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US immigration law -- What do I need to cross the border?

There are a number of requirements for crossing the border into the United States. Different U.S. immigration law requirements apply to citizens of different countries, though. To avoid any delays at a border checkpoint, anyone who is getting ready to visit Louisiana should be sure to understand which requirements apply to his or her situation.

For example, the majority of Canadian citizens do not need visas to enter the country. However, they will still need to provide some type of approved travel document. There are more requirements for Mexican citizens, though, as these individuals will need both their passports and visas before they will be allowed entry.

Outside of America's neighbors to the north and south, citizens from 36 foreign countries are allowed entry without a visa as part of the Visa Waiver Program. There are limitations, though, as this program only permits entry for a period of 90 days or less. If someone intends to stay in the U.S. for longer than 90 days, he or she will need to secure a visa before crossing the border.

The U.S. Custom and Border Protection's Trusted Travelers Program makes it even easier for certain individuals to pass through border checkpoints. This program expedites the border crossing process for travelers who are believed to be low risk. There are dedicated lanes and kiosks specifically for those who are part of this program.

In some situations, passing through border checkpoints can be relatively quick and painless. This usually happens when a traveler has thoroughly prepared for the process and has all of the necessary documents on hand. Improving one's border crossing experience can also make the start of one's visit to Louisiana more pleasant, so it may be advantageous to discuss border crossing requirements with an attorney who is knowledgeable in U.S. immigration law.

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