The DOS and USCIS again remind foreign travelers to plan ahead when seeking to enter the United States. Summers are busy times for most American embassies and consulates, and travelers may experience delays with visa applications. Delays also can result due to enhanced security checks and unanticipated changes in the world situation. Those planning on using the Visa Waiver Program ("VWP") must first make sure that they are eligible for the VWP and, if so, that they have registered in the Electronic System for Travel Authorization and have a passport that satisfies all VWP requirements.
At the same time, U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP"), the agency responsible for screening and admitting foreign nationals at U.S. ports of entry, announced that its Trusted Traveler Program ("TTP") recently had reached one million members. The TTP is a pilot program that streamlines the international arrival process for pre-approved travelers who use self-service kiosks located in 20 major airports. Applications can be submitted online at www.globalentry.gov. There is a $100 fee, and applicants must submit to an interview and fingerprint collection at one of the 20 airports. If approved, membership lasts for five years.
There also are two separate TTPs for travelers crossing the Canadian and Mexican borders. NEXUS is a joint CBP-Canada Border Services Agency program. SENTRI is the program that provides expedited admission from Mexico. Additional information on all these programs is available at the CBP website at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/.