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US PRE-CLEARANCE FACILITY

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Hello everyone

I have a question for those that have traveled to the US on immigrant visa . Some airports have US pre-clearance facility where you have to check-in before boarding.

Anyone who's gone through this process please share!

Thanks & Regards


FB-3 Visa
I-130 NOA1 : 2003-10-04
I-130 Approved : 2011-03-22
NVC Received : 2014-01-29
Received DS-261 / AOS Bill : 2014-01-29
Pay AOS Bill : 2014-05-13
Submit DS-261 : 2014-05-19
Receive IV Bill : 2014-01-29
Pay IV Bill : 2014-05-11
Send IV Package : 2014-10-09
Receive Instruction and Interview appointment letter : 2015-01-02
Case Completed at NVC : 2014-12-09
Packet 4 Received : 2015-01-02
Interview Date : 2015-02-25

VISA ISSUED : 2015-02-26

Green Card Fee (USCIS ElIS) : 2015-03-08

Entry US 2015-06-06

Social Security Card 2015-06-09

Green Card 2015-07-06

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Not done it personally but know someone who did it in Abu dhabi. All it means is you do all the immigration stuff before you board rather than after you land. Procedures are the same and it is USCIS officials who do it. Can't see that it makes much difference, other than probably a shorter queue.

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Toronto always pre-clears for its US bound passengers. I found it much better as when I got off in Atlanta I could go right to my husband

good luck


USCIS
August 12, 2008 - petition sent
August 16, 2008 - NOA-1
February 10, 2009 - NOA-2
178 DAYS FROM NOA-1


NVC
February 13, 2009 - NVC case number assigned
March 12, 2009 - Case Complete
25 DAY TRIP THROUGH NVC


Medical
May 4, 2009


Interview
May, 26, 2009


POE - June 20, 2009 Toronto - Atlanta, GA

Removal of Conditions
Filed - April 14, 2011
Biometrics - June 2, 2011 (early)
Approval - November 9, 2011
209 DAY TRIP TO REMOVE CONDITIONS

Citizenship

April 29, 2013 - NOA1 for petition received

September 10, 2013 Interview - decision could not be made.

April 15, 2014 APPROVED. Wait for oath ceremony

Waited...

September 29, 2015 - sent letter to senator.

October 16, 2015 - US Citizen

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You can get Pre Clarence from Abu Dhabi Airport, ONLY Etihad Airlines and only selected flights will get you through CBP, But another issue is that Etihad tickets are expensive then other airlines. If you are traveling from Pakistan better go through QATAR AIR WAYS cheap and Best services, but if you can afford the cost of Etihad then go for it.

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If you go through a pre clearance airport, then that is your POE point and you will need to hand over your immigration package at that time. You will go to secondary where they take your signature and fingerprint for the hard copy green card. Make sure your passport is stamped beside the visa. It can take a few hours to get through so leave 3-4 hours between flights if a pre clearance airport is one of your layovers.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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My wife had her pre-clearance done in Abu Dhabi. It's the same as if you were in the US. You hand over your envelope and you're done..


NOA2: 4/13/2014

NVC Received Case: 4/28/2014

NVC Assigned Case no and IIN: 5/21/2014

DS261 available and submitted: 5/31/2014

AOS fees available and paid: 6/2/2014

AOS package sent out:6/3/2014

AOS fee shows paid: 6/4/2014

Resubmitted DS261 because it showed incomplete: 6/5/2014

AOS Package scanned at NVC: 6/9/2014 :protest:

IV fees paid: 7/10/14 :ranting:

DS260 Submitted: 7/12/14 :ranting:

IV Packaged Scanned by NVC: 7/15/2014 :ranting:

CC:9/7/2014 :dancing:

Interview:10/29/2014 :dancing: :dancing::dancing:

POE:11/09/2014 :dancing::dancing::dancing:

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You can get Pre Clarence from Abu Dhabi Airport, ONLY Etihad Airlines and only selected flights will get you through CBP, But another issue is that Etihad tickets are expensive then other airlines. If you are traveling from Pakistan better go through QATAR AIR WAYS cheap and Best services, but if you can afford the cost of Etihad then go for it.

