Monday, 22 July 2024 21:58

No immigration queues in US for UAE passengers

Monday, 12 January 2015

One of the things tourists hate about traveling is having to queue up at the immigration on arrival. For UAE passengers wishing to travel to the United States, they may no longer have to show their visa and passport to the immigration officer after landing.

This is because the same immigration, customs and other required checks that international passengers go through on arrival in the United States can now be completed prior to boarding the plane.

Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national carrier that operates a number of flights to at least five destinations in the United States, announced on Tuesday that all its US-bound passengers will soon go through a preclearance process prior to departure at Abu Dhabi airport, enabling them to avoid queues on arrival.

Abu Dhabi International Airport is one of the 15 foreign airports in six different countries that offer immigration preclearance services.

The new US preclearance facility will open from Thursday 15 January and serve passengers on EY 103 to New York JFK and EY 183 to San Francisco flights. Both flights connect with inbound services from Mumbai, Delhi and other cities in India and the Indian Subcontinent.

“We’re delighted that from this Thursday, all air travelers flying to the United States from Abu Dhabi will enjoy the benefits that US customs and immigration preclearance offers,” says Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ chief commercial officer.

The facility, called the United States Customs and Border Protection at Terminal 3 in Abu Dhabi Airport, allows US-bound passengers to go through the necessary checks, including US customs, immigration and security while in Abu Dhabi. When they land in the US, visitors will be treated as domestic passengers.

“Since its opening in January last year, the US preclearance has been extremely popular with air travelers particularly those from the Indian Subcontinent and Middle East region. More than 325,000 people have passed through the facility arriving in the United States as domestic passengers.”

Etihad Airways says that the US preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi airport is “the only one of its kind in the Middle East, and the UAE capital is one of a small group of airports around the world to offer passengers preclearance into the US.”


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