Both countries are working on a deal that will allow exempting a category of Indians from immigration checking in the US. Some of those are like Prime Minister, former Presidents, higher dignitaries, industrialists and few film stars.
A meeting was held recently by the top officials from immigration department of both the countries, for implementing the Programme by US Customs and Border Protection, called Implementation of Global Entry, that allows clearance for lower risk and pre-approved travelers when arrived in the US.
The discussion was held in the meeting about what categories of Indians can be exempted from immigration checking in America, sources said.
They said that some names of important personalities were specially mentioned like former President, former Prime Minister, Industrialists and film stars.
Sources said that India has been pressing the US for its inclusion in Global Entry that could benefit the high dignitaries, top industrialists from frequently visiting the country without any problem.
The listed individuals can enter America through automatic kiosks at some selected airports. The members of the program went to kiosks for Global Entry, submit their passport which is machine readable or card of US permanent residency then placing their fingers on the scanner for verification of their fingerprints and then complete a declaration of customs.
A traveler receipt is issued at the kiosk and will direct traveler to claim his/her baggage and towards the exit.
An individual should not hold any criminal record or should not be connected with any case of money laundering. These two are the foremost criteria for the individual’s inclusion in the Global Entry Programme.
Till now, citizens from seven countries are getting benefited from this Global Entry Programme. The lists of countries are South Korea, Netherlands, Germany, Peru, Canada, Mexico, Panama. With Brazil and India joining the list of countries next year.
“Discussions are continuing. We expect it to kick off for Indian citizens some time in next year. If the programme becomes successful, the list would be enhanced," sources said.
Before sending the names to the US authorities, each and every applicant needs to go through careful background checks by the security agencies of India; the US authority gives the final nod after a thorough background checking.
They said that periodic background checking will be done by the Security agencies of individuals who are included in the list.
Global Entry Programme’s main idea is reducing the pressure on immigration officials of the US, as they won’t have any role to play if any individual is carrying the passport which is machine readable arrives at the selected airports.
The government will soon be launching a website, where Indians can apply for inclusion in this programme.
Till December 2014, Global Entry programme was available at 42 airports and twelve preclearance locations.