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Fast Immigration For Select Indians - US

10 Sep 2013


Immigration News

The United States has offered to extend its Global Traveler Program to Indian citizens. This allows selected international passengers to bypass normal customs and immigration procedures and is expected to be formalized in the late September meeting of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama in Washington.

According to US officials, India will be the only second developing country apart from Mexican nationals to be granted this privilege. Initially, during the trial period, a limited number of Indians will be brought under the program.

Under the US offer, the Indian immigration department will provide and clear the names of eligible and interested Indians and provide the necessary fingerprints scans to the US Customs and Border Protection agency.

According to the US sources, the names will be included in the Global Entry Trusted Traveler Network after their own agencies carry out further background checks. To work out the operational details of this arrangement, an inter-ministerial meeting of senior officials will be held later this week.

At present, only the citizens of Canada, Mexico, South Korea and the Netherlands are eligible to be Global Travelers. The designation was received by around 1.5 million people, almost all of whom are US citizens. Including Washington and New York City, almost every major US airport has a Global Traveler kiosk.

Members of this program go to the kiosk, scan their passports and fingertips, and make a customs declaration after which, the machine issues a receipt that allows the traveler to head directly for the baggage claim area and the airport exit.

A Global Traveler is also automatically cleared for PreCheck, another program which gives passengers recommended by airlines a fast lane through US immigration.

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