Customs and Immigration
All arriving international passengers and luggage, with the exception of those arriving from pre-cleared points of origin, must be screened by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Screening is done at either the Federal Inspection Station (FIS) located next to the "C" gates or at the International Arrivals Building (IAB) which is connected to the Main Terminal.
Inside the International Arrivals Building and Federal Inspection Station
Passengers arrive to the IAB via shuttle and to the FIS via walking or shuttle depending on their arrival gate. Upon entering these facilities, passengers get into one of four lines:
Global Entry members
Users of the free Mobile Passport Control app (with smartphone/tablet and valid U.S. or Canadian passport)
U.S. and Canada passport holders, Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card) and returning ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) passengers from eligible visa waiver countries
All other passengers
Global Entry Members will be directed to Global Entry kiosks. From there, passengers will collect their checked baggage from the carousels inside the IAB/FIS, proceed to the Exit and look for a designated Global Entry Member line. Global Entry receipts will be collected at the Exit.
Mobile Passport customers will be directed to a dedicated Mobile Passport Control lane, where they should open the app displaying a code for scanning by a CBP officer. From there, passengers will collect any checked baggage from the carousels inside the IAB/FIS and proceed to the Exit. Open the app again to scan the code one final time at the Exit.
Passport Express eligible customers will be directed to the Dulles Passport Express automated kiosks. From there, passengers will collect any checked baggage from the carousels inside the IAB/FIS and proceed to the Exit. Passport Express receipts will be collected at the Exit.
All other passengers will be provided with a blue CBP Customs Declaration form which must be completed and presented to a CBP officer for review. After review of the form by the CBP officer, passengers will collect any checked luggage from the carousels inside the IAB/FIS and proceed to the Exit. CBP Customs Declaration forms will be collected at the Exit.
Passengers Ending their Trip at Dulles International
All passengers ending their trip at Dulles International will be shuttled to the International Arrivals Building. After clearing the secondary screening line, passengers exit directly to the lower level of the Main Terminal where taxi and other ground transportation options are available.
Passengers Connecting to Another Flight After Arriving on Air China, ANA, Austrian, Brussels, Ethiopian, Lufthansa, SAS, South African or United Airlines
Connecting passengers arriving on these airlines will be screened by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the Federal Inspection Station (FIS) located next to the "C" gates. Passengers may re-check their luggage to their final destination inside the FIS. After baggage re-check, passengers must clear TSA Security. Following TSA screening, passenger may proceed to their connecting gate or, if time permits, enjoy the restaurants and shopping available throughout the airport. Please view the terminal map for more information on moving between terminals, if needed.
Connecting Passengers Arriving from International Locations on Any Other Airline
Connecting passengers arriving from international locations on any airline not listed above (and not from a pre-cleared point of origin) will be directed to the International Arrivals Building (IAB) via shuttle. Passengers may re-check their luggage to their final destination at the baggage desks located inside the IAB. After exiting the IAB, connecting passengers can follow the signs to get to the gate of their connecting flight. Information on gate locations and transportation options is available on the terminal map.
Please note that connecting passengers may be directed to either the FIS or the IAB from any airline during time periods with unusually high levels of international passengers in order to speed processing.
- Global Entry is a CBP program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk passengers upon arrival to the United States. Participants may enter the United States by using automated kiosks located at select airports, including Dulles International. Applications and eligibility information are available at the Global Entry website. Members of Global Entry are also automatically enrolled in TSA Pre✓™ (Pre-Check).
- Mobile Passport is a free app authorized for use by citizens traveling with a valid U.S. passport or a Canadian passport with B1 or B2 visa status.
- Dulles Passport Express is a collection of free, automated kiosks eligible to U.S. citizens and a wide array of visitors. Using the kiosks to scan your passport and respond to routine questions helps shorten wait times before primary inspection by CBP officers.
Meeting International Passengers
Dulles International provides a waiting area immediately outside the International Arrivals Building in the main terminal near baggage carousel #14. More information is available on the meeting passengers page.
- U.S.Customs and Border Protection
- U.S. Customs and Immigration Services
- Department of State (U.S. Visa Application Process)
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection at Dulles:
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection hotline for general inquiries: