Ireland is the only European country offering U.S. passengers preclearance if they fly through Dublin, taking the hassle out of returning for U.S.–based travelers.
If you want to make it easy for your U.S. groups to travel to and from Europe-based meetings, book them through Dublin. That way, all they have to do is pass through the U.S. Preclearance (USCBP) facility at Terminal 2 in the Dublin Airport, and they can pass through all U.S. immigration, customs and agricultural inspections before they board their U.S.-bound flight.
This means when they touch down in the U.S., they can just grab their bags and go, rather than wait in lines to clear immigration and customs on the U.S. side — something that can take two hours or more. If a passenger has a Global Entry pass, the process is even easier — they can just use the Global Entry kiosks at Dublin’s Terminal 2 Preclearance facility and be on their way.
“We are the only country in Europe that has that, which means that people arrive back in the U.S. as domestic passengers, so it takes all the hassle out of it. And it means you can connect much quicker if you are indeed connecting,” said Alison Metcalfe, Executive Vice President, USA & Canada, Tourism Ireland.
In fact, Dublin is one of the few airports outside of the U.S. to offer this preclearance service staffed with U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP) agents. The others are Shannon (also in Ireland); Aruba; Bermuda; Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates; Nassau in the Bahamas; and Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg in Canada.
In 2019, CBP personnel stationed abroad precleared 22 million travelers, representing over 16 percent of all commercial air travelers to the United States.
In addition to enabling passengers to skip the CBP and TSA inspection lines when they arrive in the U.S. and head directly to their connecting flights or final destinations, it also gives passengers a bit more peace of mind if they have a tight connecting flight to another U.S. airport — and gives them the ability to check their bags through to their final destination if they do have a connecting flight. It also benefits the airlines, which are able to access less expensive U.S. domestic gates and gives them more access to new routes to the U.S. that are in growing demand.
But screening being screening, you still have to anticipate that there may be a line, so airport officials recommend arriving at the Dublin Airport at least three hours before a long-haul flight. There also are restrictions on food items that can be brought into the U.S., and the usual customs duty tariffs still apply. For more details, go to the cbp.gov website.