Irish Government signs deal with US to expand US immigration pre-clearance in Irish airports

Bonds Strengthen as Deal to Expand US Immigration Pre-Clearance at Dublin and Shannon Airports is Signed.

Irish and American governments met in Washington to sign amended US immigration pre-clearance deal.

In the midst of a time when political relations and free travel are under such scrutiny, the recent signing of an expanded US immigration pre-clearance deal is a pleasant development.

The signing of the deal, which plans to increase pre-clearance services, at Dublin and Shannon airports took place in the capital of the United States, just a few months ago.

Daniel Mulhall, Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States and Todd Owen, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Executive Assistant Commissioner put pen to paper and the amended agreement intends to streamline and expand the services.


With such a close and interconnected history, Ireland and America have a very special bond.

As of 1986, a pre-inspection was initiated, enabling ease of travel for passengers while increasing security precautions between Ireland and the United States. This was revised in 2008 when a pre-clearance agreement was instated.

With Ireland and America divided only by the Atlantic Ocean, these two close countries experience a heavy volume of transatlantic travellers, be it holiday-makers or business people.

The original intent of the 1986 pre-inspection scheme remains the same today: to offer increased security, protection for passengers and countries and greater efficiency and ease of travel for passengers.

The New Deal

A revised agreement has been under construction since early 2017 and was scrutinised and developed by many government organisations including, but not limited to, the Irish Department of Transport, Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, US State Department and Tourism and Sports departments.

As of March 2019, the new deal has been signed and Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD says, “US Pre-clearance is a valuable asset for Ireland and has been an enormous success.”

He goes on to explain, “The ease of doing business, the scale of air connectivity and the on-going availability of pre-clearance, are significant trade, tourism and cultural facilitators between two countries which have a long and unique relationship.”

Shane Ross TD also outlines that this has been a long road: “My Department has been engaging with the US since 2015 on the need to enhance and expand services and introduce flexibilities to Pre-clearance in Ireland.”

“The US has also been working for a number of years to expand the programme to other countries, where it is intended that a reimbursement framework for all services and facilities will be the norm as it has become in many US domestic airports.”

On a World Scale

Ireland is one of only three countries in the world which offers pre-clearance in its airports. The other two countries are Canada and the United Arab Emirates.

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