India may get access to Global Entry this year, selectively!


One of the things on my wishlist from Santa Claus has been India to be made a part of the Global Entry offered by the USA. Global Entry, defined by the US Customs and Border Protection, is

a program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Members enter the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports.

At airports, program members proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingerprints on the scanner for fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration. The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction receipt and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit.

Travelers must be pre-approved for the Global Entry program. All applicants undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment.

The arrival queues at gateway American airports such as JFK, LAX and EWR are always crowded, and with Global Entry, one can just walk to a kiosk, scan your passport and biometrics and be given access to the country. I’ve waited for over a couple of hours on many an instance after an 18 hour flight to be waived my way into the country, so this is a welcome step.

The program was initially introduced to American citizens in the late 2000s (I don’t remember the exact date), and from there on, they’ve added more American citizens, as well as made arrangements with many other countries to bring their citizens into the Global Entry program. Germany, The Netherlands, South Korea, UK, Panama and Mexico are the other countries where citizens can get access to Global Entry.

Global Entry for Indians

The rumor has been on since many a years, at least since 2012 or 2013, that India would make a partnership in the program as well, which would allow Indian citizens to get Global Entry. However, the troublesome part, is the view that the government takes about how to launch it.

Many a newspapers now report that within the next couple of months, India should have a pact with the USA to allow Indians to participate in the Global Entry program. However, India is apparently only going to send a list of 2000 VIPs who will get access, which includes politicians and movie actors. Beats me, that is the time of only these people valuable towards business with the USA? Beyond that, we don’t know what will be the process for the rest of India to get on the coveted list.

However, I am excited that this is a start, and hopefully in the next few years, I won’t have to step off a flight and wait 4 hours to be able to get inside the USA

Readers, how many of you are excited about the inclusion of India in the Global Entry program?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Its great. Using Etihad and clearing US immigration in Abu Dhabi is also a decent option. Much lesser crowd and much faster than doing immigration in US.

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