Travel Tips

CBP Shares Travel Tips for Study Abroad Students

Know Before You Go: CBP Recommends Top 10 Travel Tips
Written by Publishing Team

Washington With increased international travel and students across the country preparing to study abroad this summer, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is encouraging students to “know before you go” when traveling to the United States or returning home from their studies.

CBP encourages students to plan in advance to ensure a smooth and efficient travel experience. This includes having the appropriate passport and any other associated travel documents ready when contacting a CBP official to process or visit a foreign country. In addition, students will take a photo to verify their identity through a touchless face biometrics process known as simplified access upon entry for greater security and simplification of travel to the United States. Information on travel resources, visas, and other country-specific information can be found on the Department of State’s website.

Non-US citizens traveling to the United States for educational opportunities can download the free CBP One mobile app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and complete an electronic Form I-94 seven days before their trip. This feature provides a more convenient way for travelers to apply for I-94, review their past travel history, check I-94 expiration date and get proof of electronic I-94 from their mobile device. I-94 is the arrival and departure record issued to persons visiting or transiting into the United States with the exception of United States citizens, returning foreign visitors, foreign visitors on immigrant visas, and most Canadian citizens. Students who must prove their legal status as a visitor to schools or universities can access CBP arrival/departure record information from CBP One or the I-94 website.

Although an approved electronic system of travel authorization is not a requirement to enter the United States through a land border, citizens and citizens of Visa Waiver Program countries must have an active ESTA system to use the CBP One I-94 application feature. Customs and Border Protection encourages these travelers to obtain an ESTA approved to take advantage of the time savings offered by using CBP One or the CBP I-94 website. Through the ESTA, these travelers can apply for their I-94 in advance of arrival and avoid filling out Form I-94W at the port of entry.

Once students arrive at their study abroad destinations, CBP advises against trying to bring food products, especially pork and beef, into the United States. Doing so could have a negative impact on the livestock and food supply in the United States. Agricultural produce from abroad including soil contamination on shoes from visiting a farm or outdoor market may carry foreign animal diseases (FADs) such as African swine fever or foot-and-mouth disease, or plant pests such as the Asian gypsy moth, which are not in the United States. The introduction of these FADs and plant pests can lead to higher grocery bills, food shortages, and devastating losses for farmers and ranchers in the United States.

While students are not prohibited from visiting farms or open markets, CBP advises that they clean their shoes, clothing, and any purchases made during the visit. Some foods can be transported into the United States, but must be declared on a customs form. Failure to do so may result in severe financial penalties. Students can confirm which foods can enter the United States by visiting the USDA website. For example, meat and some cheeses from cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats cannot be brought into the United States.

On a typical day, CBP’s agriculture specialists discovered and seized 3,091 plants, meat, animal by-products, and soil, and intercepted 250 insect pests at US airports, seaports, and land border ports. If only one of these banned items entered the United States, it could have caused a catastrophic outbreak and lost billions in revenue. For example, African swine fever could cause a loss of $8 billion in revenue from pork and $3 billion in revenue from beef as well as $4 billion in revenue from corn and $1.5 billion in revenue from soybeans.

With the increase in international travel, travelers should expect heavy traffic. Planning ahead and adopting these travel tips can save time and reduce stress so that students can enjoy a more enjoyable and meaningful study experience.

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