Canada-United States Preclearance Agreement

The Canada-United States Preclearance Agreement was signed in 2015, but it only recently went into full effect. Prior to the implementation of the agreement, only a handful of Canadian airports offered preclearance. The agreement will expand that number, and will affect all modes of travel between the United States and Canada, including air, rail, and marine transportation. It will be available to both Canadian travelers to the United States and U.S. travelers to Canada.

Background on the Preclearance Process

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for inspecting and making admissibility decisions for people requesting admission into the U.S. Generally, CBP officers conduct this screening of individuals entering at a U.S. port of entry, such as an international airport located in the U.S. However, when the CBP inspection process is at one of the preclearance locations established in six countries, including Canada, Ireland, the Caribbean, and the United Arab Emirates, it is referred to as the preclearance process. CBP officers generally do not need to undertake any additional screening after a traveler has completed the preclearance process abroad and arrives in the United States. The agreement with Canada is reciprocal, meaning that people traveling from the U.S. to Canada now have better access to preclearance facilities established by Canadian immigration officials.


Overall, preclearance process is a productive means of streamlining international travel, while simultaneously protecting national security interests. Taking advantage of the preclearance process can be strategic – especially for those traveling long distances – to determine if they can gain admission to the U.S. The Murthy Law Firm can consult on the preclearance process strategically as an avenue to save time and resources, based on the background and circumstances of the individual requesting admission to the United States.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.