Since June 6, 2008 certain low-risk U.S. citizen, U.S. national and U.S. permanent resident travelers have been able to enroll in the Global Entry program to allow for expedited clearance upon arrival at U.S. airports from travel abroad. Rather than wait in the traditional passport control line, program participants proceed to a kiosk to scan their travel documents, provide electronic fingerprints and a photograph and receive a receipt to present to a Customs and Border Protection Agent. The program requires an online application (available at www.globalentry.gov), criminal background check, and an in-person interview at a Customs and Border Protection facility. The application fee is $100, and the average processing time for approval is one week.
The pilot program began with three airports and since has expanded to include the following 20 international airports: Atlanta (Hartsfield-Jackson), Boston-Logan, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale Hollywood, Honolulu, Houston (George Bush), Las Vegas, Los Angeles International, Miami International, Newark Liberty, New York (JFK), Orlando International, Orlando-Sanford International, Philadelphia International, San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle-Tacoma and Washington Dulles.
The proposed permanent program would be available to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and U.S. permanent residents aged 14 and older. Children aged 14-17 would require the consent of a parent or legal guardian to participate. The proposed program also contemplates expansion to certain nonimmigrants (e.g. individuals traveling with a visa, such as B, E, H or L) provided certain reciprocal programs are in place with the individual’s country. Risk factors that would disqualify applicants from participating include false or incomplete applications, prior arrests or convictions, prior violations of customs, immigration or agriculture regulations in any country, current criminal investigations or inclusion on a government watch list. Program participants still would be subject to primary inspection by CBP agents based upon random selection or declaration of certain goods, restricted items or more than $10,000 in currency or monetary instruments.
Interested parties may view the entire regulation and provide comments by searching for "Global Entry Program" at www.regulations.gov. The regulation was published on November 18, 2009. Comments are due by January 19, 2010.