Low-risk Indian travelers to the U.S. from now on would experience speedy entry into the country after landing, with India making a formal entry into an American initiative.
President Donald Trump welcomed India’s entry into the International Expedited Traveler Initiative (Global Entry Program), saying it would facilitate closer business and educational ties between the citizens of India and the U.S.
The India-U.S. joint statement, issued after talks between Trump and Modi, said the U.S. President applauded the entrepreneurship and innovation of Indians and Indian Americans that have directly benefited both nations.
The citizens of Switzerland and the United Kingdom are also part of the program, which India has now joined.
Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program which allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.
On landing at select airports, the program members enter the United States through automatic kiosks, instead of queueing up to clear the immigration by meeting an immigration officer.
At these airports, the members proceed to the Global Entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingerprints on the scanner for fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration.
The kiosk then issues the traveler a transaction receipt and directs him or her to the baggage claim and the exit.
Travelers must be pre-approved for the Global Entry program. All applicants undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment, the CBP website says.
It says that while Global Entry’s goal is to speed up travelers through the process, members may still be selected for further examination when entering the United States.
The select U.S. 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 U.S., the airports at Dublin in Ireland, Vancouver and Toronto in Canada and Abu Dhabi are also on the list.
These airports have been chosen as an air traveler can clear U.S. immigration at these airports, virtually making their onward flight from there to an American city a domestic one.