WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--When Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh met with President Obama at the White House on September 27, 2013, a little known victory was included in the official Joint Statement between the two countries’ leaders, one which will revolutionize travel and enhance goodwill, commerce and trade between the United States and India: a commitment by each country to advance a unique trusted traveler program known as Global Entry.
“The Global Entry breakthrough announced by the Prime Minister and President Obama underscores the mutual trust between the countries and is a practical step that will facilitate the ease of doing business, sharing cultural values, and bringing the two countries ever-closer together”
Global Entry has become one of the most popular programs in recent history, at least for those who frequently travel internationally. Global Entry membership allows approved travelers to breeze across the globe, using a “quick pass kiosk” at airports to avoid long lines at Customs and Immigration. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency is making agreements with other countries to allow their citizens to take part, most recently in partnerships with Britain, Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, Qatar, and now India.
Expedited Passport Control and Customs Clearance speeds the processing of pre-approved, low risk international travelers entering the United States and partner countries. Reciprocal arrangements are being worked out with partner countries to allow similar ease of passage. Global Entry program participants scan their machine-readable passport on the kiosk, place their fingertips on the scanner for fingerprint verification and make a customs declaration. The kiosk will then issue the traveler a transaction receipt and direct the traveler to baggage claim and exit. Kiosks are located at major U.S. airports and now some International airports. The following travelers are eligible for enrollment in Global Entry, including citizens and residents of the United States, Citizens of Mexico who hold a U.S. visa, Citizens of Netherlands who are enrolled in Privium, Citizens of South Korea who are enrolled in Smart Entry Service, and Members of Nexus and SENTRI.
The program enhances security and reduces wait times for individual travelers by 70 per cent.
The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) has retained the services of the law firm Steptoe and Johnson, headquartered in Washington, DC, to work with U.S. agencies and with the Government of India to add India to the list of trusted traveler countries.
“The Global Entry breakthrough announced by the Prime Minister and President Obama underscores the mutual trust between the countries and is a practical step that will facilitate the ease of doing business, sharing cultural values, and bringing the two countries ever-closer together,” said Ron Somers, President of the U.S.-India Business Council.
Formed in 1975, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) is the premier business advocacy organization advancing U.S.-India commercial ties. Today, USIBC is the largest bilateral trade association in the United States, headquartered in Washington, DC, with liaison presence in New York, Silicon Valley, and New Delhi, comprised of more than 350 of the top-tier U.S. and Indian companies. Ajay Banga, President and CEO of MasterCard, is USIBC’s chairman. For more information, visit www.usibc.com.