The use of Global Entry, which facilitates the immigration procedures of foreigners arriving in the United States, would be available for Costa Ricans this year.The agreements had been signed during the previous visit of President Rodrigo Chaves to Washington, last August. There continued the bureaucratic process that would be close to being closed between both nations.
This was confirmed this Wednesday night by the Chancellor, Arnoldo André, and Ambassador Catalina Crespo, from Washington, at the beginning of the official government tour.The minister mentioned a period of two months and the diplomat dated the possible implementation for December.
What is Global Entry?
Global Entry aims to simplify the entry of Costa Ricans into the United States and U.S. citizens into Costa Rica.The United States Customs and Border Protection Agency leads this initiative, which is aimed at citizens of certain countries with prior approval and a low level of risk.
Global Entry is operational at more than 80 airports and entry points in the United States. It should be noted that this program does not replace the visa requirement, but it does speed up the immigration process, generally without the need to wait in line at checkpoints.
With this action, Costa Rica joins a select list of 16 nations that have agreements with the United States Government in this regard. Some of these countries include Argentina, Colombia, Germany, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Between 2019 and 2020, Costa Rica began the process of joining a new expansion of the Global Entry program.During that period, the Costa Rican ambassador to the United States, Fernando Llorca, officially handed over the note of interest to Mr. Rafael Henry, Administrator of the “Global Entry” Trusted Traveler Program of the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency.
At that time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that the technical collaboration for this process was being coordinated between the Immigration Directorate and the United States Embassy in San José.
In 2020, Costa Rica aspired to become the fifth Latin American country to be part of this program, which was considered beneficial for the tourism and business sector, according to local authorities.
How it works
According to official information from the United States Government and airlines, such as United, those interested in the Global Entry program must apply in advance and it costs about $100.Authorization takes four to six months.
These are the steps:
Applicants complete and submit an online application through the TTP website and pay a fee of $100, which covers enrollment in the program for a period of five years.
The government reviews applicant information while conducting a background investigation
Applicants appear for an interview with CBP personnel at an enrollment center in the US so final approval can be granted. Applicants can also complete their interview when they land at many major U.S. airports with the Arrival Check-in program, so they won’t need to make an appointment. For more information, visit CBP’s Arrival Registration page.
Upon arrival in the United States, approved and enrolled applicants can go to an automated kiosk where they present their passports and have their fingerprints taken for verification. However, they must always have a valid visa, as they are two independent programs and systems.
Once the identity is confirmed, the computer issues a receipt that the person must give to the CBP officer stationed in the exclusive line for Global Entry travelers and which expedites their entry into the United States.