The Department of Homeland Security has announced the publication of a final rule that will permanently establish the Global Entry program, effective March 7, 2012. The Global Entry program, which began as a pilot program, was created by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to allow expedited entry into the United States for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. At the Global Entry Kiosk (found in most major U.S. airports), participants scan their passport or U.S. permanent resident card, scan their fingerprints for verification, and make a customs declaration. Upon issuance of a transaction receipt, the participant moves to baggage claim and the exit. On average, participation in the Global Entry program reduces waiting time by seven minutes.
U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, Dutch citizens, and Mexican nationals are eligible to participate in the Global Entry program. In addition, participants in the NEXUS (expedited crossing of the U.S./Canada border) and SENTRI (expedited entry into the United States from Mexico) programs may use the Global Entry Kiosks. In the future, other nonimmigrant aliens may be eligible to participate. To apply, eligible individuals must submit an online application, pay a $100 application fee, and undergo an interview with a CBP officer. Applicants may be deemed ineligible for the program if they have violated immigration laws, have been convicted of a criminal offense, are the subject of an ongoing government investigation, or are considered "high risk."