The bane of every Indian traveller heading for the US are the serpentine immigration queues at the US airports. It seems like an endless wait as the queue seems to inch forward at a snails pace with the immigration officer questioning each and every person the reason for travel and where they plan to stay and other details regarding their stay.
This move by the US to open its Global Entry programme for Indians by August 2016 has elicited a huge sigh of relief by the frequent travellers to the US. This basically allows speedy airport check out for pre approved, no risk, frequent travellers upon their arrival to the US.
The facility is being provided to Indians following an agreement signed by India and the US when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the US recently. To avail of this service, the Indian citizens can apply before an US consulate for entry under the Global Entry programme. In the following months, India will soon reciprocate by providing a similar service to travellers from the US.
The final decision on taking an Indian into Global Entry rests with the US authorities, which screen the background of each applicant before allowing entry. If required the can also appeal to the Indian security agencies for assistance on a particular applicant. The individuals included in the list can enter the US through automatic kiosks at select airports. They would have to proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine readable passport, place their fingerprints on the scanner for fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration.
The kiosks issue the traveller a transaction receipt and directs the traveller straight to baggage claim and the exit.
India is only the ninth country with which the US has entered into an agreement like this. The other countries with similar agreements with the US are Mexico, Panama, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Germany.
This is quite a feather in India’s cap to be amongst the few countries in the world to be trusted by the US with this agreement. So frequent fliers, you can soon say goodbye to the long immigration queues and breeze in and out of some of the US airports.
[ Via : Hindustantimes ]