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CBP Preclearance Offers Tips for Spring International Travelers

Release Date: 
March 7, 2019

Know Before You Go Abroad on Spring Break

WASHINGTON – As March signals the beginning of Spring Break vacations to warmer destinations like the Bahamas (Nassau and Freeport), Aruba, and Bermuda, CBP Preclearance locations in these countries encourages travelers to "Know Before You Go."

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) air Preclearance operations is the strategic stationing of CBP law enforcement personnel overseas to inspect travelers prior to boarding U.S.-bound flights. Through Preclearance, CBP Officers conduct the same immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections of international air travelers typically performed upon arrival in the U.S. before departure from foreign airports.

Today, CBP has more than 600 law enforcement officers and agriculture specialists stationed at 15 air Preclearance locations in 6 countries: Dublin and Shannon in Ireland; Aruba; Freeport and Nassau in The Bahamas; Bermuda; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Winnipeg in Canada. CBP also staffs a pre-inspection facility for passenger/vehicle ferry traffic to the U.S. in Victoria, Canada.

Before embarking on an international trip, CBP encourages all U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to visit "Know Before You Go." Additional information for U.S. citizens and foreign nationals visiting the U.S. can be found at the CBP Travel page.  

CBP Travel tips for international travelers:

  1. Make sure that you have all appropriate travel documentation for the location you are visiting. Some countries require a travel visa to enter and some countries require that your passport be valid at least six months beyond the dates of your trip.  Learn more about travel documentation before you depart the U.S.
  2. Know what to expect during your CBP arrivals inspection when you return. U.S. citizens can now process their arrivals on Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks at many U.S. airports or by using the Mobile Passport Control (MPC) application on your smartphone; click on the MPC link to see the 25 airports where MPC is available. These self-processing features allow you to complete the administrative portion of your arrival, which speeds up the time you wait to see a CBP officer.
  3. Know what products you cannot bring back to the U.S. This webpage discusses everything from foods to medicines, and cultural artifacts to hunting trophies.
  4. CBP officers have the authority to inspect you and your belongings without a warrant to enforce U.S. laws. Truthfully declare to a CBP officer everything you bring back to the U.S., even if you purchased a souvenir or food at a duty free shop. There are consequences for filing a false declaration.
  5. Explore CBP’s trusted traveler programs, such as Nexus (northern land border), Sentri (southern land border), and Global Entry (aviation), that allow expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Participation is voluntary and processing your arrivals admission is fast and easy.

“Customs and Border Protection wants to ensure that families enjoy a smooth and efficient processing experience upon their return home from Spring Break vacations,” said Clint Lamm, Director of Preclearance Field Office, the agency’s operational commander for all CBP Preclearance locations. “Knowing how the arrivals inspection process works and the rules governing what you can and cannot bring into the United States will help you to get home quicker.”

For more helpful CBP travel advice, visit CBP's Travel section.

Last modified: 
March 18, 2019