Pilot Program To Expedite Entry Into U.S. For Citizen, LPR Travelers

U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents will soon be eligible for a pilot program enabling expedited clearance of pre-approved, low-risk air travelers into the United States, according to a new rule published in the Federal Register.

The International Registered Traveler (IRT) pilot project, a.k.a. Global Entry, is scheduled to start June 10, 2008 at  John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jamaica, New York (JFK); the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas (IAH); and the Washington Dulles International Airport, Sterling, Virginia (IAD), and may expand to other locations as announced.

CBP is working with other countries, exploring expansion of the program to include other categories of travelers as well.

Applications to participate in the pilot program should be submitted May 12, 2008, but will be accepted throughout the duration of the pilot program. The pilot program is expected to continue for at least six months. The time frame of the pilot program will vary, depending on the progress of CBP’s evaluation of the program.

The program enables participates to by-pass regular passport control primary inspection lines, using instead automated kiosks to verify identity via fingerprint biometrics technology, explains the Rule.

The procedure will also involve responding to several customs declaration questions by use of a touch-screen.

Upon verification, the traveler will receive a receipt, which, along with his passport and/or permanent resident card, he then gives to the CBP Officer at the exit control area for examination.

The application for the IRT pilot is available on-line through the Global On-Line Enrollment System (GOES).

There is a $100 non-refundable application fee.

CBP has posted a FAQ on its site.

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