Aiming to facilitate hassle-free entry of Indians into the US at selected airports, the two countries have signed an Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) providing for expedited security clearances.
The move would take a few months to implement and will provide speedy security clearances for pre-approved, low-risk Indian travellers upon arrival in US at selected airports.
The MoU was signed between Indian Ambassador to US, Arun K Singh and Kevin K McAleenan, Deputy Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection.
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“After joint scrutiny and clearance by both countries, the approved Indian travellers will be extended the facility of expedited entry into the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports,” a release said, adding, the procedures are expected to be completed in the coming months.
“Expedited entry for the Indian travellers under this programme at the US airports will enable further easing of travel environment, and will have positive impact on all kinds of people-to-people exchange between our two countries,” said Arun K Singh at the MoU signing ceremony.
He said strengthening people-to-people ties between the two countries has been at the very core of Prime Minister’s vision of India’s bilateral relationship with the United States.
“In the last two years, several initiatives have been taken by the Government of India for easing travel from the United States to India, which includes issuance of long term visas and introduction of electronic-tourist visas for US citizens.”
“India’s entry into Global Entry Program will further ease travel between our two countries and strengthen people-to-people ties,” Singh added.
He also said that the United States is home to more than three million Indian-origin people who continue to maintain deep-rooted links with India
“We see that more than a million of our citizens, from all walks of life – professionals, businesspersons, tourists and students – are travelling in both directions every year. This initiative will bring direct benefit to these travellers,” he stated.
Currently, Global Entry Program is available at more than 40 US airports and 12 pre-clearance locations. More than 1.8 million people are enrolled in Global Entry and approximately 50,000 new applications for the program are filed every month.