The Department of Homeland Security has introduced a new Trusted Traveler comparison tool that tool helps applicants find the DHS Trusted Traveler Program that best matches their citizenship and travel preferences.
The U.S. has currently has five Trusted Traveler Programs and the tool helps clarify the differences between them.
More than 10 million low-risk travelers currently receive expedited clearance as members of one of the five Trusted Traveler Programs:
- TSA Pre✓™
- Global Entry
- or FAST
U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration manage these programs, which are customized to fit a variety of travel needs. The tool can be accessed on DHS.gov.
Membership in DHS Trusted Traveler Programs has grown by 169 percent since FY14 from more than 4 million members to more than 10.8 million members. During that same time period, Global Entry membership, the largest DHS Trusted Traveler Program, grew approximately 141 percent—from more than 1.6 million members to more than 4 million members.
Global Entry kiosks are located in 52 U.S airports and 15 Preclearance airports where members are processed in about a minute. U.S. citizens and U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents may apply for Global Entry as well as citizens of certain countries with which CBP has trusted traveler arrangements, including Colombia, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Global Entry members also receive the added benefit of being pre-eligible to participate in TSA Pre✓™.
NEXUS was launched in 2000 as a joint effort between CBP and the Canada Border Services Agency. NEXUS members experience expedited clearance into both the United States and Canada. NEXUS members enjoy the benefits of Global Entry at no additional cost by using the automated kiosks for entry at participating airports and also receive TSA Pre✓™ benefits.
With SENTRI, the first Trusted Traveler Program, members may enter the United States by using dedicated primary lanes into the United States at Southern land border ports of entry. U.S. citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents also receive Global Entry and TSA Pre✓™ benefits.
The Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program is a commercial clearance program for known low-risk shipments entering the United States from Canada and Mexico. FAST enrollment is open to truck drivers from the United States, Canada and Mexico.
TSA Pre✓™ enables Trusted Travelers to enjoy a secure and efficient screening experience at more than 180 U.S. airports with 30 participating airlines nationwide. TSA Pre✓™ travelers do not need to remove shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts or light jackets. Last month, 97 percent of TSA Pre✓™ passengers got through an expedited screening lane in less than 5 minutes.
For all of the programs, prospective applicants have to submit an initial application online. Once conditionally approved, the applicant must schedule and attend an in-person interview to finish their enrollment. Trusted Traveler memberships are valid for 5 years.
Image credit: DHS