As the Thanksgiving/Black Friday travel season looms on the horizon, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Laredo Port of Entry encourages travelers to plan ahead, apply for I-94 travel permits online and utilize Ready Lanes as CBP prepares to implement measures to facilitate holiday traffic.
“After a full year of normalized travel for fully vaccinated noncitizens, CBP Laredo Port of Entry management is preparing for significant volumes of cross-border traffic for both the Thanksgiving holiday and the Black Friday shopping period at the Laredo Port of Entry,” said Port Director Albert Flores, Laredo Port of Entry. “We thank the traveling public for being proactive, patient and we strongly encourage them to avail themselves of facilitation measures such as filing and prepaying their tourist permit applications electronically via the CBP One mobile app and utilizing our Ready Lanes.”
The Laredo Port of Entry strongly encourages travelers to apply for their tourist permits online via the CBP One™ mobile application, available on Google Play or Apple App Store or through http://i94.cbp.dhs.gov Travelers receive a provisional I-94 after submitting their application and payment online. To finalize the I-94 process, travelers must present themselves at a port of entry within seven days of their application to be interviewed by a CBP officer, submit biometric fingerscans and a photo is taken. The Laredo Port of Entry will extend front of the line privileges to travelers who submit their I-94 applications electronically and present their provisional I-94 permit receipt.
CBP One™ is a mobile application that serves as a single portal to a variety of CBP services. Through a series of guided questions, the app will direct each type of user to the appropriate services based on their needs.
The I-94 Entry feature allows travelers to apply for a provisional I-94 prior to arriving at a land border crossing. Travelers who apply for their I-94 ahead of time will experience faster processing times to expedite entry. Travelers can also quickly access their current I-94 submission to view critical information such as, how long they can remain in the U.S., and use it for proof of visitor status once in the United States.
Travelers should download the free CBP One™ app on their web-enabled smart device. Note that a free login.gov account is required to use CBP One™. After opening the CBP One™ app, tap “Sign In with Login.gov”.
- Travelers who do not have a login.gov account should “Create an account” and follow the instructions.
- Travelers who already have a login.gov account should sign into their existing account, and will be redirected back to the CBP One™.
After signing in to CBP One™ users can access the different CBP services based on their specific needs.
In addition, CBP in collaboration with the Outlet Shoppes at Laredo has implemented a Mobile Enrollment Center for issuance of I-94 tourist permits. The Mobile Enrollment Center will be available starting on Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be open on Black Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Mobile Enrollment Center is located on the second floor of the Outlet Shoppes at Laredo near the Nike store.
CBP reminds the traveling public that since Nov. 8, 2021, foreign nationals who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have appropriate documentation will be permitted to enter the United States via land ports of entry (POEs) and ferry terminals for non-essential reasons such as tourism. CBP reminds these travelers to be prepared to (1) provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination, as outlined on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website; and (2) verbally attest to their reason for travel and COVID-19 vaccination status during a border inspection.
CBP also encourages travelers to obtain and utilize radio-frequency identification technology (RFID)-equipped travel documents such as U.S. passport cards and the newer versions (i.e. since 2011) of the border crossing card and resident alien card so that they can utilize Ready Lanes. Processing in Ready Lanes is 20 percent faster than normal lanes and provide a time savings of up to 20 seconds per vehicle. CBP encourages travelers to obtain RFID entry documents to use Ready Lanes and enroll in trusted traveler programs.
Members of the traveling public can monitor Border Wait Times via this link or also obtain the BWT app on their smartphone via Apple App Store and Google Play (CBP BWT) so that they can observe the wait times and make an informed decision on which bridge to use. These wait times are updated on an hourly basis. CBP reminds the public that they may utilize the Colombia-Solidarity Bridge as an alternate route to avoid heavy traffic.
Also to avoid any potential delays or fines due to travelers bringing prohibited/restricted agricultural items, CBP encourages travelers to declare all agricultural items to a CBP officer upon arrival and before making their journey to consult the Know Before You Go guide at the following link.