September 17, 2012 – The .S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had just issued a special immigration alert for Labor Day travel.
With the month of September just starting to pass through, the agency responsible for admitting individuals into the United States had just issued a special immigration alert, with a “Know Before You Go” checklist that reminds international travelers to the United States, including those returning to the US, with what to do to ensure smooth and efficient processing at every US ports of entry.
The CBP travel checklist had reminded all travelers to secure all the required travel documents for the country you are visiting, as well as make sure to have an approved and valid identification for re-entry to the United States as passports are required for air travel.
For citizens of Visa Waiver Program countries, CBP reminds you to ensure that you have already secured an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization or United States ESTA before boarding. You must make sure to submit your online ESTA application 3 days before your plan travel as to give time for any difficulties and issues on your ESTA to USA.
For those traveling on a visa, not ESTA America, make sure that you have a completed I-94 form when approaching CBP processing.
Also, make sure to have a completed Customs Declaration form (6059b) upon reaching CBP processing. You must declare everything you are bringing from abroad, even if these are bought from a duty-free shop. Take note that things bought abroad for personal use or as gifts may be eligible for duty exemptions. However, if you are bringing them back for resale, they are not.
Also, take note of the difference between prohibited merchandise (which is forbidden by law to enter the U.S.) and restricted merchandise (items needing special permit to be allowed into the U.S.). If you want more information, please visit the Restricted/Prohibited section of the CBP website.
Please take note that you should not attempt in bringing fruits, meats, dairy/poultry products and/or firewood into the United States without first checking whether they are permitted.
CBP also reminds travelers to build additional time into trips during busy travel seasons and please do understand that CBP is always conducting a thorough inspection of the nearly one million travelers entering the country each day.
Understand also that CBP officers have the right to inspect you and your personal belongings without a warrant, which may include your luggage, vehicle, and personal searches and is meant to enforce our laws as well as protect legitimate travelers.
It is also reminded by CBP that travelers should monitor border wait times for various ports of entry. It is encouraged that travelers plan their trips during periods of lighter traffic or to use an alternate, less heavily traveled port of entry.
CBP also stated that although the CBP checklist was issued specifically regarding Labor Day travel, it also represents good advice for all international travel.