With many individuals planning to enjoy the spring and summer travel season, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reminds U.S. citizens, as well as visitors to the United States, to educate themselves on the rules and regulations regarding travel.
For U.S. citizens—you must have approved travel documents when returning home. When traveling by land or sea, citizens age 16 and older must present a valid travel document that denotes identity and citizenship. Travelers under age 16 may present a birth certificate or alternate proof of citizenship when traveling by land or sea. All U.S. citizens must have a passport book for international air travel.
For U.S. visitors—you must have a valid visa and valid (unexpired) passport to enter the United States. All citizens whose home countries are part of the U.S. Department of State's Visa Waiver Program are required to attain approval through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to traveling by air or sea to the United States. ESTA applications are valid for up to two years and for multiple entries.
Trusted Traveler Programs (NEXUS, SENTRI, Global Entry, or FAST/EXPRES) are the most efficient way to cross the U.S. border from Mexico or Canada. Such programs can lead to significantly shorter wait times at ports of entry and provide additional benefits. CBP urges frequent international travelers to sign up for a Trusted Traveler Program. Applications may be found on the CBP website.