Costa Rica formalized the process to be part of the Global Entry Program of Reliable Travelers of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
This week, Fernando Llorca, Costa Rican ambassador to the United States, delivered the formal request to that US department to include us in a future expansion of the program.
With this step, a technical collaboration process between CBP and the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME) – Costa Rica’s immigration service – is initiated, and will also involve the U.S. embassy.
Costa Rica is expected to be the fifth Latin American country to enter the program, which will benefit the business and tourism sectors.
Global Entry is a bilateral trust program that allows expedited authorization of preapproved and low-risk travelers between signatory countries. Members enter the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports.
The program is available in 53 airports in the United States and in the pre-inspection stations of eleven other countries, where fast and usually no entry into the immigration stations is allowed.
In Latin America, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Panama are the countries with which the United States has signed this bilateral agreement.
If the Global Entry is established in Costa Rica, those interested in joining the program must apply through a process similar to that of a visa.
To acquire it, the applicant must have a valid visa and pay a non-refundable US$100 fee. In addition, must undergo a background check and a personal interview at the U.S. embassy in San Jose.
If admitted, they will have a reliable traveler status for five years renewable.
Upon arrival at the airport, the approved applicant will have direct access to a digital kiosk that takes their fingerprints and verifies their passport and then passes to a special line for Global Entry travelers, where an officer verifies their documents.