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US Preclearance Facility

The US Preclearance (USCBP) facility at Terminal 2 in Dublin Airport is a purpose built facility that allows US bound passengers to undertake all US immigration, customs and agriculture inspections at Dublin Airport prior to departure.

Dublin Airport is one of only a few airports outside North America that offers a US Preclearance facility. The benefit is that having cleared USCBP, passengers arriving in the US are treated as domestic arrivals, allowing them to avoid immigration queues upon arrival and pick up their bags and go.

In addition, this benefits onward connecting passengers in the US who will have their baggage checked through to their final destination.

We advise that you arrive at your terminal 3 hours before a long-haul flight. If you are checking bags or travelling in a group you should allow more time. Always consult your airline for check-in in desk and bag drop opening hours.

If you are flying soon, please be aware that it might be very busy at peak periods, so allow yourself plenty of time to check-in, go through Security screening and allow time to go through US Preclearance before your USA bound flight. USA flights depart from Terminal 2. At the moment, peak times at Security occur in Terminal 2 at 05.00 to 12.00 for morning and early afternoon flights.

Before US Preclearance

Passengers walking to US preclearance gate
  • Check-in with your airline as normal.
  • Go through Dublin Airport security screening.
  • When advised by the flight information screens, you should present to US Preclearance. (Passengers are advised not to enter US Preclearance before their allocated time). Make your way to the US Preclearance area.

US Preclearance in 3 easy steps


1. Present your boarding card to enter the US Preclearance area.

2. Complete TSA security screening (this is the American security screening standard). this differs from regular airport security in the following ways: 

  • All footwear must be removed by people between the ages of 12 and 75.
  • Jewellery or belts do not need to be removed.
  • Pockets do not need to be emptied.

3. Present your passport and boarding pass to a US Preclearance officer for inspection.

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for travel to the US

esta Application form for US Entry

Passengers who plan to travel to the US are required under the US Visa Waiver Programme to apply for travel authorisation online prior to travel. U.S. Customs and Border Protection have advised, when travelling to the USA, you must apply for an ESTA no later than 72 hours before your departure date. Real-time approvals will no longer be available and arriving at the airport without a previously approved ESTA will likely result in being denied boarding. 

There’s a charge $14.00 USD per person to avail of this service. This charge is collected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. You can apply for authorisation using the ESTA website.

After completing the online form, in most cases you’ll receive one of the following responses within a few seconds:

  • Authorisation Approved
    Your travel is authorised.
  • Travel Not Authorised
    You must obtain a non-immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate before travelling to the U.S.
  • Authorisation Pending
    You’ll need to check the ESTA web site for updates within 72 hours to receive a final response.

An approved travel authorisation via ESTA is required for all Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) passengers prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air to the U.S. under the VWP beginning January 12, 2009. An approved ESTA is valid for up to two years and multiple entries unless revoked, for up to two years or until the passenger's passport expires, whichever comes first. 

As future trips are planned, or if an applicant's destination address or itinerary changes after their authorisation has been approved, they can update that information through the ESTA website here.

ESTA approval is not a guarantee of admissibility to the U.S. at a port of entry. For more information here.

Transit through the U.S.

Eligible nationals or citizens of countries that participate in the VWP require either a travel authorisation or a visa to transit the U.S.

If a traveller is only planning to transit through the U.S. en route to another country, when he or she completes the travel authorisation application in ESTA, the traveller should enter the words ‘In Transit’. The traveller should also state his or her final destination location in the ‘Address while in the United States’ field on the application.

Permitted food items

There are restrictions on food items that can be brought in to the US. For full details click here.

N.B Please note that this includes food products that can be bought in Dublin Airport prior to presenting at US Preclearance. Please check prohibited food item list before purchasing.

In order to avoid delays we suggest that all food items be carried in hand luggage, declared and presented for inspection at the USCBP facility at Dublin Airport. For further information, please visit the U.S. Embassy in Ireland's website here.

Customs duty

Customs Duty is a tariff or tax imposed on goods when transported across international borders.

Duty-Free Shop articles sold in a Customs duty-free shop are free only for the country in which that shop is located. Therefore, if your acquired articles exceed your personal exemption/allowance, the articles you purchased in Customs duty-free shop, will be subject to customs duty which will have to be paid upon entering US Preclearance

Personal Exemption/allowance:

• 1 Litre of alcohol.
• 200 cigarettes.
• $800 worth of goods per person/$1600 per couple.

For more information on personal exemptions and allowances and custom duty rates please visit the US customs and Border Protection website here.

US customs and border protection

To view a summary of the guidelines detailed above, please see our video below.

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