Eh, I don't know if that's always true. While I haven't ever been to Pakistan, the last time I went to India Etihad was clearly the cheapest. Conversely, last winter when flying from Indonesia, Qatar Air was about $100 cheaper. The one that is consistent is Emirates (at least from DC). It is never the cheapest!

Anyway, OP, as others have said, pre-clearance is basically getting everything out of the way when you depart instead of arrive. My one experience in AUH wasn't that great and certainly no better than what I've had to deal with when arriving here in the USA (just was slow and took awhile. And sorry, I'm a US citizen, can't speak about the IV experience). It was soon after AUH began doing pre-clearance though, maybe it has improved. I have heard that it works very well in Canada and Ireland.

Edited by usmsbow

Removing Conditions Timeline

Aug. 10, '17: Mailed in I-751

Aug. 21, '17: NOA1

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Thanks to all !

So we plan to move to US last week of May-2015. I bought the ticket of Etihad airline ticket EY 151 for Chicago, so my question either we have to go for pre-clearance with whole luggage or just with hand carry.Thanks and good luck.


FB-3 Visa
I-130 NOA1 : 2003-10-04
I-130 Approved : 2011-03-22
NVC Received : 2014-01-29
Received DS-261 / AOS Bill : 2014-01-29
Pay AOS Bill : 2014-05-13
Submit DS-261 : 2014-05-19
Receive IV Bill : 2014-01-29
Pay IV Bill : 2014-05-11
Send IV Package : 2014-10-09
Receive Instruction and Interview appointment letter : 2015-01-02
Case Completed at NVC : 2014-12-09
Packet 4 Received : 2015-01-02
Interview Date : 2015-02-25

VISA ISSUED : 2015-02-26

Green Card Fee (USCIS ElIS) : 2015-03-08

Entry US 2015-06-06

Social Security Card 2015-06-09

Green Card 2015-07-06

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The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility at Terminal 3 is a purpose-built facility that allows passengers on certain flights to the U.S. to undertake all immigration, customs and agriculture inspections in Abu Dhabi prior to departure. Having cleared CBP, passengers can check-through their baggage to their final destination in the United States. On reaching the U.S., passengers will be treated as domestic arrivals, which allows for faster processing at their arrival airport.

The CBP is currently in use for passengers flying to the U.S. on Etihad Airways flight EY101 to New York (but not EY103), flight EY131 to Washington D.C. and flight EY151 to Chicago.

Before arriving at the airport, passengers must ensure that they either have a valid visa or have applied for authorization to travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Programme. This can be done by visiting http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/esta/ where full details on the process, as well as eligible countries, can be obtained. The application must be submitted no less than 72 hours before travelling.

Any passenger whose application under the Visa Waiver Programme is rejected must obtain a non-immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate before travelling to the U.S.

Passengers using the CBP must also:

  • Provide Advanced Passenger Information up to one hour before check-in;

  • Know the regulations regarding which merchandise can or cannot be taken into the U.S. This information can be found by visitinghttp://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/kbyg/prohibited_restricted.xml

  • Hold an individual machine readable passport and a confirmed return or onward ticket (or e-ticket) for departure from the United States within 90 days; and

  • Complete a suitable Customs Declaration form on the day of departure

After arrival and check-in at Abu Dhabi International Airport, passengers on the above flights should follow the airport signage for the U.S. Pre-Clearance facility.

The entrance to the U.S. Pre-Clearance facility is adjacent to gates 58-61. Please proceed to the facility not later than 90 minutes before Departure.

Etihad passengers travelling to the U.S. can also obtain further information by visitinghttp://www.etihad.com/en/before-you-fly/us-preclearance/service-requirements

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I have done it in Ireland a couple of times and I really like it. Once you're done, you're done. No having to collect, and then recheck your baggage between lay overs. And a interview with an immigration officer is even less fun after a long flight.


