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Hassle-Free Arrivals to the U.S.: The Global Entry Program

The unfortunate events of September 11th, 2001 brought about major changes in immigration law and customs policies around the world. Air travel is a far cry from what it used to be in the days before 9/11, and the United States is one of the countries where the impact of the resulting security measures have been strongly felt. Many international travelers have complained about the long lines at U.S. airports and the unpleasant routine of going through customs and passport controls.

Prior to 9/11, immigration officials in the U.S. had developed a trusted traveler program that included citizens of Canada and member nations of the European Union. The program, which consisted of a biometric screening at an electronic kiosk, underwent a pilot trial at the JFK and Newark International Airports, serving the New York metropolitan region. The events of 9/11 and the merger of American customs and immigration into the new U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency put the expedited program on ice.

The New CBP Global Entry Program

In the 21st century, other nations have started developing their own version of trusted traveler programs. The U.S., Canada and the Netherlands have joined forces to offer low-risk travelers expedited entry at several major international airports around the world. For foreign travelers that arrive by air into the U.S., the global entry program speeds up their vacation or business plans and reduces their overall stress at the airport.

Although the Global Entry program may sound tailor-made for frequent travelers, there are no requirements that establish a minimum number of flights. Travelers must be approved in advance and must be willing to submit to a number of pre-screening checks with regard to their identity and background. The process is a bit meticulous, and thus applicants are increasingly retaining business immigration law firms to help them in this regard.

Once enrollment in the program is completed, Global Entry passengers can simply travel with their passports and residency cards and use the electronic kiosks at designated airports. They can effectively skip the long immigration and customs lines and hassles normally experienced when entering the U.S. Another benefit is that the amount of information collected for the Global Entry program can also be used in immigration applications.

For individuals who are in the process of filing an application for a U.S. visa, call the professional immigration lawyers at KS Visa Law in San Diego. We offer a wide range of services including business and immigration law, family immigration, naturalization and more. Schedule a free consultation by calling 858-874-0711 and learn how we can help make the application process a hassle-free experience.

December 2023