CBP One Program: What Is It and How Does It Work?

 ᛫ 04/09/2023

The CBP One application was launched in October 2020 as part of the federal government's efforts to strengthen legal entry processes into the United States. On January 5th of this year, President Biden announced a humanitarian reunification program that includes the four countries with the highest number of asylum requests at the Mexico-U.S. border (Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela). Individuals from these countries seeking entry to the U.S. must have a sponsor and can only enter by air with a valid passport.

For other foreign nationals, including those without a sponsor or a visa, the CBP One application comes into play. This application allows them to search for a valid legal admission program, meet the requirements, and obtain authorization to present themselves at a designated port of entry on a specific date and time.

Venezuela has been participating in the reunification program since mid-October of last year. The strategy implemented in the first two months (January and February) led to a 15% to 25% reduction in undocumented crossings. Now, foreign nationals are embracing the so-called "legal, safe, and orderly path to the United States" by requesting an interview through the CBP One application at a port of entry, where they undergo regular asylum processing.

It's worth noting that only a small fraction of immigrants who enter the country illegally are eligible for asylum. In the first quarter of fiscal year 2023, fewer than 14% of asylum requests originating from a "credible fear" border claim were approved. In over one-third (33.66%) of those cases, no asylum request was even filed.

Accessing CBP One: The App for Presenting Yourself at the U.S. Border

Migrants seeking asylum at the U.S. southern border now have the option of using the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) app to schedule an appointment for requesting asylum in the U.S. Qualified beneficiaries who are outside the U.S. and lack entry documents may be considered, on a case-by-case basis, for advanced travel authorization and a temporary stay period of up to 2 years for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.

The idea is for applicants to enter their biographical information through the app rather than going directly to a U.S. border entry point. Applicants must attest that they, their partner, or accompanying child meet specific vulnerability criteria and then schedule an appointment for inspection at a participating port of entry.

Some of the participating entry points include:

  • Arizona: Nogales
  • Texas: Brownsville, Hidalgo, Laredo, Eagle Pass and El Paso (Paso Del Norte)
  • California: Calexico and San Ysidro (Peatonal Oeste – El Chaparral)

How to Use It:

  1. Registration: If you're not registered yet, create a user account using an email and password.
  2. Who Are You? The app will take you to the "Who Are You?" personal identification module, where you identify yourself as a traveler (if seeking asylum in the U.S.) and then choose "Land" for travelers crossing into the country by land.
  3. Advance Information: Next, choose the "Submit Advance Information" option and select your preferred language.
  4. Traveler Information: The next step is to provide information for all travelers from the same family traveling together. Select "Add Individual" and provide details such as names, birthdates, nationalities, residence country, and contact information. You'll also need to take a photo of each person requesting an appointment as a family group.
  5. Destination: In the following module, provide a U.S. residence or destination address and an emergency contact there. Then, provide previous residence information in another country.
  6. Schedule Appointment: Next, choose the date, time, and port of entry for your CBP appointment.
  7. Confirmation: If you secure an appointment, a confirmation screen will display confirmation numbers for each family member and appointment information. This information will also be sent to the email you provided earlier.

What Happens at the Appointment?

When the traveler arrives for their appointment at the designated entry points, a photo will be taken to confirm the information provided in advance through the CBP app. It's important to note that this does NOT guarantee asylum approval in the United States. Individuals without a legal basis to stay in the U.S. will be subject to immediate expulsion or deportation.

Please remember that this blog provides general information and should not be considered legal advice. It is always advisable to consult an immigration attorney or the relevant authorities for specific guidance based on your unique circumstances.