Using the occasion of Day Two of last week’s World Travel Market (WTM) in London as a venue sure to give maximum exposure to the news, Matthew Barzun, U.S. ambassador to the UK, announced that the Global Entry program is coming to the UK effective Dec. 3.
Travelers who apply for and are approved for the Global Entry program—they must pay an application fee and undergo an intensive background check—will be able to avoid long entry queues when arriving through the U.S. The average processing time for Global Entry members in a U.S. airport is one minute.
Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), , who also discussed the program at last June’s IPW in Orlando said it was intended to speed up lawful travel, while improving security.“It allows us to push ‘vetted’ people through the system much more quickly. People we trust – but not without verification and monitoring,” he said. “It allows our finite resources to concentrate on the people we should be spending more time on,” he added.
Currently available at 46 U.S. airports and 13 preclearance locations†, Global Entry streamlines the screening process at airports for trusted travelers. The program has more than 2.5 million members enrolled now, and CBP receives approximately 70,000 new applications for Global Entry each month. As an added benefit, Global Entry members are also eligible to participate in the TSA Pre✓™ expedited screening program.
†Current Pre-Clearance Locations
United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi International
Bermuda L.F. Wade International
Aruba Queen Beatrix Internationa
Canada Lester B. Pierson International
Canada Victoria (Port Angeles, Wash.)
Canada Montreal Trudeau
Canada Halifax Stanfield
Canada Ottawa McDonald-Carter
U.S. Airports with Global Entry Kiosks
How many frequent UK travelers to the USA are there? It does not seem likely that a once-or-twice-a-year UK would pay the fee and undergo the background check involved. For instance, to register for Global Entry, UK citizens will apply through the UK Home Office website and pay a £42 ($63) processing fee. If the applicant passes the UK vetting, they will then receive a “UK Access Code,” which applicants will enter when applying for Global Entry through CBP’s Global Online Enrollment System. The non-refundable application fee for a five-year Global Entry membership is $100 and applications must be made online. Once the application is approved, a CBP officer will conduct a scheduled interview with the applicant and then make a final eligibility determination.
According to CBP, nearly five million Britons visited the United States in Fiscal Year 2015 and more than 125,000 of those visitors traveled to the United States four or more times.
“The perception is probably greater than the reality,” Ron Erdmann, deputy director of the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), told the Inbound Report, explaining that, “on average British travelers to the USA only take 1.6 trips to the country in a 12 month period. In fact, 66 percent only take one trip per year. Their limited number of trips would probably mean they were unaware of this program and did not take advantage of it. “
“But, for the remaining travelers, and more for the U.K. business and convention travelers who take more trips to the country will be impacted more,” he added. “They are here to conduct business in America so the option to spend less time in line and more conducting business will be well received.”