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Benefits of Joining the Global Entry Program

IACCGH

Officer C. Salazar addressing IACCGH members. Photo: Bijay Dixit

By Manu Shah

HOUSTON: As part of its Outreach efforts, IACCGH invited Officer C. Salazar from the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to speak to its members about the benefits of joining the Global Entry Program.

The event was held on June 20, at Double Tree Hilton. As a regular user of the program, Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia stated that “this is an effort by the Chamber to educate and empower the community on relevant matters” while President Swapan Dhairyawan encouraged frequent travelers to explore the program as it helps “skip the long queues at airports and head home as fast as possible.”  

Global Entry, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program, allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. On arrival in the US, program members proceed to Global Entry kiosks, scan their passport or U.S. permanent resident card, get a fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration after which they can proceed to baggage claim.  Travelers are required to undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment.

(https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry/how-apply)

Officer Salazar clarified that the program is not just for US citizens and Permanent residents but has recently been opened for Indian citizens.

In July 2017, the U.S. formalized India’s inclusion to the Global Entry program. Indian travelers can apply for Global Entry through the Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) website. Indian Ambassador to Washington Navtej Sarna was the first Indian national to be enrolled in the program.

Explaining the difference between TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, she stated that TSA PreCheck program allows approved passengers expedited screening on domestic flights. TSA PreCheck passengers are not required to remove their shoes, laptops, liquids, belts, and light jackets. A PreCheck is cheaper ($85 for five years), and Global Entry is $100 for five years. However, that Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck, and the extra $15 seems well worth it.

You can apply online for Global Entry and pay the $100 non-refundable application fee. Some premium credit card companies do offer rebates or even a refund on the application fee.

CBP Officers explained the Global Entry program to a large gathering of over 2200 attendees at the India Culture Center Republic Day celebrations on January 20th. The Chamber donated the booth to Customs and Border Protection and they will be setting up booth again on August 19th during the Independence Day celebrations.

IACCGH has arranged for US Customs and Border Protection representatives to speak during the IACCGH Business Hour on Open Forum Radio as well as a focus meeting of CBP Officers to discuss the program with the leadership of the Fort Bend, Asian, Korean, Taiwanese Columbian and the Netherlands American Chambers of Commerce.

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