Frequent travellers and prominent Indians, including film stars, could soon avoid the hassle of standing in long queues at immigration counters at some major airports in the country, as the government is planning to set up dedicated kiosks for them for seamless travel.
According to a Home Ministry proposal, prominent Indians, and business travellers with unblemished record may be offered the facility of minimum paper work in special immigration counters in select airports while travelling to and fro abroad.
“Discussions are still going on with various stakeholders and the proposal may come into reality in next few months,” a senior Home Ministry official said.
One of the key criteria for those whose name can be included in the list is that the person has to have a clean background with no criminal past.
Those whose names would be part of the list would have to go straight to a designated immigration counter, complete the minimum formalities and leave within a few minutes, the official said.
Interestingly, the move came amidst the India-US initiative to exempt prominent Indian citizens from immigration checks in America.
The pact, Global Entry–a US Customs and Border Protection program and signed yesterday in Washington by the two sides, permits speedy clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in America.
The US has been pressing for India’s inclusion in the Global Entry so that dignitaries like former Presidents, former Prime Ministers, former Union Ministers, film stars, top industrialists and frequent flyers could visit America without any hassle.
Individuals included in the list enter the US through automatic kiosks at select airports. At airports, program members proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport, place their fingerprints on the scanner for fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration.
The kiosk issues the traveller a transaction receipt and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit.