India recently signed International Expedited Traveler Initiative Programme with the United States. Also called as Global Entry Programme, this scheme will allow expedited entry into the US to low-risk travellers from India. If you are an Indian citizen planning to travel to the US anytime soon, here is everything that you need to know about this programme.
What is Global Entry Programme?
Global Entry is a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows speedy clearance for low-risk travellers upon their arrival in US. The travellers are pre-approved for the programme after a rigorous background check. In-person interviews are also taken to check the ‘low-risk’ status of the applicants before the enrollment. Apart from this, the travellers may further be questioned when they enter the United States in case the need arises.
Which countries are members of this programme?
Apart from India, citizens of Colombia, United Kingdom, Germany, Panama, Singapore are eligible to become members of this programme. South Korea and Mexican nationals are also included under Global Entry Programme. Canadian residents can apply for enrollment under this through their membership in NEXUS programme.
Who are eligible under the programme?
Citizens of all the above-mentioned countries can apply to become members of Global Entry Programme. In the case of minors, consent of the parent or a legal guardian is a must to get enrolled. The membership is valid for five years. Read: Speedy entry into US for Indian travellers as India signs Global Entry Programme. Click here
Can someone be ineligible?
While the programme is open to citizens of all the countries that come under the agreement, the membership can be cancelled or denied in case the US Customs and Border Protection finds any false information in the application. Also in order to be eligible for the programme, it is imperative that the individual has no past criminal records of any kind and also that he/she is not connected with any money laundering case. Any person who has violated any customs, immigration or agriculture regulations or laws in any country also stands ineligible.
How to apply?
A Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) account is mandatory for enrollment irrespective of the age of the members. The account can be made at the US Customs and Border Protection Page. The form will be completed after paying a nominal non-refundable application fee. After this CBP will review the application. In case the form is conditionally approved, a message will be sent on the GOES account after which an interview can be scheduled. A provision for the Indian citizens is likely to come up on the website soon.
What is the benefit of this programme?
The biggest advantage of getting enrolled in this programme is that you will no longer have to stand in the long queues for immigration. On landing at the selected airports in the United States, the approved applicants can make their way ahead through automatic kiosks instead of standing in the immigration lines. Apart from no processing lines, there is also an advantage of reduced wait time and no paperwork.
How does Global Entry Programme work?
At the selected airports in the United States, the travellers will have to present their machine-readable passport or US permanent resident card at the Global Entry kiosks. They will also have to verify their fingerprints on the scanner and complete a customs declaration. Post this the members will be issued a transaction receipt and they can proceed to the baggage claim.
Which airports are covered under the programme?
The select US airports that offer the facility include all major ones, including New York, Newark, Washington, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, Las Vegas, Miami and Seattle. Besides those in the US, the airports at Dublin in Ireland, Vancouver and Toronto in Canada and Abu Dhabi are also on the list.