Hassle-Free US Entry: How Indian Citizens Can Apply for Global Entry

Learn how Indian citizens can apply for Global Entry, the trusted traveler program that offers expedited entry into the United States. Discover the step-by-step application process, interview requirements, and additional benefits for enrolled members.
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In a move similar to India’s DigiYatra program for domestic travellers, a specific category of pre-approved Indian individuals can now enjoy a hassle-free entry process at international arrivals in US airports.

Global Entry Program

Global Entry is a trusted traveller program administered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travellers upon their arrival in the United States.

Indian citizens are eligible to apply for Global Entry, which provides a convenient way to streamline their entry process and avoid long queues at immigration checkpoints. In this article, we will outline the application process, interview requirements, and other important details for Indian citizens interested in applying for Global Entry.

How to Apply for Global Entry

To apply for Global Entry as an Indian citizen, you must follow these steps:

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Step 1 – Complete Online Application: Visit CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs website, fill out the online application, and pay the $100 fee for a five-year Global Entry membership.

Step 2 – Background Check in India: Submit the required information and pay a ₹500 fee on Passport Seva Portal (www.passportindia.gov.in) for a background check. Schedule an in-person interview at the appropriate Passport Seva Kendra/Passport Seva Laghu Kendra office in India.

Step 3 – Interview at PSK/PSLK: Attend an in-person interview at PSK/PSLK, where fingerprints, photos, and other formalities will be completed. Apply before visiting India if you’re currently not residing there.

Step 4 – Schedule U.S. Interview: Upon approval, receive a message in your TTP account to schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center in the U.S. Alternatively, choose Enrollment On Arrival (EoA) if entering the U.S. from an international destination without an appointment.

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Step 5 – Interview Process and Documentation: Answer questions, provide photos, and fingerprints, and bring a valid passport(s) and another form of ID to the interview. Lawful permanent residents must present their permanent resident cards.

Travel Requirements

To maintain your Global Entry membership as an Indian citizen, you must fulfil the following travel requirements:

1. Valid Passport and Visa: All Indian Global Entry members must possess a valid passport and a valid U.S. visa.

2. Update Visa Information: Global Entry members who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. lawful permanent residents must ensure that their visa information is updated with CBP. If you obtain a new visa or a new petition for a work visa, you must notify CBP in person at a Global Entry enrollment centre. Failure to update visa information may result in an incorrect calculation of your class of admission and admission date when using the Global Entry kiosk.

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3. In-person Visa Updates: To add or update visa information, you must visit an enrollment centre in person. This requirement emphasizes the importance of keeping your visa information accurate and up to date.

Benefits

Here are some of the benefits of the Global Entry Program for Indian travellers:

1. Faster Entry: Global Entry members can use the automated kiosks at select US airports to scan their passports and fingerprints, and receive a receipt that allows them to bypass the regular immigration lines. This can save travellers a significant amount of time, especially during peak travel seasons.

2. Convenience: Global Entry members can use the kiosks at any time of day or night, and they do not need to wait in line for a CBP officer. This makes the entry process much more convenient and stress-free.

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3. Peace of mind: Global Entry members are pre-screened by multiple Indian government agencies, so they can be confident that they will be allowed entry into the United States. This can provide peace of mind for travellers who are worried about being denied entry.

Statistics

Since its inception a few years ago, the Global Entry Program has processed approximately 24,000 applications from Indian travellers. The majority of these applications have been submitted by frequent visitors and family members of high-ranking bureaucrats, politicians, and businessmen.

Challenges

One of the challenges facing the Global Entry Program is the long processing time for applications. In some cases, it can take up to six months for an application to be processed.

Another challenge is the lack of clarity on the criteria for approval. Some applicants have been approved for the program, while others with similar profiles have been denied.

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Future

Despite the challenges, the Global Entry Program has the potential to make travel to the United States more convenient and efficient for Indian travellers. As the program matures, it is expected that the processing time for applications will decrease and the criteria for approval will become more transparent.

Conclusion

Global Entry offers a valuable opportunity for Indian citizens to expedite their entry process when travelling to the United States. By following the outlined application process, attending the necessary interviews, and meeting the travel requirements, Indian citizens can enjoy the benefits of Global Entry, including faster immigration clearance and eligibility for TSA Precheck.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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