CBP gears up for holiday rush at Laredo port of entry
LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - As the Thanksgiving and Black Friday travel season looms, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is preparing to handle the anticipated holiday rush at the Laredo Port of Entry. Travelers are urged to plan and leverage the CBP One mobile app for a streamlined application process for travel permits.
To further facilitate the travel process, a Mobile Enrollment Center will be operational at the Outlet Shoppes from November 17 until November 25. Jennifer Gutierrez, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection representative, emphasized the importance of preparation, citing the substantial increase in processing during the holidays.
“The Laredo port of entry does go for maybe processing 10,000 to about 15,000 during the holidays. That’s why we ask the public to prepare before entering the country, prepare by soliciting their I-94s before, and also prepare themselves to make sure that whatever products they’re bringing into the United States abide by agriculture regulations to avoid any fines or possible delays or going into secondary inspection because of them.”
In the event of a high influx of traffic, CBP has plans in place to open additional lanes to expedite the process. For those exploring alternative routes, the Colombia Solidarity Bridge remains a viable option.
Below is the full press release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection:
As the Thanksgiving/Black Friday travel season quickly approaches, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations at the Laredo Port of Entry encourages travelers to plan ahead, apply for I-94 travel permits online as CBP prepares to implement measures to facilitate holiday traffic.
“As local stores have already begun to stock their shelves and adjust their decorations, CBP Laredo Port of Entry management is yet again anticipating 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 want to advise the shoppers arriving from Mexico to avail themselves of time-saving facilitation measures such as filing and prepaying their tourist permit applications electronically via the CBP One mobile app.”
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 from Nov. 17-25, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. The Mobile Enrollment Center is located on the second floor of the Outlet Shoppes at Laredo near the Nike store.
Members of the traveling public can monitor Border Wait Times 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.
Follow the Director of CBP’s Laredo Field Office on Twitter at @DFOLaredo and also U.S. Customs and Border Protection at @CBPSouthTexas for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos.
For more headlines. click here.
Copyright 2023 KGNS. All rights reserved.