McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Mexican shoppers and those coming to visit friends and family over Thanksgiving are being urged to file online for travel permits for preferential treatment at port into Brownsville, Texas, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
The after-Thanksgiving shopping blitz, known as Black Friday, is expected to draw thousands of Mexican nationals at the ports in Brownsville from Matamoros, Mexico. The port director said he expects more visitors as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes and more people are vaccinated and traveling regularly between the two borders.
“After a full year of normalized travel for fully vaccinated noncitizens, CBP Brownsville Port of Entry management is preparing for significant volumes of cross-border traffic for both the Thanksgiving holiday and the Black Friday shopping period at the Brownsville Port of Entry,” Brownsville Port Director Tater Ortiz said in a statement.
Travelers who apply for their I-94 tourist permits online via the CBP One mobile app or at this CBP link will move to the front of the line at Brownsville ports of entry, Ortiz said.
“The Brownsville Port of Entry will extend front of the line privileges to travelers who submit their I-94 applications electronically,” CBP said in a statement.
After applying and paying the provisional permits are valid for seven days and must be presented during that time at a U.S. port of entry. Entrants will be interviewed by a CBP officer, submit biometric finger scans and have their photos taken for entry into the United States, CBP says.
Foreign nationals wishing to cross into the United States must be prepared to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations.