Clarifying pre-clearance at the airport

| 29/08/2017

Why is it that Cayman Airways, the national flag carrier, has not managed to integrate their reservation system into the Immigration system (but are able to provide the necessary information to the US authorities) whereas the foreign carriers have?

Auntie’s answer: After a bit of back and forth with two Department of Immigration (DOI) officials, who proved both helpful and patient, the conclusion was reached that you are probably referring to pre-clearance rather than integration of systems. If this is incorrect, please feel free to write me again. Meanwhile, I can still offer information on the integration side and then address the pre-clearance issue.

You are right that Cayman Airways has not integrated their reservation system into the immigration system, but I was informed that none of the airlines flying here has done that. That is why the thinking is that you are referring to pre-clearance, which is tied to the sharing of electronic manifests, or lists of passengers, and allows travellers to bypass the Immigration exit control counters at the airport when departing. And Cayman Airways does pre-clear passengers.

“All carriers operating in our islands provide the DOI with electronic manifests in advance. Electronic manifests are also provided to US authorities in advance by the airlines,” it was explained.

More specifically, “Pre-clearance is carried out by the airlines providing Immigration with an electronic manifest (list of passengers) in advance of the flight leaving. Integrating the airlines reservation system into the immigration system is not necessary for pre-clearance.”

Anyone who has zipped past Immigration after going through security at the airport will appreciate the advantage of pre-clearance, though one of the officials added, “There are certain technical requirements and standards that need to be consistently met in order to facilitate this. Where carriers experience difficulties, DOI actively engages to mitigate and resolve. We continue to work with airline and industry partners to enhance service, and work towards further developing our pre-clearance capabilities.”


Category: Ask Auntie, Immigration Questions

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So, no answer to the implied question, why doesn’t cal do whatever they have to so that passengers don’t have to stop at immigration?