US expands automated immigration kiosks to four more airports

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US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced on 5 March the expansion of the Global Entry program to four additional US airports. Global Entry is a CBP program that allows expedited immigration clearance through automated kiosks for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the US. The program is available to US citizens and US lawful permanent residents, Canadian citizens, pre-approved Mexican nationals, and Dutch citizens.

The Global Entry kiosks will be implemented in the following airports:
  • Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota on 5 March
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina on 12 March
  • Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado on 19 March
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona on 26 March
Once these airports have implemented the Global Entry program, in total, it will be available in 24 US international airports. Pre-approved members are able to participate in the streamlined, automated immigration process and bypass regular passport and visa 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 less than five minutes.

In January, US President Obama signed an Executive Order announcing new initiatives to increase travel and tourism in the US and made the Global Entry pilot program a permanent initiative. Following this new expansion of the program, the expedited clearance through the Global Entry program will be available at airports that serve 97 percent of international travelers arriving in the US.

The Global Entry kiosks work like this: members insert their machine readable 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 confirmation receipt to immigration officers before leaving the inspection area.

In order to be eligible to use the kiosks, travelers must enroll in the Global Entry program. In order to do this applicants must:
  • complete and submit an online application through the program's website.
  • pay a non-refundable USD$100 application fee.
  • CBP will then review the applicant's information, conduct a background investigation, and interview the applicant at one of CBP enrollment centres, which are located at all major airports where the Global Entry program is offered.
Canadian citizens and residents may also participate in Global Entry through membership in the NEXUS program. The Nexus program is available for pre-approved, low-risk travellers into Canada and the US at designated air, land and marine ports of entry. When travelling by air, Nexus expedites border clearance by enabling card holders to enter either country quickly and easily by using self-service kiosks. Passengers holding the Nexus cards will be able to move through expedited screening lines currently offered only on a handful of domestic and international flights.

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