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Border Crossing / U.S. Customs Information and U.S. Border Crossing Wait Times

If your travels take you across international borders, there is information that you can check in advance of your trip to help you avoid delays. For example, one can check border crossing wait times for U.S. - Canada and U.S. - Mexico customs inspection points, and possibly choose an alternative border crossing to avoid delays. If you are traveling by air however, you don't have that much control, however there is historical customs screening wait time data available for the major airports, and you could possibly plan your flight times to avoid delays. Of course, it is important to always check travel alerts and be aware of the documents needed for international travel, and all of these things can be found via the links below. The best way to have a trouble free border crossing experience is to treat all border crossings the same, whether you are traveling by plane, car, boat or just walking. Expect the same questions and be prepared to provide the same documentation regardless of your mode of travel.

Important: The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) goes into effect June 1, 2009 for land and sea travel within the western hemisphere and will effect U.S. citizens returning from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. It has already been in effect for air travel, so expect to provide the same documentation regardless of your mode of transportation. The following documents are acceptable: (Remember, that not all of these documents will allow you to cross all borders, such as NEXUS is only for the US-Canada border and SENTRI is for the US-Mexico Border. NEXUS cards can also be used at certain airport kiosks. For full information visit GetYouHome.gov)

Buy eXpect delaYs shirts! Check real time U.S. Border Crossing Point of Entry Check Point Wait Times from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Web Site. Information is given for the estimated wait time to the primary inspection point at Canadian and Mexican Border U.S. Entry Points. Data is updated hourly.
Check Canadian Border Crossing Wait Point Times from the Canada Border Services Agency. This site provides border crossing wait times for reaching the checkpoints for both entering the U.S. and entering Canada. The Canadian government also provides this, as well as additional, information via your web-enable phone or wireless device at their Wireless Portal at wap.gc.ca or www.gc.ca . Load this site into your wireless device or phone before you travel so you can decide which checkpoint to use, if multiple border crossings are available to choose from.
Check U.S. International Airport Customs Security Screening Wait Times for U.S. Entry from the Customs and Border Protection web site. This is based on historical data and is the time from when the flight arrives to the time the last passenger is screened, so it is the longest possible time that one would expect to wait. http://apps.cbp.gov/awt/ (This web site doesn't seem to work in Firefox, so use Internet Explorer if you have it.
U.S. Department of State Travel Alerts and Travel Warnings
Customs and Border Protection Alerts Travel Information from the Customs and Border Protection Web Site
Check here for information on required travel documents (requirements are different for air and land/sea) and other travel related information.
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