Passenger screening at U.S. airport
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer checks a passenger's documentation after arriving to the U.S.

Passing though US Immigration has, for years, been a thorn in the side for British travellers thanks to long snaking queues.

From December 3rd, British visitors to the US will be able to join Global Entry scheme enabling them to skip the queues.

The scheme, due to be extended to British citizens, is already available at 46 US airports and 13 pre-clearance locations and allows pre-approved low risk travellers easier passage.

Applying to join the scheme though takes time and can cost more than £100 and so occasional visitors would be deterred from joining. However it would be attractive for those 125,000 British citiziens who visit the US at least four times a year.

The first stage is to apply register via the Home Home Office website and pay a £42 fee where a vetting process takes place. If the application is successful, an access code is given to enter when applying for Global Entry through the Global Online Enrolment System.

On approval, there will be an interview. If eligibility is approved, there will be a five-year membership fee of $100 to pay.

Once enrolled, Global Entry members go to dedicated kiosks at their arrival airport, showing their machine-readable passport, scan their fingerprints, and complete a customs declaration form. From there the traveller will be directed to baggage claim and the exit.

Applications can be made from December 3 from the Home Office website.


NOTE: Global Entry scheme is also available to U.S. citizens travelling to the United Kingdom. Click here for more information.