A note from Customs and Border Patrol for holiday travel over the the U.S.-Canadian border
Border traffic volumes are expected to significantly increase between the dates of June 29 through July 5 for the observance of both Canada Day and Independence Day. All travelers are reminded of a few simple steps they can take to cross the border more efficiently.
“Historically, we see more travelers entering the U.S. from Canada during this week-long period, than any other week during the summer,” said Area Port Director Daniel Escobedo. “Travelers can help shorten the processing time at the ports of entry by having their travel documents available to present to the primary officer and declaring everything they are bringing with them from Canada.”
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 driver’s 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 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.
Check out the new CBP informational website at cbp.gov
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.
Beat the border rush
Cross during off-peak times, such as before 8 a.m. or after 5 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 on CBP’s Border Wait Times app. Information is updated hourly and is useful in planning trips and identifying periods of light use/short waits.
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 section.
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 cbp.gov Prohibited and Restricted Items.
Only heat-treated firewood from Canada is allowed into the United States. Personal importations of heat-treated firewood must be accompanied by either a treatment certificate or an attached commercial treatment label. Travelers attempting to bring untreated wood into the United States may be returned to Canada to dispose of their wood there.
To learn more about harmful pests associated with food products and firewood visit the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service website www.aphis.usda.gov/plant-health.
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 406-453-7631.
Report money in excess of $10,000
You may bring as much money into or out of the United States, as you wish. However, if it is more than $10,000, you will need to report it to CBP and complete the Currency Reporting Form (FinCen 105). “Money” means monetary instruments and includes U.S. or foreign coins currently in circulation, currency, travelers’ checks in any form, money orders, and negotiable instruments or investment securities in bearer form
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 traveling into the United States visit CBP’s Travel section.