British travellers who are deemed low-risk will soon be able to avoid lengthy immigration queues when travelling to the US from the 3rd December. This news came after the US decided to extend its Global Entry scheme to UK travellers.
Already available in 46 states and 13 preclearance locations, pre-assessed travellers will be able to pass swiftly through immigration queues. Following in the footsteps of Germany, the Netherlands, Mexico, Panama and South Korea, this new procedure is said to cut waiting times by 70%.
General of the Border Force Sir Charles Montgomery explained why the service is being opened to UK citizens and said, “The expansion of the Global Entry service to British citizens is a testament to the close collaboration between our two countries.”
However, applying for the system is not as straight forward as it seems and each traveller will need to go through a long-winded application process in order to reap the benefits.
How do I apply for the Global Entry programme?
British citizens will need to enrol via the Home Office website. Here applicants will be able to apply for the new system, but will need to pay a £42 processing fee. If they pass the vetting and are classed as a low-risk traveller, they will receive a ‘UK Access Code’. This will allow the applicant to apply for the Global Entry Scheme, which will cost a further $100, the equivalent of £65, and this will be valid for five years.
Finally, once the application is approved all applicants will require a face-to-face interview with a US customs and border protection official to determine if they are eligible for the fast-track system.
How will UK travellers benefit from the new scheme?
Once a member, UK travellers will be able to make their way to special gates where they pass quickly and securely through passport control and customs. Travellers will be led to a booth where their passport will be read, their fingertips will be scanned, and a photo will be taken.
Checks are said to take as little as one minute, which means you will save a great deal of time at the airport.
Who will the scheme benefit most?
The scheme will be particularly beneficial for regular travellers to the US, for instance, those visiting family or friends.
So, with this new scheme coming into place on the 3rd December there has never been a better time to visit America. But, would you pay for fast-track entry into the US?
If you found this useful then why not try these useful tips to make going through airports a breeze here.