CBP Preclearance Post Added at Abu Dhabi International Airport05 Mar 2014
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has begun operating a new preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport, making it the 16th such facility to be established around the world. The preclearance process is intended to protect U.S. security interests by allowing the CBP to identify and address potential threats prior to reaching in the United States. Preclearance stations can also make getting out of the airport upon arrival in the U.S. a much smoother process, but delays that can occur during inspections should be taken into consideration when making travel plans.
Preclearance Facilities Located in Six Countries
With the addition of the station at Abu Dhabi, the CBP now has sixteen preclearance facilities spread across six countries. Preclearance facilities make it possible for the CBP to inspect passengers, goods, and agricultural products prior to their arrival in the United States. This, essentially, extends the CBP’s protection of U.S. borders and allows the agency to operate at designated locations abroad, under formal agreements between the United States and the country in which the preclearance facility is located. In addition to this latest facility established in the United Arab Emirates, there are preclearance facilities located in Canada, Ireland, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and Aruba.
Faster Processing at U.S. Ports of Entry
Individuals who undergo the preclearance process are treated as domestic travelers upon their arrival in the United States. This is because the CBP has already completed the immigration inspection that would otherwise occur at a U.S. port of entry (POE). Individuals who are not eligible to be admitted to the United States are denied boarding abroad at the preclearance location. Those who are admitted generally are able to avoid the typically lengthy POE inspection process. However, the CBP still has the discretion to re-inspect individuals at the POE.
The airport preclearance process applies to flights originating from the preclearance locations, as well as those transiting through. While these facilities tend to eliminate the stress of waiting in line to be inspected following a long flight, it can lead to a longer boarding process. Therefore, travelers should familiarize themselves with the locations of CBP preclearance offices and factor in potential delays as part of their travel plans.
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