Houston Community News >> Expedited Screening, Processing at Houston Bush Airport

5/15/2008 Houston-- Beginning this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is accepting applications for its recently announced Global Entry pilot program, which is scheduled to launch this summer. Global Entry is designed to expedite the screening and processing of low-risk, frequent international “trusted” travelers entering the United States.

Global Entry™ will be available for U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who are frequent international travelers, provided they have not been found guilty of a criminal offense, charged with a customs or immigration offense, or declared inadmissible to the U.S. under immigration legislation. Biometric fingerprint technology will be used to verify the passenger’s identity and confirm his or her status as a Global Entry™ participant.

“The Global Entry™ pilot program is an important next step in building upon the foundation of CBP’s other trusted traveler programs, such as NEXUS and SENTRI, and extending expedited processing to low-risk, international air travelers,” said CBP Commissioner W. Ralph Basham.

The pilot will be initially conducted at John F. Kennedy International Airport, George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport. The program began processing applications from the public earlier this month and is expected to be in operation at the three initial airports by June 10.

Upon returning from international travel, Global Entry™ -enrolled travelers may bypass the regular passport control line and proceed directly to the Global Entry™ kiosk. At the kiosk, the Global Entry™ traveler will activate the system by inserting his or her passport or U.S. permanent resident card into the document reader. The kiosk will direct the traveler to electronically provide his or her fingerprints and will compare that biometric data with the fingerprint biometrics on file.

A digital photograph will also be taken of the traveler as part of the transaction record. Finally, the traveler will be prompted to answer several CBP declaration questions posted on the kiosk’s touch-screen. Once the process is successfully completed, the traveler will be issued a transaction receipt which must be presented to the CBP officer as the participant leaves the CBP inspection area.

Applications for enrollment in the Global Entry™ program are available through the Global On-Line Enrollment System (GOES) at www.cbp.gov/travel. The Global Entry™ application process consists of three steps. First, an applicant must complete and submit an on-line application through GOES and pay a $100 fee through www.Pay.gov. CBP officers will review the applicant’s information and a background investigation will be conducted. Finally, the applicant will undergo an interview with CBP officers at an Enrollment Center at JFK, Houston or Dulles Airport.

CBP is working with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to develop a Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-wide approach to registered traveler programs. Current NEXUS and SENTRI members should watch for additional information on how their membership will allow them to use the Global Entry™ kiosks.

After the Global Entry™ pilot has been evaluated, DHS plans to foster close ties among Global Entry™ and other vetted populations, such as TSA’s Registered Traveler Program, where appropriate.

DHS also envisions the development of reciprocal Global Entry™ programs with other countries. The United States will realize two benefits upon entering into bi-lateral agreements: 1) expedited entry processing of U.S. citizens traveling to other countries and 2) additional vetting of foreign nationals performed by their governments based on guidelines agreed to with DHS. Conversations with foreign partners are currently underway.

The notice is currently available at www.cbp.gov and is published in the Federal Register. The program described as International Registered Traveler has officially been renamed Global Entry.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.