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Land Border Crossings

Details for entering the USA via air, land or sea

Air Border Crossings

Your airline will give you documents to complete while en route to the USA. All foreign travelers to the USA are required to complete Customs Declaration Form 6059B and Form I-94 (white), Arrival/Departure Record.

Once you land, you must go through the CBP station for immigration and customs processing. CBP must approve your entry upon your port of entry in the USA. After passport control, gather any baggage you have and enter the U.S. Customs area.

All foreign travelers entering the USA by land are required to complete Customs Declaration Form 6059B and Form I-94 (white), Arrival/Departure Record. CBP will still issue a paper form I-94 at land border ports of entry.

For more information on domestic flights, please visit the Air Travel page.

Vehicles

In order to enter the U.S. by land from Canada or Mexico, certain documents are required in addition to your passport and visa:

  • Driver’s license. (Canadian and Mexican licenses are enough. An International Driving Permit is a good idea and highly recommended.)
  • Registration paperwork for the vehicle
  • Proof of liability insurance

For more information on driving in the USA, please visit the Rentals & Driving in the USA page.

Boats

Travelers often arrive in the U.S. on registered cruise ships, but international visitors cannot simply come into the U.S. by private boat without reporting their arrival. Operators of small vessels arriving in the U.S. from a foreign port are required to report their arrival to CBP immediately. If you are planning on entering the USA from your cruise ship, you will most likely need a visa. Check with your cruise line.

For more information on domestic boat travel, please visit the Boat Travel page.

Bus

Greyhound and Megabus offer cross-border transportation from Canada to the U.S., where custom officials will check those coming in on the buses. Greyhound also offers cross-border transportation from Mexico. A valid passport and visa is required for citizens to cross the border into the USA in either direction.

A guardian traveling with a child must provide proof of custody or notarized parental authorization for travel. An adult traveling with a child who is not the parent or guardian must have written permission from a parent or guardian to accompany the child across the border, including the name and contact information of the parent or guardian.

For more information on domestic bus travel, please visit the Bus Travel page.