Indian Travelers Are Now Eligible for Expedited Entry into US
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The United States began accepting applications from Indian citizens for the Expedited Travel Initiative Program after signing a formal agreement with the South Asian country this week. The program, otherwise known as Global Entry, allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers arriving in the United States.
Instead of standing in an immigration line, members can enter an automated kiosk, present their passport, use a biometric fingerprint scanner to verify their identity and complete a customs declaration to enter the country. In return, travelers avoid the hassle of paperwork and prolonged wait times.
India’s entry into the program is intended to facilitate travel and business between the two countries — just last year, Indian visitors in the US spent nearly $13 billion, according to the White House. The United States and India initially signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the agreement in June 2016, but it didn’t come into fruition until President Trump met with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday (June 26).
Citizens of India now join a select group of countries including the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Colombia, Mexico, Panama and South Korea that also participate in the program. While the individual application requirements vary depending on what country you are from, all applicants must undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment.
The official US Customs and Border Protection’s website regarding eligibility has not reflected the recent addition, having been last updated on May 1, but those interested in the program can now apply through the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES). The application requires a $100 non-refundable fee, but many premium credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Platinum Card from American Express offer credits that offset the fee.
Global Entry is located in nearly all major airports including San Francisco International (SFO), Los Angeles International (LAX), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) and also some international airports like Abu Dhabi International (AUH).
Are you an Indian citizen applying for Global Entry? Let us know in the comments, below.