U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Aug. 9, 2013, that eligibility for the Global Entry trusted traveler program will be expanded to include certain citizens of South Korea, Germany, Qatar and the United Kingdom. The program was previously limited to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, U.S. lawful permanent residents, Mexican nationals and certain eligible citizens from the Netherlands.
Initially, participation in Global Entry, which allows preapproved, low-risk travelers to enter the United States more expeditiously, using kiosks at designated U.S. airports, will be limited to South Koreans who are in their country’s Smart Entry System (SES); Germans who participate in their nation’s Automated and Biometrics-Supported Border Controls (ABG) Plus, and a limited number of Qatar and U.K. citizens.
Citizens of these countries must satisfy current program requirements, and will still need to fulfill application requirements in order to qualify, CBP said.
“CBP recognizes the importance of international travel to our national economy,” the agency said. “Facilitating legitimate international travelers as quickly as possible while maintaining the highest standards of security is critical to the CBP border-security mission and vital to the economic strength of our nation.”
The CBP expects to eventually expand eligibility to include all citizens of Germany, Qatar and the U.K. who otherwise satisfy the requirements for participation in the Global Entry program. Additionally, the agency announced that U.S. citizens who participate in Global Entry may apply for membership in Korea’s SES program and that a limited number of U.S. citizens in Global Entry may apply for Germany’s ABG Plus.
“The trusted-traveler program brings with it a wide array of security, economic and consumer benefits, and CBP is to be applauded for continuing to push for its expansion,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association.
“By welcoming more international travelers, CBP’s expansion of the Global Entry program will help provide more jobs, more economic opportunity and more revenue to communities all across the U.S.,” Dow added.
The American Council on International Personnel (ACIP) also praised the government’s expansion of Global Entry. “Triaging risk by identifying known travelers is a smart use of limited government resources,” ACIP Executive Director Lynn Shotwell said. “We would like to see the government utilize a similar risk-management approach in other areas of immigration by establishing a Trusted Employer program.”
General Eligibility for Global Entry
The following general eligibility standards apply to all Global Entry applicants:
- Individuals must be admissible to the United States under U.S. immigration law.
- Applicants may be rejected if they have ever been convicted of a criminal offense or found in violation of customs or immigration laws.
- Applicants will not be selected for the Global Entry program if the CBP determines that they present a potential risk of terrorism or criminality or if the agency cannot sufficiently determine that they meet all the program’s eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria can be found here.
Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
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