Trusted Traveler Programs for Faster Border Crossings
Are you a frequent traveler who crosses borders between the United
States and Canada or Mexico? Does it waste your precious business time
to wait in long lines in order to enter and be approved by the
immigration agents in border points? Maybe you should consider getting
a trusted traveler program to ease your frequent cross boarder travel
problems. However, there is eligibility for it. Here is how it works.
A Trusted Traveler Program allows
approved members to easily cross borders between either US & Canada
or US & Mexico. This is a U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP)
approved program. It means that holders of pre-approved ID card under
the three trusted traveler programs - NEXUS
and the Global Entry Trusted Traveler Network
have the privilege of expedited passage between the US & Canada
Boarder under NEXUS, US & Mexico Border funder SENTRI, and both in
and out of US & Canada and US & Mexico for drivers in the FAST
What are the difference between NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST?
Basically, they are all documents that are compliant with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
to facilitate the crossing of borders more easily with the use of their
approved photo identification cards. NEXUS is the one for you if you
are a frequent border of the US and Canada. This is a joint program of
the US and Canada for those who want to enter in and out of the
US-Canadian border via air (airport to airport), Sea, and land travels.
Another, SENTRI is what you want if you are a frequent cross border of
US & Mexico. They provide you with pre-approved land and sea travel
to the US and Mexico border as well as an expedite travel pass to enter
the countries' borders. Basically, the NEXUS is for the northern border
while SENTRI is for the Southern border. FAST on the other hand is
issued to an eligible commercial truck driver or drivers that make
fully qualified fast trips between US and Canada or to the US from
Mexico. It is also used for entry to the US by land and by sea.
What are the benefits of such program?
The benefits of eligible and approved members of each program
will be a more easy and less time consuming entry when crossing borders
of included countries. This means they will have a personal kiosk or
lane when in cross border points in the airports and reserved lanes
when travelling by land. They also have the privilege to phone a border
official in sea ports and report their arrival to that certain cross
border port. With the use of their photo identification card with
proximity RFID chip, they will be able to enter cross borders easier
and with less immigration questioning.
How do I apply for such program?
Online application is available for applicant who thinks they
can be eligible for such travel programs. They can apply online via the
Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) on the web. After which they
will be prompted to have a personal interview appointment in the
nearest Enrollment Centers depending on the type of program they have
applied for. They should bring supporting documents and identification
and nationality proofs. They should also be ready for a rigorous
background checks for criminal and falsification cases. Moreover, they
should also bring their required processing fees (also depends on the
type of Program). There will one application and one type of fee for
the application processing. Interviews are also conducted individually
depending on the schedule of appointment.
Since not all persons are eligible for such travel program, it
is best to assess yourself and your documents first before attempting
to apply for the programs. If you think you have the right purpose and
need to be eligible for the program then get right on and apply online.
It is also good to remember that should the travel program centers find
a potential high risk for you entering their borders, you will still be
subject to further and rigorous immigration questioning and inquiry.
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