Be a “Ready Trav­eler” Canada Thanks­giv­ing / U.S. Columbus Day 2018

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Prairies - CON­TRIB­UTED

U.S. Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion (CBP) Of­fice of Field Op­er­a­tions is re­mind­ing trav­el­ers plan­ning trips across the bor­der into the United States this hol­i­day week­end to plan ahead and 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.

To avoid po­ten­tial de­lays at the bor­der, 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. Trav­el­ers are en­cour­aged to ob­tain the re­quired doc­u­ment as much as one week in ad­vance for faster and more con­ve­nient pro­cess­ing. All trav­el­ers re­quest­ing an I94 or I-94W en­try doc­u­ment may be re­quired to es­tab­lish fi­nan­cial sol­vency, proof of res­i­dency out­side the United States 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 Oct. 4 and con­tinue through Oct. 8, for the ob­ser­vance of Thanks­giv­ing in Canada and Columbus Day in the United States. All trav­el­ers are re­minded of some sim­ple steps they can em­ploy to cross the bor­der more ef­fi­ciently.

Check out the CBP in­for­ma­tional web­site

The CBP site, at, has been com­pletely re­designed to help users quickly ac­cess the con­tent they need. It is also op­ti­mized for ac­cess by smart phones and makes use of a new con­tent de­liv­ery net­work that will im­prove ac­cess in­ter­na­tion­ally.

Beat the bor­der rush

Cross dur­ing off-peak times, such as be­fore 9 a.m. or af­ter 4 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. In­for­ma­tion is up­dated hourly and is use­ful in plan­ning trips and iden­ti­fy­ing pe­ri­ods of light use/short waits. Wait times for Sweet­grass and other, larger ports of en­try are found at

The Area Port of Sweet­grass has four ports op­er­at­ing 24-hours per day: East­port, Idaho, Roosville, Mon­tana, Sweet­grass, Mon­tana, and Ray­mond, Mon­tana. The other 10 ports bor­der­ing Canada are also open seven days per week, but op­er­ate on shorter hours. Port hours of oper­a­tion may be found on the web­site in the Lo­cate Port In­for­ma­tion sec­tion at the bot­tom of the page.

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.

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.

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.

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 the Bureau of Al­co­hol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Ex­plo­sives; State Depart­ment; and Com­merce Depart­ment web­sites or con­tact CBP at 406-335-9610.

“Canada’s Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day tra­di­tion­ally be­gins the sea­son when many res­i­dents of Cana­dian prov­inces and north­ern states mi­grate to lo­ca­tions in the south­ern U.S. for the win­ter. CBP rec­og­nizes the im­por­tance of the travel and tourism in­dus­try to the U.S. econ­omy and re­mains com­mit­ted to fa­cil­i­tat­ing law­ful travel to the United States. We en­cour­age all trav­el­ers to find out what they need to know, be­fore they go, by visit­ing the travel sec­tion in CBP’s web­site at,” said Bret Cor­neliusen, Sweet­grass As­sis­tant Area Port Direc­tor-Pas­sen­ger Op­er­a­tions.

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

Photo con­trib­uted

PLAN AHEAD: The U.S. Cus­toms and Borter Pro­tec­tion of­fice is ad­vis­ing mo­torists to plan ahead and have doc­u­men­ta­tion ready if they plan on head­ing across the bor­der for Thanks­giv­ing week­end.

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