January 17, 2013 -
Global Entry, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that uses biometric verification to allow expedited clearance for pre-approved, traveling low-risk U.S. citizens and permanent residents, is set to be introduced in Saudi Arabia, the Bahrain News Agency reports.
Saudi Arabian Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef has met with the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on the ongoing relationship and cooperation between the United States and Saudi Arabia, including the extension of the Global Entry program to Saudi Arabia and also a discussion to establish a reciprocal program.
Members present their machine-readable passports at Global Entry kiosks and then have their fingerprints scanned to verify their identity.
“I am proud of the bond between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and today’s meeting marks another major step forward in our partnership,” Secretary Napolitano said. “By enhancing collaboration with the Government of Saudi Arabia, we reaffirm our commitment to more effectively secure our two countries against evolving threats while facilitating legitimate trade and travel.”
Trusted traveler programs like Global Entry are becoming more commonplace in today’s travel environment, though some suggest these new programs represent an unfair advantage to some travelers. BiometricUpdate.com lead researcher Rawlson King suggests the use of a fee levy to access expedited travel programs as a premium benefit is not egalitarian. “It would be preferable if biometric technology for the automation of passport control could be extended to all travelers at a lower cost, to speed travel for everybody.”
As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, along with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently opened Australia’s SmartGate border control system to U.S. Global Entry members.