Simon Calder's Helpdesk: Can I avoid immigration queues in the US?


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The Independent Travel

Q. I have flight to New York JFK from Bristol via Dublin in July. You said on Saturday that JFK is among the worst in America for long immigration queues. Can I avoid them, and can you point to a web link to show what we do at Dublin?

Patrick Mason, Taunton

A. You should be in luck. Most transatlantic flights from Dublin - including, I believe, all New York departures - qualify for "pre-screening" by US Customs and Border Protection staff. You simply need to present yourself at the appropriate desk at Dublin airport at least 90 minutes before departure and will be cleared by immigration and customs. When you arrive in New York you are effectively a domestic passenger, and as soon as you have retrieved your baggage you are free to go.

Dublin airport has prepared a very useful web page,, which includes a handy film by US CBP about the process.

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