travelers trip as trouble free as possible CBP would like to provide tips for international travel.

On a typical day, CBP welcomes more than 1.1 million international travelers into the United States at land, air and sea ports. 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 share some travel tips that can also be found on CBP’s Travel page. ( Travel )

Here are some 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’re visiting, as well asentification for re-entry to the United States. Passports are required to the U.S. by air.
  • Make sure you find out the rules and regulations concerning food and agricultural items before you travel, as some are prohibited or must meet certain requirements, such as a license or permit. Also, all live birds and bird products, whether for personal or commercial use, may be restricted and/or quarantined.
  • When you arrive at a port of entry in the United States, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer will inspect you. Be prepared to tell the officer the purpose of your trip and those items that you purchased or obtained abroad.
  • If you are a visitor to the United States, the officer may require you to provide your biometrics – digital finger scans and photograph – to verify your entity against your travel documents. This simple and fast collection of biometrics is the same as you experienced if you had to get a visa for your trip to the U.S.
  • As a visitor to the U.S., when you depart, make sure that the airline ticket agent collects your I-94 form.
  • See our “Top 10 Travel Tips”, as well as a wealth of Frequently Asked Questions concerning international travel at CBP's Know Before You Go page. ( Know Before You Go )
  • Visit CBP’s Web site at cbp.gov to view recent wait times for the airport you will arrive at. This will help you gauge how long your clearance process will take.

If you are traveling by plane to Mexico or Canada, please keep in mind that the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative requires all travelers to and from the Americas, the Caribbean, and Bermuda to have a passport or other accepted form of documentation to enter or depart the United States.

Since Jan. 31, 2008, CBP officers no longer accept an oral declaration of citizenship but require that all individuals entering the country at land and sea ports of entry, from within the Western Hemisphere, have documentary proof ofentity and citizenship. Documents that can be used to gain entry into the U.S. include official passports, passport cards, copies of birth certificates along with government-issued photoentification, enhanced driver’s licenses and NEXUS cards.

“At ports of entry, CBP prevents entry of people and goods that are prohibited or threaten our citizens, infrastructure, resources, and food supply, while facilitating lawful trade and travel,” said David J. Murphy, CBP director of field operations in Chicago. “We strive to achieve that balance and show the world that the United States is a welcoming nation.”

For more information on the latest travel tips and regulations, please visit CBP’s Know Before You Go website and the State Department’s website. ( Know Before You Go ) ( State Department Web Site )

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 the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Contacts For This News Release 610 South Canal Street 9th Floor Chicago, IL  60607 Brett Sturgeon Press Officer Phone: (312) 983-9167 or (888) 274-4294 Fax: (312) 886-4921