Mexico City – The United States government announced Tuesday that it is opening to Mexican citizens the trusted traveler program known as Global Entry, which operates via automated kiosks at selected international airports.
"Our Customs and Border Protection agency is supporting the National Migration Institute in the development of a Global Entry program for Mexico, which we expect to be launched in the first six months of 2012," U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne said.
The program, already in operation with other countries, allows frequent travlers to the U.S. to enter the country in a "minimum amount of time," Wayne said during an event at the U.S. agency in Mexico City.
The program has very strict membership standards.
Global Entry kiosks currently exist in 20 U.S. airports, but in 2012 several more are expected to be installed in Mexico City and in the Mexican resort area of Los Cabos, Wayne said.
Present at the announcement was Mexico's tourism secretary, Gloria Guevara, who was pleased that Global Entry will be "implemented for Mexican citizens as well."
"It speaks of confidence in our country, but above all it's a great opportunity we're being given," Guevara said.
To be able to sign up for the program, an application must be filled out and filed over the Internet at www.globalentry.gov along with payment of a non-refundable $100 fee.
Applicants must have no criminal record.
When an application is approved, the interested party will be interviewed by CBP personnel, who will decide whether he or she will be accepted.