I’ve often wondered when would India be signing on for the US Global Entry Program. The initial thought came to light in 2015, and then there was a lot of expectation around this going live as of 2016. But things did not move beyond signing on a Memorandum of Understanding.
For the uninitiated,
The Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection programme, which allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. India’s entry into the Global Entry Programme will offer Indian citizens opportunity to apply for membership in this Programme. After joint scrutiny and clearance by both countries, the approved Indian travelers will be extended the facility of expedited entry into the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports.
How does this help? You do not have to wait to be interviewed by a CBP officer when you arrive in the US Immigration area (on land or in a preclearance area). You head straight to a kiosk, place your travel document (your passport in this case) and get a picture clicked. Once the kiosk determines your identity, you get a slip which determines your admission to the USA, and you are on your way.
Now, it seems in the just completed state visit of the Indian PM to the USA, this agenda has finally been given the green light. From the joint press statement issued by President Trump and PM Modi,
Applauding the entrepreneurship and innovation of Indians and Indian-Americans that have directly benefitted both nations, President Trump welcomed India’s formal entry into the International Expedited Traveler Initiative (Global Entry program) in order to facilitate closer business and educational ties between the citizens of India and the United States.
Now, down to the brass-tacks. I do not expect this to move the needle in a few days. But I hope this will be implemented quickly enough and fairly to allow for Indian passport holders to get their US Global Entry interviews done and dusted.
What timeframe do you see from here on for this to be delivered?