US and German citizens eligible for streamlined travel programs

15 Jan 15

GERMANY, UNITED STATES

The U.S. and Germany have implemented mutual trusted-traveler programs, streamlining airport clearance for citizens of the two countries, U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently announced.

German citizens are eligible for the Global Entry program, which is available at 42 U.S. airports and 12 preclearance locations. U.S. citizens are eligible for Germany’s EasyPASS, an automated border control system for third-country nationals.

“Global Entry and the German EasyPASS program allow our officers to focus more on travelers we do not know while at the same time efficiently and securely facilitating low-risk travelers,” said R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in a prepared statement.

Global Entry participants are able to bypass normal customs declarations and proceed to Global Entry kiosks that are equipped to scan their passports, take fingerprints, and accept customs declarations electronically. Global Entry is available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents; nationals of Mexico; and citizens of Germany, The Netherlands, Panama, and South Korea. Canadian citizens can participate through membership in the NEXUS program.

In order to participate, German citizens are required to preregister with the German Federal Police at the Frankfurt Airport before submitting their applications via the Global Online Enrollment System. Applicants will not qualify if they provide false or incomplete applications, have been convicted of a crime or face criminal charges, have been found to violate any country’s customs or immigration laws, are the subject of an ongoing law enforcement investigation, are inadmissible to the U.S., or cannot establish “low-risk” status with Customs and Border Protection.

Global Entry is now available to all qualifying German citizens after a limited pilot program for a small number of Germans was launched in 2013.

U.S. citizens interested in participating in EasyPASS can do so by traveling to an enrollment center at the Frankfurt or Munich airports. In order to be eligible, U.S. citizens must have an electronic passport and be at least 18 years old.

For more information, visit the Customs and Border Protection’s websites on Global Entry or EasyPASS.

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