VIPs may soon have hassle-free travel to US

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 15, 2015 00:15 IST

Former presidents and prime ministers, big industrialists and A-list film stars from India may be exempt from the stringent immigration checks in the US, as it is negotiating a pact with India under its Global Entry Programme, sources said.

To enter the programme, all applicants must go through a rigorous background check and an interview.

The programme has been offered to citizens of select countries by the United States.

Under the programme, all pre-approved travellers to the US would go to the global entry kiosks at the 40 designated airports. They will present their machine-readable passports, place their fingertips on the scanner for fingerprint verification, and make a customs declaration.

A receipt will be issued to the traveller by the kiosk and the person can exit after claiming his/her baggage. Customs officials may sometimes select members of the programme for further examination, according to the website of the US customs department.

Top immigration officials of the two countries recently held a meeting for the implementation of the Global Entry Programme.

Sources say an initial list of around 2,000 such travellers is being prepared and names of former resident Pratibha Patil, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, industrialists Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani, and film stars Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan may be in it.

The individuals who wish to participate in the programme should not have a criminal record and should not face any money laundering case.

At the moment seven countries — The Netherlands, Panama, South Korea, Germany, Peru, Mexico and Canada — are part of the programme. India and Brazil may become participants by next year.

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