The United States and Switzerland have signed an agreement allowing Swiss citizens to take part in the Global Entry facilitated customs and immigration programme.
Global Entry, overseen by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), allows pre-screened travellers facilitated entry into the United States through special kiosks at 60 checkpoints. Those who wish to be considered for the programme must pay a fee, submit an online application and undergo a personal interview with a CBP official.
A press release from the US embassy in Switzerland called it “part of the US government’s plan to enhance the Visa Waiver Program”.
Global Entry is currently available for US citizens and permanent residents, as well as citizens of the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Panama, South Korea and Mexico. Canadian citizens are eligible for the same benefits under a different programme. Switzerland is the latest country to be made eligible.
“We are thrilled to add Switzerland to the list of countries whose nationals can access the Global Entry programme, allowing trusted travellers to enter the US more easily,” said Suzi LeVine, US Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
“It’s a great programme for frequent travellers, whether for business or pleasure – those in the programme will spend less time in line at the airport upon arrival and more time getting down to business or enjoying the sights.”
The agreement was signed by LeVine and Urs von Arb of the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration at the US embassy in Bern on Wednesday. The embassy said interested Swiss passport holders would be able to apply once certain technical details are finalised.
swissinfo.ch and agencies