U.S. Ambassador to the UK Matthew Barzun and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowski announced the expansion of Global Entry to UK citizens on Tuesday at the World Travel Market in London. Global Entry, a CBP Trusted Traveler Program, allows for expedited clearance of pre-approved, low-risk travelers. UK citizens can register for Global Entry beginning December 3.
“Making it easier to get through the entry process has significant logistical appeal for travelers coming to the U.S.,” said Christopher L. Thompson, Brand USA’s president and CEO. “It places our country among the most visitor-friendly nations in the world.”
Thompson also said that visitors from the top-three source markets for inbound travel to the U.S. – Canada, Mexico, and now the UK – are eligible to apply to CBP Trusted Traveler Programs. And, with travelers from South Korea and Germany already eligible to apply, five of the top 10 source markets are represented in these programs.
Currently available at 46 U.S. airports and 13 preclearance locations, Global Entry streamlines the screening process at airports for trusted travelers. The program has more than 2.5 million members enrolled now, and CBP receives approximately 70,000 new applications for Global Entry each month. As an added benefit, Global Entry members are also eligible to participate in the TSA Pre✓™ expedited screening program.
To register for Global Entry, UK citizens will apply through the UK Home Office website and pay a £42 processing fee. If the applicant passes the UK vetting, they will receive a “UK Access Code,” which applicants will enter when applying for Global Entry through CBP’s Global Online Enrollment System (GOES). The non-refundable application fee for a five-year Global Entry membership is $100 and applications must be made online. Once the application is approved, a CBP officer will conduct a scheduled interview with the applicant and then make a final eligibility determination.
Once enrolled, Global Entry members proceed to dedicated kiosks at their arrival airport, present their machine-readable passport, scan their fingerprints, and complete a customs declaration form. The kiosk will then issue a transaction recipe to the traveler, directing the traveler to baggage claim and the exit. Some members may still be selected for further examination. Members of the Global Entry program may use Global Entry kiosks at any participating airport for a duration of 5 years.
To help make the UK travel industry aware of the Global Entry program, Brand USA has added relevant information to its online-training platform for UK travel agents, a customized version of its USA Discovery Program. (International travel agents who participate in USA Discovery training can become recognized specialists in a variety of aspects tied to U.S. travel.) Brand USA officials say they will use additional messaging options to further promote awareness of and enrolment in Global Entry among UK travelers.
Previously, in May 2011, CBP launched a pilot program with the UK to allow a limited number of UK citizens to participate in Global Entry as the first phase of a trusted traveler arrangement. As part of the pilot, more than 1,400 UK citizens enrolled in Global Entry. While the goal of Global Entry is to speed travelers through the process, no traveler is guaranteed expedited screening and members may be selected for further examination when entering the United States. Any violation of the program’s terms and conditions will result in appropriate enforcement action and revocation of the traveler’s membership privileges.
Established as a public-private enterprise through the provisions of the 2010 U.S. Travel Promotion Act, Brand USA has a dual mission: promote the U.S. as a premier destination in the global marketplace, and convey entry and exit guidelines to international travelers.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is one of the world’s largest law-enforcement agencies. It is charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S., while managing legitimate international travel and trade. On a typical day, according to its website, CBP welcomes nearly a million visitors into the U.S.