Global Entry to become permanent, added to Minneapolis, Charlotte, Denver and Phoenix, plus more from the travel executive order

President Obama signed an executive order on January 19 with a number of positive changes in travel. The full White House press release warrants detailed study. The Economist’s Gulliver has a pithy summary. The US Travel Association led a lobbying effort called Ready for Takeoff to push this through. Congress, perhaps busy with high performing investments, did not act, so an executive order was issued.

The main thrust of the bill is to make it easier for foreign tourists to visit and spend in the US. Skip over all the committee and commission stuff. There is a Visa Pilot Program for Brazilians and Chinese, and Taiwan has been nominated to the Visa Waiver Program. This will be a boon to many businesses. For Chinese speakers, RFI has a good discussion with a correspondent in Taipei.

Tucked into the order is great news for US travelers:

  • Final Rule to Expand and Make the Global Entry Program Permanent:
    • Global Entry is a program within the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection that was created as a pilot in 2008 to facilitate expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Through a final rule, the Administration will expand and make the Global Entry program permanent. Due in part to innovative public-private partnerships, the Global Entry program now has more than 246,000 members, more than one million trusted travelers have Global Entry benefits, and efforts are underway to expand enrollment even further. There are currently 131 Global Entry kiosks at 20 airports and since launching, members have used Global Entry kiosks over 1.7 million times, saving CBP officers over 36,450 inspection hours—staff hours that CBP has then re-allocated to expedite regular passenger queues. This final rule will allow the program to be expanded to an additional 4 airports in Minneapolis, Charlotte, Denver and Phoenix, making the Global Entry program and expedited clearance available in airports that service approximately 97% of international travelers.

Global Entry did not seem in any danger of going away, but it is a relief to hear it will become permanent. And great news for MSP, CLT, DEN,  and PHX flyers!

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  • matt

    Great to see the program come to MSP.

  • Tim

    Let’s review: Makes government more efficient? Check. Eliminates burdensome regulation? Check. Supports and promotes the job-creating tourism industry? Check. What more proof does one need that President Obama is a socialist?

  • How do 1M people have GE benefits when only 250K are GE members?

  • @Scottrick – I believe the larger number includes members of other trusted traveler programs, principally NEXUS for US-Canada and SENTRI for US-Mexico, that can use Global Entry kiosks. Also, Dutch citizens can use Global Entry through FLUX membership, but they do have to apply for Global Entry through FLUX so may be in the 250k number.

  • Nothing for UK Citizens again!