Vedder Thinking | Articles Immigration Alert: New Benefit for German Citizens
On February 16, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it is extending Global Entry eligibility to all citizens of Germany. Applications from German citizens for Global Entry will be accepted as of that date.
Global Entry is a CBP program that allows expedited clearance for preapproved, low risk travelers upon their arrival in the United States. Program members proceed to Global Entry kiosks at certain airports, present their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingers on the scanner for fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration online. The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction notice and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit. Global Entry greatly expedites entry into the United States.
Travelers must be preapproved for the Global Entry program. All applicants undergo a background check and an in-person interview before enrollment.
CBP has operated a pilot Global Entry program for German citizens since 2013. Eligibility was limited to citizens who participated in ABG Plus, Germany’s former trusted-traveler program. Individuals who received Global Entry authorization under the pilot program will not have to reapply.
In order to apply for Global Entry in Germany, citizens of Germany will first need to visit an EasyPASS enrollment center and complete a risk assessment by the German Federal Police. Once the applicant is approved, the German Federal Police will notify CBP, and the applicant will be able to apply for Global Entry via the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) website.
U.S. citizens 18 years of age or older may apply for Germany’s trusted traveler program, EasyPASS, at an EasyPASS enrollment center in Germany. There is currently no fee to apply for this program. U.S. citizens do not need to be registered in Global Entry in order to qualify for EasyPASS. U.S. citizens who had previously enrolled in ABG Plus have been automatically enrolled in EasyPASS.
Please feel free to contact your Vedder Price attorney or a member of our Business Immigration Practice Group for more information.