CBP One is a free mobile application run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The application is used for many purposes, but individuals at the U.S-Mexico land border usually need to use the app to get an appointment to enter the U.S. at a point of entry.
CBP One is the only way most people can request an appointment to present at a port of entry on the US-Mexico border and request to enter the United States. Only 1,000 appointments are available each day across all ports of entry across the entire US-Mexico border. Many people wait a long time to get an appointment and have to keep trying on the CBP One app every day.
Obtaining an appointment through CBP One is free. Some people are trying to charge money to provide appointments, but these are typically fraudulent.
How to Use CBP One
- Download the CBP One app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. It should look something like the picture below.
- Open the app, select LOG IN OR SIGN UP. CBP One will redirect to a website called login.gov, where a person must either create an account or log in to an existing account.
- Users may see a page called “Terms and Conditions.” If this appears, click “Accept” at the bottom of the page.
- If the person using the app already has an account, they should choose “Sign In.” If they do not, they will need to click “Create an Account.”
- In the “Who are You” section, select “Traveler.”
In the “Select Travel Method” section, choose whether the travel method is by land, air or sea.
- Note: Anyone located in central or northern Mexico seeking entry into the U.S. by land at one of the Ports of Entry should select“Traveler” and “Land” for the travel method.
In the “Submit Advance Information” section, anyone arriving by land and seeking to request an appointment at a Port of Entry must:
- Register all travelers - only people listed as travelers can appear together for an appointment to request entry to the US;
- Select preferred language. The app is currently available in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole.
- The app will then request permission to access the user’s location. It is required for the app to access the user’s location. Only people in or north of certain areas near Mexico City and Guadalajara are able to take the next steps.
- Ask for an appointment - registration must be complete and include everyone traveling together before asking for an appointment;
- Be offered an available appointment - often no appointments are available;
- Accept and schedule an appointment; and,
- Arrive at the Port of Entry at the time of the scheduled appointment
Detailed instructions are available on this US government website.
How Can a Person Request an Appointment?
As of May 10, 2023, there is a new process for scheduling appointments on the CBP One app:
- In order to both request and schedule an appointment, a person must be in central or northern Mexico (including Mexico City and Guadalajara) or further north towards the US-Mexico border.
- People can request an appointment each day starting at 10 a.m. MST/Ciudad Juarez time within the CBP One app.
- From 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. MST/Ciudad Juarez time, it is not possible to request appointments.
- At 10 a.m. MST/Ciudad Juarez time each day, appointments are assigned within the computer system to some (but not all and likely not even most) of the people who requested appointments the previous day. People who receive appointments receive email and pop-up notices if they are being offered an appointment at a specific point of entry.
- A person offered an appointment has 23 hours to accept the appointment by clicking “accept appointment” in the app.
- After accepting the appointment, the person must take a video selfie (also sometimes called a “face scan”) and then click “schedule appointment” in the app.
- After an appointment is confirmed, people with appointments will be able to see their confirmed appointment in the app.
Where are appointments offered?
Appointments are available at the following Ports of Entry:
- Brownsville, Eagle Pass, Hidalgo, Laredo, and El Paso (Texas)
- Nogales (Arizona)
- Calexico and San Ysidro (California)
A person can request an appointment in a different city from where they are currently located. However, keep in mind that ports of entry may be far away. For example, the Port of Entry of Nogales/Mariposa is more than 7 hours away by car from Ciudad Juarez. Also, please keep in mind that people need valid documents in order to travel within Mexico, and travel to as well as conditions at different Ports of Entry can be very dangerous.
The CBPOne system is supposed to send a confirmation email when an appointment is finalized. If possible, people should print that email and bring it to their appointment. If it is not possible to print the email, then people can show the appointment confirmation email or a screenshot of that email to the CBP officer on their phone when appearing for an appointment.
Are People Having Trouble Using the App?
- Yes. Many people have experienced errors and glitches including: difficulty in having their face scanned and picture taken (unfortunately, this has been worse for people with darker skin), the app crashing frequently, needing to change their password frequently, frequent app updates which can interrupt the registration process, and difficulty in uploading files.
Some ways people may avoid these problems are:
- Making sure the app is compatible with their phones (some older phones are not compatible).
- If possible, using a strong internet connection.
- Updating the app frequently (and making sure it is updated before starting the registration process).
- In spite of these efforts, some people still have trouble with the app, and there are simply not enough appointments for everyone seeking to enter the United States at the US-Mexico border.
CBP One User Guide - English (also available in Spanish and Haitian Creole)
CBP One Flyer - English (also available in Spanish and Haitian Creole)
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