I am heading to Dallas from Canada right now. I was already interviewed by US immigration and received a visa stamp too.

Am I going to be interviewed again in Dallas? I would like to know because of limited transit time (I will be in DFW Dallas airport for an hour and 10 min)

  • 4
    lol. You can guarantee that if you have a connecting flight the wheel will come off of your trolley, the guy on the passport control will have forgotten his glasses and that you'll be randomly selected to be interviewed by immigration again.
    – Valorum
    Jan 24, 2019 at 22:57

2 Answers 2


When flying from Canada to the US from most major Canadian airports, you go through US immigration and customs at the Canadian airport from which you depart. This is called US preclearance and it is the procedure you have described in your question. When you physically arrive in the US on your flight, you will not see immigration again, because you have already gone through immigration and customs. Your flight arrival is treated the same as a domestic arrival. You only need to go directly to your next flight.

The US CBP web site has a list of airports where preclearance is available.

  • 1
    Unrelatedly, I was amazed to learn that Abu Dhabi has pre-clearance! Given that, all other routes from asia to Amerkia are non-starters. Great stuff.
    – Fattie
    Jan 24, 2019 at 15:09
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    @Fattie The government of Abu Dhabi paid to put in preclearance which only serves one airline, Etihad, which happens to be owned by... the government of Abu Dhabi.
    – user71659
    Jan 24, 2019 at 17:02
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    Note that CBP reserves the right to interview you again upon arrival in the US, but that is very rare.
    – Thomas
    Jan 24, 2019 at 18:15
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    @Thomas I've heard of cases like that; where they come to the jetway and are looking for someone specific on that aircraft. Jan 25, 2019 at 14:54
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    @DeanMeehan that's how it usually works. As Thomas notes, however, the US can require the plane to go through screening again as if it had not been precleared, or they can just meet the plane at the gate as Michael Hampton described. This is very rare. Presumably it is limited to cases in which there is some information that the plane was somehow compromised, for example if someone had smuggled some Canadian softwood lumber (or an intending illegal immigrant or someone wanted by the authorities for other reasons) onto the plane before it took off.
    – phoog
    Jan 25, 2019 at 16:40

In principle you can be “interviewed” for any length of time at the point of entry. Granted, the immigration officers don’t necessarily want to waste their time and resources, but I’ve been questioned by immigration officers at times when I had to rush to connections because of late arrival, and it certainly felt like the questioning was quite time-consuming.

If you start from a pre-cleared airport, then all of this will happen before you can even get to the boarding area. As far as I can see, the only Canadian airports with flights to DFW are Toronto (Pearson), Montreal and Vancouver, all of which are pre-clearance points of origin. Thus you will arrive at domestic gates without further immigration or other checks, as if you were arriving from a US point of origin. There is a wiki page providing a list of airports with pre-clearance.

The situation will likely be different upon return, unless your point of origin is also a pre-clearance airport. Delays going through immigration can be very long and it’s entirely possible that you may miss your connection as a result of this. IF you have a Canadian passport, some US points of entry (Toronto, Houston, Atlanta and probably others - I don’t have a complete list) have dedicated machines to read passports and automate the immigration process and you can use those to save a considerable amount of time.

  • Calgary has DFW flights too (on at least Air Canada and WestJet, and I believe one or two US airlines too), but it also has preclearance. Jan 25, 2019 at 20:32
  • @JimMacKenzie according to en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dallas/… your are correct Americans Eagle has YYC-DFW. Jan 25, 2019 at 21:08

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