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Regular travellers to the US could see dramatically shorter processing times upon entry with the expansion of its Global Entry scheme.
US Customs and Border Protection commissioner, Gil Kerlikowske, and director general of the UK Border Force, Sir Charles Montgomery, announced the plans at World Travel Market on Tuesday.
Global Entry allows for faster clearance of “pre-approved, low-risk travellers”. The average processing time at a Global Entry kiosk is one minute.
Preceding the announcement, US ambassador Matthew Barzun cited the “infuriation” of UK travellers over processing times when they arrive in the US.
He said 125,000 UK citizens travel to the US four or more times each year.
Montgomery said: “The expansion of the Global Entry service to British citizens is a testament to the close collaboration between our two countries.
“We have a mutual interest in operating safe and secure border controls, where legitimate, low-risk travellers are offered excellent levels of customer service.”
Global Entry is currently available at 46 US airports and 13 ‘preclearance’ locations.
To register, UK citizens apply through the Home Office website and pay a £42 processing fee. If the applicant passes the UK vetting process they will receive an access code to enter when applying for Global Entry through the Global Online Enrolment System (GOES).
Once the application is approved an interview is scheduled with a CBP officer to assess eligibility.
The fee for a five-year membership is $100. UK citizens can register for the scheme from December 3.
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