Indian travellers to the US have a reason to cheer as the United States of America has decided to start extending its Global Entry Programme to Indian nationals, which allows an expedited entry into the US for pre-approved low-risk travellers.
With this announcement, India becomes the 11th country to be provided this facility. The Indian Ambassador the US, Navtej Sarna became the first Indian national to enroll into this program.
Under this program, the eligible Indian travellers won’t have to stand in long queues to get themselves approved by an immigration officer but can just take the help of an automated kiosk. At the Global Entry Kiosk, the travellers would then need to insert their passport or permanent residency card plus their fingerprints for a successful clearance.
The added condition of ‘low-risk’ though entails the Indian nationals to go through a rigorous background check along with an in-person interview before the enrollment.
Currently there are 53 American airports and 15 pre-clearance locations with this facility. The persons eligible for the program are US citizens, Green Card holders and citizens of Argentina, Colombia, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, South Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and now India.
Recently the Indian government too had decided to make things easier for the Indian citizens going out of the country by discontinuing the practice of them having to fill up departure cards, which contained information like name, date of birth, passport number, address in India, flight number and date of boarding.
This facility though was only extended to air travellers, and those travelling by land, sea, rail would still have to fill an embarkation card. Last year too the Indian Customs department had decided to do away with the declaration form, which an Indian citizen had to fill even if they weren’t carrying any goods eligible for custom duty.