The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that as of January 12, 2015, Panama will join the select countries that are eligible to participate in the Global Entry Program. Global Entry facilitates entry into the United States after international travel for certain pre-screened travelers at automated kiosks at certain airports. Instead of being inspected by a CBP admissions officer at the port of entry, a Global Entry traveler proceeds to an automated kiosk where they scan their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card data, provide their fingerprint and can make their customs declaration. Currently, German and Mexican citizens are eligible for Global Entry. Additionally, citizens of the Netherlands are eligible for Global Entry if they are enrolled in Privium. Korean citizens are eligible if they are Smart Entry Service Members. Canadian citizens are not eligible for Global Entry, but they can enroll in a different trusted traveler program, NEXUS, which issues a card to approved travelers which can be used as an alternative to their U.S. or Canadian passport.

Global Entry requires completion of an on-line application, payment of a $100 fee, interview and background check. To review Global Entry eligibility and application procedures, please go to: http://www.cbp.gov/global-entry/how-to-apply