Oct 19, 2010 I-130 application submitted to US Embassy Seoul, South Korea

Oct 22, 2010 I-130 application approved

Oct 22, 2010 packet 3 received via email

Nov 15, 2010 DS-230 part 1 faxed to US Embassy Seoul

Nov 15, 2010 Appointment for visa interview made on-line

Nov 16, 2010 Confirmation of appointment received via email

Dec 13, 2010 Interview date

Dec 15, 2010 CR-1 received via courier

Mar 29, 2011 POE Detroit Michigan

Feb 15, 2012 Change of address via telephone

Jan 10, 2013 I-751 packet mailed to Vermont Service CenterJan 15, 2013 NOA1

Jan 31, 2013 Biometrics appointment letter received

Feb 20, 2013 Biometric appointment date

June 14, 2013 RFE

June 24, 2013 Responded to RFE

July 24, 2013 Removal of conditions approved

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I have done it in Ireland a couple of times and I really like it. Once you're done, you're done. No having to collect, and then recheck your baggage between lay overs. And a interview with an immigration officer is even less fun after a long flight.

Agreed. I've only ever done pre-clearance. I wouldn't have a clue how to go about not doing pre-clearance! LOL


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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Hi.

 

Does anybody know if a round-trip or onward ticket is requested by the airline at check-in when you are trying to do your FIRST TIME IMMIGRANT ENTRY at a PRE-CLEARANCE facility (Aruba in my case)?.

 

I understand that I have to go to the airline check-in desk and leave my suitcases there and pick them up again at a different place and head to the pre-clearance facility building with them and after going through CBP and having my temporary Legal Permanent Residence stamp placed on my passport is when I am officially a Legal Permanent Residence, which will happen AFTER I go to the check-in desk at the airline counter.

 

I have read on several different websites, including the official website of the airline I am intending to use, the official US CBP and the official travel.state.gov websites and apparently you need a round-trip ticket or onward ticket at the moment of check-in unless you have a Green Card on your possession or you are a Citizen of the USA which is not going to be my case until after the CBP officials clear me when I go through CBP Pre-Clearance facility in Aruba. 

 

I also called the Airline and as I expected, they do not know with certainty about this case. They say that if I had a valid visa at the moment of check-in I was not going to be required a round-trip ticket or onward-ticket, but a Tourist Visa is a valid visa and they do require a round-trip or onward ticket in those situations PRIOR to checking-in your suitcases, Lol. The guy hesitated a lot, didn't understand my particular case, asked me for reservation confirmation number to check the info on the reservation, put me on hold and asked the manager and came back with a not too convincing answer, which I totally expected.

 

NOBODY on the internet, that I know of, has mentioned about the possibility or not of a one-way ticked in this particular case.

 

Does anybody has experienced this particular thing?

 

 

Help!

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A one-way ticket is almost certainly OK, but:

 

From this website,

https://www.cbp.gov/employees/eeo/dcr-contacts

 

I found this CBP official, who's apparently in charge of preclearance ports, including Aruba:

 

Johnathan Walker
DCR Officer
1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Room 3.3D
Washington, D.C. 20229
(202) 344-1696
Johnathan.Walker@cbp.dhs.gov

 

Depending on the urgency, you might call him rather than use e-mail.  Maybe someone in his office can advise you, if he's not in.  Just get the name and phone number of whoever you talk to.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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Perhaps just as good, or better:

 

https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/ports-entry/operations/preclearance

 

Scroll down to Caribbean, and call the number for Aruba.

CBP has a toll-free information line in the U.S., but in my experience it's impossible to get through, and the agents are typically rather gruff.  Don't even bother with their informational e-mail inquiry process.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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On 7/23/2017 at 0:47 AM, Jenn_iFly said:

They say that if I had a valid visa at the moment of check-in I was not going to be required a round-trip ticket or onward-ticket, but a Tourist Visa is a valid visa and they do require a round-trip or onward ticket in those situations PRIOR to checking-in your suitcases,

If you are travelling visa-free (ie, on the VWP/ESTA) then you do require onward or return travel. A B1/B2 (non-immigrant) visa does not require a round trip ticket.

 

However, as you are travelling on a valid immigrant visa (very different from a non-immigrant visa) you should have no issues having a one way ticket. 


