On February 6, 2012, DHS published a Final rule establishing Global Entry as a permanent program. Global Entry is a voluntary initiative of the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. The goal of Global Entry is to streamline the international arrivals and admission process at airports for trusted travelers through biometric identification.
Global Entry, currently available at 20 US international airports, allows pre-approved members a streamlined, automated alternative to regular passport processing lines. The program currently reduces average wait times by more than 70%, with more than 75% of travelers using Global Entry processed in under 5 minutes.
The final rule sets forth federal regulations that replace the current pilot with a permanent Global Entry program. The final rule enables CBP to more readily expand the program to additional US international airports. In addition, age eligibility criteria have changed to allow more families to enjoy the benefits of the program. Persons under 18 who meet the general eligibility criteria may participate in Global Entry with the consent of a parent or legal guardian.
Current participants in the Global Entry pilot will not experience a break in membership, and need not re-apply when the program becomes permanent. Members currently participating in the Global Entry pilot will have their time credited to the 5 year membership as proposed in the rule.
At Global Entry kiosks, members insert their passport or lawful permanent resident card into a document reader, provide digital fingerprints for comparison with fingerprints on file, answer customs declaration questions on the kiosk’s touch-screen, and then present a transaction receipt to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers before leaving the inspection area.
To date, Global Entry has had approximately 1.8 million admissions by more than 260,000 members, and more than 1 million trusted travelers receive Global Entry benefits. Global Entry is available to US citizens and US lawful permanent residents, as well as Mexican nationals. Citizens of the Netherlands may also apply under a special reciprocal arrangement that links Global Entry with the Dutch Privium program in Amsterdam. Canadian citizens and residents may participate in Global Entry through membership in the NEXUS program.
For more information on this or other CBP Trusted Traveler programs, or for an application to enroll in the Global Entry pilot program, please visit the CBP Travel or Global Entry websites.