The holidays are some of the busiest travel days of the year so immigration and travel providers are sending out e-alerts to help global mobility programs to consider reminding both domestic and international expatriate employees to be aware of the challenges that the holiday season can bring when it comes to traveling.
As advised by Fragomen, for those traveling internationally maybe the biggest piece of advice is to make sure that expats have all the necessary documents, including a passport with sufficient remaining validity, a valid U.S. visa in the appropriate classification and advance permission to travel, if necessary. If an employee does need to apply for a visa, be prepared for possible delays in the issuance. Additionally, we anticipate that all ports of entry will have significant lines as the volume and the thoroughness of screening increases.
Gibney suggests that as the holiday season approaches, international travelers should expect busy airports, Consulates and U.S. Ports of Entry. We encourage ALL travelers to plan ahead to minimize delays when traveling abroad and entering the U.S.
They provide a status and documentation checklist for U.S. entry along with a checklist for foreign national employees and employers. They also provide some additional helpful links:
- To find the nearest foreign consulate in the U.S. visit Foreign Embassies and Consulates in the U.S.
- Check U.S. Consulate wait times at U.S. Consulate Visa Wait Times
- Find links to U.S. consular posts around the world at U.S. Consular Posts
- For information on the Visa Waiver Program and current VWP countries visit Visa Waiver Program
- Obtain and review your electronic I-94 record at CBP I-94s
Despite the number of international visitors coming to the U.S. dropping in the first half of 2019 by almost 2%, there are still an incredible number of travelers from mid-November through the New Year.
Here are a few additional resources that your global mobility program might leverage:
- Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection provides us with 2019's 24 best holiday travel safety tips.
- SmarterTravel's 10 Holiday Travel Tips You Need To Know and The 12 Best and Worst Days to Travel This Holiday Season
- Go Overseas: 8 Useful International Travel Tips for First-Time Travelers
- Condé Nast's Top Holiday Destinations for 2019 (maybe avoid these?)
- Upgraded Point's and their 13 Helpful Tips To Know Before Traveling Abroad
As the holiday season approaches, international travelers should expect busy airports, Consulates and U.S. Ports of Entry. We encourage ALL travelers to plan ahead to minimize delays when traveling abroad and entering the U.S.