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Thursday, 9 June 2016

Global Entry Program - MoU for development

NEW DELHI: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama having resolved to facilitate greater movement of professionals, investors and business travellers, students, and exchange visitors between the two countries and the signing of an MoU for development of an international expedited traveler initiative (also known as the Global Entry Program), some Indian travellers are now set to join an elite group that enjoys expedited clearance upon
arrival in the US. While PM Modi and President Obama have resolved to complete within the next three months the procedures for India's entry into the Global Entry Program (GEP), the details about the timeline are not yet clear. "Now after the joint statement by the two leaders, the department of homeland security will take the process forward to facilitate India's entry into the GEP. And though it's not yet in effect in India, once it is implemented it will be a big help for travellers who are qualified to apply for it. The programme which was earlier only for American passport holders is now extended to some of our trusted partners too," said Elizabeth Sehwefler, acting consul general, at the US embassy in Delhi, during the mission's second annual student visa day on Thursday. Global Entry is a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) programme that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travellers upon arrival in the US. Members enter the US through automatic kiosks at select airports. At airports, programme members proceed to global entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport or US permanent resident card, place their fingerprints on the scanner for fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration. The kiosk issues the traveller a transaction receipt and directs the traveller to baggage claim and the exit. Travellers must be pre-approved for the programme. All applicants undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment. As part of the student visa day celebrations, the US embassy in Delhi and consulates across the country opened their doors to a record 4,000 student visa applicants. Currently, there are 1,32,000 Indian students enrolled for higher education in the US, making them the second largest group of foreign students after the Chinese. 

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