Be a “Ready Traveler” Canada Thanksgiving / U.S. Columbus Day 2018
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 CBP.gov, 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 bwt.cbp.gov.
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 CBP.gov 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 CBP.gov,” 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.
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.