If you are an experienced international traveler, you must understand the pain of waiting to pass through the passport control and customs.
Standing in line with your fellow passengers, along with the passengers of other flights that have just landed would be the most difficult part for you.
This could be more irritating and time taking unless you use a trusted traveler program.
If you are an international traveler, a trusted traveler program will make it easier for you to clear customs within minutes.
It allows its members to speed through customs by a different line or gate. The members are pre-screened and their information is stored already in a database.
There are various countries that allow Americans to join their Trusted Traveler Programs and enjoy the facilities provided.
We are going to present you with a list of some of the countries having a Trusted Traveler program that may help you to clear customs easily.
The Trusted Traveler program of the US is known as Global Entry. Being an American, if you majorly travel abroad, you must go for the Global Entry program of the US Border protection and customs.
It would become very easy for you to arrive as well as depart from the US on international flights.
The membership is for 5 years time period and it not only allows you to bypass the processing, lines, and paperwork at custom airports on your arrival to the US but also grants you to go through a separate line or gate to pass the security at the airports, including membership in TSA PreCheck.
If you want to get your membership for Global Entry, you have to complete an application and pay a fee of $100 which is non-refundable.
After that, you have to go through a background check and an in-person interview.
It may seem intense to you, but actually, it is easier than you expect. Your experience of the international flight will be the smoothest after that.
The Trusted Traveler program available in Germany for US citizens is known as EasyPass.
EasyPass is the only Trusted Traveler program of a European Union country that welcomes Americans.
The members of EasyPass are allowed to use the system of automated border control with unique lanes, rather than going to a passport review of the customs officer.
The automated border control system can be operated easily, is very secure, and speeds up your border crossings.
You can use EasyPass in the 7 major airports of Germany including Munich, Frankfurt, Hamberg, Berlin-Tegel, Berlin-Schönefeld, Dusseldorf, and Cologne/Bonn.
If you want to apply for EasyPass, your age must be at least 18 years old.
Moreover, you must have a US electronic passport (an electronic passport possesses an electronic chip that contains the biometric data of traveler as well as all the information that is printed on the holder’s passport), you must apply at a centre at one of the airports where EasyPass is being used, and you have to pass the sufficient background as well as security checks.
However, applying for the EasyPass is free of cost. You do not have to pay money for that.
In the case, if you want to renew your passport, you have to renew your EasyPass also.
The Trusted Traveler program in Mexico is known as the Viajero Confiable program. It is also termed as Mexico’s edition of America’s Global Entry.
The members of Viajero Confiable can pass through the customs very quickly in Mexico via automated kiosks at San Jose del Cabo, Mexico City, and Cancun airport.
If you want to be a member of Viajero Confiable program, the following requirements must be fulfilled
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- You must have a US electronic passport. Moreover, you must be a member of the Global Entry program of the US
- You must pass an interview that will be held at one of the Confiable enrollment centers
- At the time of the interview, you have to submit your biometric information
- You need to pay an application fee of about $84 (1,372 Mexican pesos), which is non-refundable, in order to get Viajero Confiable
The membership for the Viajero Confiable program will be valid for 5 years.
The Trusted Traveler program in Canada is known as Nexus. It is a joint trusted traveler program between Canada and the US.
If you are a frequent traveler who travels between Canada and the US, Nexus is a must for you. The members of Nexus go through the customs by separate processing lanes.
When entering Canada, Nexus kiosks are used. The pre-screened members are allowed to bypass the processing when they enter Canada and the US.
Moreover, the members are also allowed to pass the processing systems and customs at marine reporting locations.
If you want to join the Nexus, you must be a US citizen and your criminal history must be clean (including warrants, pending charges, or under investigation).
You have to fill an application form and submit a fee of about $50. After that, an in-person interview will be held at a NEXUS enrollment center and after passing all the sufficient requirements, you will become a member of Nexus.
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The Trusted Traveler program of Panama is known as Panama Global Pass.
When the members of Panama Global Pass land at Tocumen International Airport, they can easily clear the Panamanian customs within minutes without spending much time on paperwork or any processing line.
At the airport, the members of the program proceed to the kiosks of Panama Global Entry, show their electronic passport, pass a fingerprint verification, and make a customs declaration.
In order to apply for Panama Global Entry, you must be a US citizen and your criminal history must be clean.
Moreover, you must have an electronic passport. You also may apply online for the same.
You have to pay an application fee of $100 and go through a rigorous background check and an in-person interview that will be held at National Immigration Service Main Office in Panama City or at the Panama Global Pass office at Tocumen International Airport.
The United Kingdom
The Trusted Traveler program of the UK is known as the Registered Traveler program.
The American members of this program save a lot of time as they have to suffer less when they come after international flights that land on that side of the pond.
E-Passport gates can be used by them at major different airports, and they can also go for UK/European Union queue which often moves faster.
Moreover, they don’t need to go through an interview, due to security reasons, with a UK border force officer and they also do not need to finish a landing card.
If you want to qualify for the UK Registered Traveler Program, you need to fulfill some of the requirements.
You must be a US citizen and your number of trips in the past two years must be four or more than that.
You have to pay an application fee of £70 (about $91) and you have to pay an additional fee (that will be paid annually) of £50 (around $65).
In case, the application is unsuccessful, the additional fee is refundable.
The Republic of Korea
The Trusted Traveler program of South Korea is known as the SES program (Smart Entry Service).
This program helps its members to bolt through the customs and other processes, including paperwork, processing lines, and other security checks, without taking much time.
The members can use electronic gates at 3 out of 4 major airports of Korea including Gimpo, Incheon, and Gimpae airports.
The SES program of Korea is linked with the Global Entry program of the USA by the partnership of Korean Immigration Service with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
If you want to apply for the SES program, you must be a Global Entry holder of the USA.
Your age must be at least 17 years old and you must have an electronic/machine-readable passport.
Moreover, you have to pay an application fee of $100 and after that, you have to go through an interview that will be held at one of the SES enrollment centers in a participating airport in Korea only.
Your biometric data such as fingerprints will be collected after that.
The membership will be valid for 5 years only.
In a nutshell
Being a frequent traveler, going to international destinations and standing in lines for hours and spending too much time in clearing custom checks would be the most painful thing for you.
We understand your trouble and that is why we are here with the list of 7 countries that make it easier for the Americans, by providing a Trusted Traveler program, to clear customs within minutes.
Use the above list to find the right program for you that suits your travel needs.