Global Entry — final DHS rule expands program

by Charlie Leocha on February 8, 2012


The Department of Homeland Security announced the Final rule that establishes Global Entry. This program allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers to streamline the international arrivals and admission process at airports for trusted travelers through biometric identification—as a permanent program.

Here is the statement from Customs and Boarder Protection (CBP). I have inserted links where appropriate to help navigate those interested to the proper place to apply for the program. I am a member and the program is wonderful for avoiding the maddening lines at customs checkpoints upon arrival in the United States. This Final Rule comes into effect on March 7, 2012.

Note: New age criteria and current members will automatically be shifted to the permanent program.

“Global Entry expedites the customs and security process for trusted air travelers through biometric verification, while helping DHS ensure the safety of all airline passengers,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Making Global Entry permanent will improve customer service at airports across the country and enable law enforcement to focus on higher-risk travelers.”

Global Entry—currently available at 20 U.S. international airports—allows pre-approved members a streamlined, automated alternative to regular passport processing lines. The program currently reduces average wait times by more than 70 percent, with more than 75 percent of travelers using Global Entry processed in under five minutes.

The final rule, published today, sets forth federal regulations that replaces the current pilot with a permanent Global Entry program. The final rule provides CBP with the ability to more readily expand the program to additional U.S. international airports. In addition, age eligibility criteria have changed to allow more families to enjoy the benefits of the program. Persons under the age of 18 who meet the general eligibility criteria and have the consent of a parent or legal guardian will now be eligible to participate in Global Entry.

Those members currently participating in the pilot will not experience a break in membership or need to re-apply when the program becomes permanent. Members currently participating in the pilot will have their time credited to the five year membership as proposed in the rule.

At Global Entry kiosks, members insert their passport or lawful permanent resident card into a document reader, provide digital fingerprints for comparison with fingerprints on file, answer customs declaration questions on the kiosk’s touch-screen, and then present a transaction receipt to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers before leaving the inspection area.

To date, there have been approximately 1.8 million admissions with Global Entry by more than 260,000 members and more than 1 million trusted travelers receive Global Entry benefits. The program is available to U.S. citizens and U.S lawful permanent residents, as well as Mexican nationals. Citizens of the Netherlands may also apply under a special reciprocal arrangement that links Global Entry with the Dutch Privium program in Amsterdam. Canadian citizens and residents may participate in Global Entry through membership in the NEXUS program.

For more information on this or other CBP Trusted Traveler programs, or for an application to enroll in the Global Entry pilot program, please visit the CBP or Global Entry websites.

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  • Anonymous

    This is great news.  I’ve been in the program for about a year and the time and frustration savings are superb.

    Also, last Sunday I used my Global Entry card to be permitted into TSA’s expedited screening line at MIA (a pilot test program).  Rather than waiting in a 30 minute line, I was through in about 2 minutes.  No removal of belts, shoes, kippie bags or computers.  Easy peasy!

  • Anonymous

    If you have checked luggage, Global Entry (itself) is pretty useless since the luggage delay (in JFK at least) is usually considerable and there is no way to save time. But TSA PRE (check) sounds good. Wonder why they just don’t do this automatically when they give you a (new) passport.

  • Michael Anisfeld

    I return from business in Europe to my home in Chicago about 15 times a year. Even when UA parks its planes at international gate M19 (I think its the furthest gate from immigration) I can typically get from the plane to my taxi in under 15 minutes – of course I never check bags. Global Entry for me is the very best government initiative in years,

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