A great news for everyone who is planning to travel to India in the coming years. India is planning to introduce a Global Entry sort of system next year, by installing automated kiosks.
Come January 2019, low-risk foreign travellers will not have to wait in at airport immigration counters as the government plans to install special automated kiosks for speedy document and identity verification. From the description of it, it seems a replica of how Global Entry works for the US of A.
These kiosks will ensure smooth entry of foreigners in seconds after verification of antecedents, as per the government of India. Electronic gates or will be put in place at the arrival wing of international airports where foreigners can present their machine-readable passports, place their fingerprints on the scanner for verification and complete a customs declaration. Without any human intervention, e-cameras will clear the travellers who present approved biometric. The whole exercise is expected to be completed within a minute a traveller hits any e-Gate kiosk.
The plan is being led by the Home Ministry for India, and they intend to put it through the approvals sometime this year. Although, I wouldn’t count on this working out for another year or so given the political situation in India at the moment.
The Government of India has not decided yet, however, which countries will get the first take at this facility, however, I am very sure that the USA would be in the list whenever it is vetted, given that Indians were allowed on the Global Entry membership last year.
I am glad to hear that a kiosk-based entry system is under works in India. But the part that I don’t get is that Indians are not having it, and this infrastructure is just going to be for low-risk foreign travellers. My guess is, that is a small detail that the bureaucracy forgot to include, because this program is going to cost a lot of money, and the best way to reduce the crowd at the immigration counters, is also to get those who hold the Indian passport to come back home without having to wait in line.
What do you think about the new low-risk foreign traveller program which India intends to launch next year? Would you sign up?