India and the US have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will allow select Indians expedited clearance through American airports.
Called the Global Entry Programme, the MoU inked on Friday by Indian ambassador Arun Singh and US customs and border protection deputy commissioner Kevin McAleenan allows pre-approved and low-risk travellers expedited entry upon arrival at select airports.
When in place in a few months, India will be only the seventh country enrolled in this US programme. The others are Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Panama, Mexico and South Korea.
India and the US will jointly scrutinise and clear Indians approved for this programme — likely to be just a handful to begin with — who will exit through automatic kiosks.
“Expedited entry for the Indian travellers under this programme at the US airports will enable further easing of travel environment, and will have positive impact on all kinds of people-to-people exchange between our two countries,” Indian ambassador Arun Singh said at the signing.
“We understand that the US maintains Global Entry partnership with a limited number of countries and we appreciate the US government’s offer of membership to India in this programme,” he said.
The Global Entry Programme is available at more than 40 US airports and 12 pre-clearance locations. More than 1.8 million people are enrolled in the programme and about 50,000 new applications are filed every month.