Under the “U.S. and India Travel and Tourism Partnership Year” of 2017, the US government has admitted India into its Global Entry program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk Indian travelers upon arrival in the United States. Travelers once enrolled in Global Entry will also have access to TSA PreCheck, which gives pre-vetted travelers expedited security screening during their trips within the U.S.
The U.S. is now accepting applications from Indian citizens (with the exception of some visa categories like fiancé or spouse of a US citizen among some others; for a complete list of exempt visa categories, read FAQs) for Global Entry and approved travelers will be able to bypass the long customs lines upon their arrival in the U.S., and proceed directly to a kiosk that checks their travel documents and fingerprints electronically. The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction receipt and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit. This facilitates a quick, efficient entry process, eliminates paperwork and provides access to expedited entry benefits in other countries. Global Entry kiosks are placed at 59 major airports in the U.S. and worldwide.
The process for Indian travelers to apply for a Global Entry Card is as follows:
- Create a Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) account. Regardless of your age, you must have your own GOES account.
- Log in to your GOES account and complete the application. A $100 non-refundable fee is required with each completed application.
- After accepting your completed application and fee, CBP will review your application which involves a rigorous background check. If your application is conditionally approved, then your GOES account will instruct you to schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. If applying in India, contact your local US Consulate to confirm location.
- You will need to bring your valid passport(s) and one other form of identification, such as a driver’s license or ID card to the interview. If you are a lawful permanent resident, you must present your machine readable permanent resident card.
This is a positive step towards a secure and efficient travel process while also facilitating cooperation and improving diplomatic relations between India and the United States of America.