International passengers: follow me to clear US Customs quickly
by Peter Quinter, guest columnist
Have you heard of the Global Entry program operated by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP)? If you are one of the 100,000 US citizens or permanent residents who are members, then congratulations to you. If you are one of the millions of international travelers who do not like to wait in long lines at US Customs when arriving at an airport in the United States after a long intercontinental flight, I have got a deal for you.
Global Entry is a voluntary pilot program that streamlines the international arrivals process for pre-approved travelers through use of self-service kiosks located at 20 major US airports. With good reason, CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin described the Global Entry program as “excellent” in a December 27, 2010, press release.
Applications to Global Entry first must be submitted online at www.globalentry.gov. It costs only $100 for a five-year membership. I completed the on-line application in about 5 minutes, and was notified by email the next day that I was conditionally approved. Applicants must then complete an interview and fingerprint data collection in person at any of the 20 airport sites.
Once enrolled in the pilot program, Global Entry members may proceed directly to the kiosks in the international arrivals area upon arrival in the US. At the kiosk, members insert their 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 transaction receipt to CBP officers before leaving the inspection area.
From what I have heard from fellow frequent international travelers who use Global Entry, and from my friends at CBP, joining Global Entry appears to be the right choice.
Please call or email me with any questions or comments.
Copyright © 2011, Becker & Poliakoff
About Peter Quinter
10 May 2012: Peter Quinter is now a Shareholder in the law firm of GrayRobinson and Chair of the firm’s Customs & International Trade Law Group. Based in the firm’s Miami and Ft. Lauderdale offices, Quinter principally represents persons and companies involved in international trade and transport. Editor of the GrayRobinson Customs and International Law Blog, Quinter is widely recognized for his expertise in international and trade law.
You can contact Peter Quinter at [email protected] or at (954) 270-1864.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of its author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views or Descartes Datamyne. In addition, this article is for general information purposes only and it’s not intended to provide legal advice or opinions of any kind and my not be used for professional or commercial purposes. No one should act, or refrain from acting, based solely on this article without first seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice.