Click here to explore our guide to travelling safely through our airport at this time
Click here to explore our guide to travelling safely through our airport at this time

US Pre-clearance Facility


US Pre-clearance Facility

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility at Abu Dhabi Airport

The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility at Terminal 3 in Abu Dhabi Airport is a purpose-built facility that allows U.S. bound passengers to undertake all immigration, customs and agriculture inspections in Abu Dhabi, prior to departure.

Abu Dhabi International Airport is one of only a handful of airports in the world that offers the CBP facility. Having cleared CBP, guests can check through their baggage to their final destination in the United States. On reaching the U.S., guests will be treated as domestic arrivals, which allows for faster processing at their arrival airport.

Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks

Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that expedites the entry process for U.S., Canadian and eligible 'Visa Waiver Program' international travelers by providing an automated process through CBP’s Primary Inspection area.

When flying with Etihad Airways, you can use the APC self-service kiosks to submit your Customs declaration form and biometric information. APC is a free service, does not require pre-registration or membership, and maintains the highest levels of protection when it comes to the handling of personal data and information.

Travelers using APC experience shorter waiting times and faster processing when passing through Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Overview of requirements

If you are traveling to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) you must:

  1. Apply for authorisation to travel under the VWP using the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ESTA website no less than 72 hours prior to travel.
  2. Add API (Advance Passenger Information) to your booking up to 1 hour in advance of the first flight on your itinerary.
  3. Know the restricted and prohibited merchandise you can bring to the U.S.
  4. 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.
  5. Complete relevant CBP Customs Declaration form at Abu Dhabi International Airport on the day of departure.

If you are travelling to the U.S. with a valid visa you must:

  1. Know the required documents for your trip.
  2. Know the restricted and prohibited merchandise you can bring to the U.S.
  3. Complete relevant CBP Customs Declaration form at Abu Dhabi International Airport on the day of departure.

Service highlights

Department of Homeland Security 'U.S. Visit' Program

Since January 5th, 2004, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been implementing the 'U.S. Visit Program'.

This program applies to all visitors. It does not apply to U.S. citizens or U.S. legal residents. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers will use an inkless fingerprint scanner to automatically read the fingerprints of these visitors. The Customs and Border Protection officer will also take a digital photograph. This biographic and fingerprint data will be used to verify the identity of the visitor. For additional information visit

U.S. Immigration – Terminal 3 (T3) Abu Dhabi International Airport

Select flights to the U.S. must pre-clear U.S. Customs and Immigration in Terminal 3 (Abu Dhabi) before departure.

Please review the U.S. CBP pre-clearance requirements before arriving at the airport.

After check-in or arrival in Abu Dhabi International Airport, guests on these 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 60-minutes before departure.

Duty Free goods including cigarettes and alcohol cannot be sold on-board flights which pre-clear U.S. Customs and Immigration in Abu Dhabi. Do not buy Duty Free liquor or perfumes in excess of 100ml.

Liquids, aerosols and gels, (LAGS) in limited quantities, are safe to bring on board an aircraft. Each traveler is allowed one bag in order to limit the total volume of liquids, aerosols and gels. Consolidating products into one bag and X-raying them separately from the carry-on bag enables security officers to quickly clear all items.

The 3-1-1 rule:

3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveller can bring.

Each time TSA searches a carry-on it slows down the line. Practicing 3-1-1 will ensure a faster and easier checkpoint experience.

Declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk, are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint. Officers may need to open these items to conduct additional screening.

This means that liquor and perfumes bought at duty free are not allowed through a TSA check, even if they are in a STEBs bag (Secure Tamper-Evident Bag).

Check-in for all flights to the U.S. will close 120 minutes before departure for guests who are commencing their journey in Abu Dhabi.

Customs Declaration Forms will be available at Etihad Airways check-in counters and onboard flights. Guests joining from other destinations will also be able to get the forms at Abu Dhabi check-in counters.

Travel information on electronic devices

All guests traveling to the U.S, UK or Canada, from Abu Dhabi International Airport, are required to turn on all electronic devices in their possession prior to boarding. Guests must ensure that all electronic devices in their hand luggage or on their person, including mobile phones, tablets and laptops, are charged, to minimize any potential disruption to their journey.

Abu Dhabi International Airport does not have a facility to store devices which cannot be powered up and Etihad Airways cannot take responsibility for devices which are left behind.

This requirement is part of enhanced security measures by the authorities of these countries. Failure to comply may result in not being allowed to take the device(s) onto the aircraft or being denied access to fly.

U.S. Premium Lounge

First and Business Class guests traveling from Abu Dhabi to destinations in the United States can now use our U.S. Premium Lounge, after having cleared U.S. Immigration and Customs. The lounge offers comfortable seating and light refreshments whilst you wait for your flight to board.