CR1 / DCF (London): 2012 / 2013 (4.5 months from I-130 petition to visa in hand)

 

I-751 #1 [Denied]

 

Early May 2015 : I-751 Joint filing package sent fedex next day 09:00am from UK ($lots - thanks). 
May 2015: Notice of receipt/1yr extension received, dated day of receipt. This was forwarded to me outside the US, and no issues re-entering multiple times.
June 2015: Biometrics completed - walk in / argument, stressing proof of imminent travel and multiple prior inconvenient appointments & reschedules.
May 2016: Vermont Service Centre updated to processing May 2015 cases, therefore my case is now classed as outside normal processing time
May 2016: Service request sent (whatever that is) after calling to find out why I am still waiting after 12 months. Unable to tell me anything.
May 2016: Letter received in response, stating processing is on hold due to 'pending security checks' with no other information. Not helpful.
May 2016: (7am) - Infopass appointment for I-551 Stamp in passport.  (8am) - Returned to USCIS office for another I-551 stamp after realizing the dumbass put the expiry stamp as 2015 not 2017. Two entire passport pages wasted. Cheers. 

Oct 2016: Infopass appointment (not at local office). USCIS have sent my file to an overseas office, in a country that neither myself or my spouse have ever resided in. It has sat there untouched for five months. Why? Who knows. Internal query requesting urgent clarification is sent by USCIS officer.  
Oct 2016: An identical 'pending security check'  letter received, addressing precisely none of my or the immigration officers legitimate queries. 
Nov 2016: Infopass appointment: My file is now back in the US and at my local office...no other updates or progress. 
Jan 2017: Notification that an interview has been scheduled at a local office. Bizarrely still no RFE... 
Jan 2017: 2hr wait, then interview terminated before it began, due to moving my ID to another state 2 wks prior. New interview 'in a few months...maybe.'       Informed them that divorce proceedings are underway, but not finalised at this time. 
March 2017: An Interview was scheduled - marked as no-show as they didn't actually send out a notification of interview. FML 
April  2017: Filed an official complaint with the ombudsman, and have requested Senator & Congressman assistance - enough is enough. 
May 2017: Yet another infopass. No updates, interview of further progress. Still no response from Congressperson, Senator, or Ombudsman received. 
June 2017: 68 days after contacting them, the Ombudsman finally contacted USCIS. 'It may take up to 60 days to receive a response'.   
July 2017:  A follow up enquiry sent by Ombudsman to USCIS after receiving no response or action after 45 days. I am Jack's complete lack of surprise. 
August 2017: 60 days has come and gone with no response from USCIS. Contacted the Ombudsman who will contact them AGAIN. 
August 2017: Email from Ombudsman - USCIS have scheduled an interview at the very end of August .  
August 2017: Interview - switched to a (finalised) divorce waiver. Told that decision will be made that afternoon, but no problems foreseen with my case. 
September 2017: Now 4 weeks since interview, my file has not moved from the officers desk, and no decision is showing when I call and speak to a Tier 2.  
September 2017: Request filed for Senator assistance (a different senator - maybe I will get a reply & assistance from this one?). 
October 2017: 37 days since interview....and no decision.  W, and indeed, TF is going on???? 
October 2017: Letter of Denial received - reason given as 'I-751 petition was not properly filed'. Discovered ex-spouse made false allegations to USCIS

I-751 #2 [Pending] 

October 2017: Within 72hrs of receiving denial notice, a new waiver I-751, divorce decree & $680 cheque, sent to Vermont via FedEx overnight 9am priority.  

October 2017: I-797C Receipt/extension letter received, dated day of receipt at VSC 

October 2017: Another I-551 stamp obtained at infopass appointment, as the extension letter is useless with a 2yr card that expired 2.5yrs ago! 

November 2017: Biometrics completed (early walk-in) 

2018: Re-entered US multiple times with second I-751 extension letter & stamp. Quick trip to secondary required to verify, and stamped in as normal

  

N-400 [Pending] 

February 2018: N-400 filed online.  $725 paid to the USCIS paperwork wastage fund

February 2018: Biometrics completed (walk-in)

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