India to be added to US Global Entry program

  • India
  • 07/13/2016
  • Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

What is the change? In the coming months, the U.S. will add India to the list of countries whose citizens are eligible for the Global Entry program, which provides travelers with faster automated immigration clearance at U.S. airports.

What does the change mean? Eligible Indian nationals will be able to apply for membership in Global Entry and travelers who are approved will benefit from expedited entry at participating airports.

  • Implementation time frame: An agreement was signed June 3 with plans to implement India’s participation in the program within three months of the signing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Membership in Global Entry does not replace the need to obtain a visa.
  • Who is affected: Indian nationals who make frequent trips to the U.S.
  • Impact on processing times: Travelers who are members of Global Entry save time when traveling to the U.S. by avoiding processing queues and using automated kiosks to complete immigration entry procedures.
  • Business impact: The program will facilitate business travel for Indian nationals who travel frequently to the U.S.
  • Next steps: Eligibility criteria and procedures have not been set. Travelers may visit the Global Entry website for general information about the program.

Background: During a visit to the White House last month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed India-U.S. cooperation with President Barack Obama, including easing the movement of professionals, business travelers, investors, exchange visitors and students. The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding to add India to the Global Entry program and complete procedures within three months of the June 3 signing.

The Global Entry program is administered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Once a country is added to the program, travelers may submit an online application and, if provisionally approved, attend a biometrics appointment and interview with a CBP officer. Members benefit from faster entry at participating U.S. airports and may qualify for TSA security checks at designated international airports before boarding flights to the U.S.

BAL Analysis: The enrollment procedures will be clearer once the program is implemented in the coming months. BAL will report when application procedures are open to eligible Indian nationals. Travelers are reminded that Global Entry members will continue to be required to obtain an appropriate visa.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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