Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority

Dulles International Airport

Improving Passenger Processing to Speed You on Your Way

Dulles travelers enjoy the latest advances in processing international air travelers quickly and efficiently. Here's how:


  • Dulles Passport Express Automated Kiosks - Citizens of the U.S. and Canada, Lawful Permanent Residents ("Green Card") and Visitors from 38 other countries are eligible to scan their passport or ESTA* card at automated kiosks when arriving at Dulles for a faster trip through primary Customs inspection lanes. No paper forms need to be completed.

    *ESTA = Electronic System for Travel Authorization

  • Global Entry Kiosks - Avoid the queue when your international flight arrives at Dulles. Arriving passengers go straight to one of  Dulles's automated Global Entry kiosks instead of waiting in line to see an agent.

    How to enroll - Plan ahead. Visit and submit an application. It could take a few weeks until your in-person interview appointment is scheduled. Upon approval you will receive a Global Entry ID card that is valid for five years.


  • TSA Pre✓™ (Pre-Check) - Expedited security screening for your flight departing Dulles. Dulles has a separate TSA checkpoint dedicated to Pre-Check. The checkpoint is centrally located at the rear of the departures (ticketing) level (behind District Chophouse)

    Ways to opt-in - (1) If you are a U.S. Citizen and your airline extends an invitation (typically to only the most frequent flyers); (2) Become a member of Global Entry and use your "known traveler" number when booking your airline ticket, or before final flight check-in. (3). Apply online (select Sterling, VA location), then complete your application process at our TSA Pre-Check enrollment center on the Main Terminal departures level. It is located next to the east security checkpoint entrance.

    Notes: Several major U.S. airlines (but not all airlines) participate. Check your boarding pass to ensure you are approved to use the Pre-Check lanes.

Clearing Customs and Border Protection into the United States

We have two U.S. Customs and Border Protection locations: The International Arrivals Building (IAB) in the Main Terminal and a Transfer facility in the C-Gates.

  • All International passengers whose destination is Washington will board a mobile lounge and ride to the International Arrivals Building (IAB) at the Main Terminal to clear U.S. Customs. If someone is meeting your arrival, he/she can wait for you on the Arrivals (baggage claim) level near the carousel #15 sign.
  • In general, International passengers arriving in the C-Gates who are connecting to another flight will be directed from the gate to U.S. Customs in the C-Gates. Some connecting passengers may be directed to the IAB depending on the time of day or your airline's procedures.
  • International passengers arriving in the A or B-gates who are connecting to another flight will board a mobile lounge to U.S. Customs in the C-Gates or to the International Arrivals Building (IAB) at the Main Terminal to clear U.S. Customs, depending on their airline's procedures.
  • Note: International passengers arriving from select countries may have already pre-cleared U.S. Customs at the point of departure. Through this system, travelers are treated as domestic passengers upon arrival and will deplane directly into the Concourse. From there passengers can go directly to their connecting flight or to the Main Terminal and exit the airport.

At U.S. Customs and Border Protection there are two queue lines: one for U.S. Citizens/Permanent Residents and one for Non U.S. Citizens (Visitors). Please ensure you are in the correct line in order to speed the process. Passengers from 40 countries are eligible to use Dulles Passport Express automated kiosks. Wait times vary depending on the number of arriving international flights at that time. Please have all travel documents handy when you reach the front of the line. If you are enrolled in Global Entry you can proceed directly to the kiosk without waiting in line.

After clearing U.S. Customs at Dulles, passengers must claim their checked luggage before proceeding in to the Main Terminal or to a connecting flight. All luggage in the U.S. Customs area is subject to inspection. To check-in luggage for a connecting flight, simply hand it to an agent in the baggage re-check area before exiting.

Passengers transfering to a connecting flight will need to clear screening by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA). If you cleared Customs from the C-Gates, you will go through TSA screening immediately afterwards then go up one level to the C-Gates Concourse. If you cleared Customs in the IAB, you will enter the Main Terminal where you can follow signs "TO ALL GATES" for TSA screening.

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