7

I'll be traveling from Mumbai, India to Gainesville, Florida. For that I have to board a flight at Mumbai which will drop me at Heathrow. I have layover time of about 8 hours at Heathrow, from where I'll be traveling to Miami. And from Miami to Gainesville. But the layover at Miami is only 2 hours, which from what I've heard, is very little time for completing immigration checks. So, I was wondering if there is any provision of conducting US security checks at Heathrow instead of Miami?

During the search for this answer, I came across this post. This looks to be 2014 news. I'm not sure though, whether this has been implemented or not.

Could anyone please confirm the same?

Or, is it possible to complete immigration checks at Miami airport within 2 hours ?

Thanks.

  • If it's not very busy, it ought to be doable. And if your airline booked it as a single ticket, then it is doable and the airline is responsible for getting you where you're going. If your flight into Miami is late or immigration is busy, stop by your airline's desk in the arrivals area first for assistance, as they can usually help expedite connecting passengers through. – Michael Hampton May 10 '15 at 15:08
10

According to the US Customs and Border Protection there is currently no US Immigration preclearance location in the UK. That doesn't mean that there won't be any in the future as:

Beginning in 2015, the United States intends to enter into negotiations in order to expand air preclearance operations to new locations.

Now as far as clearing immigration and customs in Miami within 2 hours it is definitely possible but it depends on whether or not the terminal is busy or not and whether your ticket to Gainesville is on the same ticket as the rest of your trip or not in that case airline should facilitate your trip through immigration and customs in the US to make your flight.

  • I've heard suggestions that somewhere like Manchester or Edinburgh might be able to offer pre-clearance, but I can't see Heathrow being able to given current constraints there. Flyertalk has lots on it, like this or this or this – Gagravarr May 10 '15 at 16:14
  • If there would be a decision to make room for pre clearance room will be found... But I am fairly certain that Heathrow isn't the only airport in consideration – Karlson May 10 '15 at 16:27
  • For a moment I read that as the CBP doing interviews in flight, on board. That would be fantastic, aye. – happybuddha May 11 '15 at 7:53
10

No. The UK does not participate in US Pre-Clearance. As such, it is not possible to clear US immigration and customs in any UK airports

If you wish to avail yourself of UK pre-clearance, your nearest option is the Republic of Ireland. Both Dublin and Shannon airports feature US pre-clearance. We've a few questions on that here already if you need more information

There's lots of quite long FlyerTalk discussion on the UK and pre-clearance like this and this and this, which amongst other things points out the problems you'd have with introducing pre-clearance at Heathtrow, given the different terminals used for US-bound flights, and the "lumpy" nature of these departures. Best guess seems to be that it wouldn't happen for at least 10 years, probably longer.

There's currently talk of Global Entry being more widely rolled out for UK citizens, now that US citizens amongst others can now sign up for Registered Traveller on arrival into the UK. A mixture of wider availability of Global Entry, coupled with more US airports offering CBP automated passport terminals for the main entry questions should reduce the queues for others, which in turn should reduce how long it'll take to get through US immigration and customs.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.