- Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) banned New Yorkers from applying to and reenrolling in Global Entry, the federal program that expedites customs clearance for US residents reentering the United States.
- An estimated 175,000 New Yorkers will lose access to Global Entry and other trusted traveller programs in 2020, according to DHS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli.
- New York Attorney General Letitia James announced on Friday that she will sue the DHS for barring New Yorkers from trusted traveller program enrollment.
- While New Yorkers are barred from enrolling in Global Entry, a lesser-known, free mobile app used by seasoned travellers is still in effect, allowing US and Canadian passport holders to bypass customs lines in 27 airports across the US.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
New Yorkers who have applied to or were looking to reenroll in Global Entry – the federal program that allows US travellers pre-screened by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to pass through customs more quickly upon reentering the States – will no longer be granted membership as of last week.
On February 5, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad Wolf announced the ban in a letter published online by Fox News. In addition to Global Entry, which is CBP’s flagship trusted traveller program and had 5 million members in 2018, New Yorkers will no longer be eligible to join NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST. TSA Precheck, which allows travellers to move more quickly through security at US airports, is not affected at this time, Azi Paybarah reported for The New York Times.
The perks of Global Entry membership include skipping customs paperwork and long lines at 53 major airports across the US. Instead of filling out paperwork, members head straight to a Global Entry kiosk for approval. To apply for the program, travellers submit an application online, pay a $US100 application fee, and schedule an interview at an enrollment centre.
The DHS ban was instituted in response to New York’s “Green Light Law,” a “sanctuary” policy that allows residents without legal immigration status to obtain driver’s licenses and prevents federal agencies looking to enforce immigration policies from accessing Department of Motor Vehicles databases, Business Insider’s David Slotnick reported.
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced on Friday that she will sue the Department of Homeland Security for barring New Yorkers from enrolling in Global Entry and other trusted traveller programs.
An estimated 175,000 New Yorkers will lose their Global Entry membership by the end of 2020
Approximately 50,000 New Yorkers are currently in the application process for Global Entry and will not receive approval, Paybarah reported. Global Entry applicants will be refunded and members will enjoy benefits until their membership expires, according to a release by CBP.
“We expect the impact to affect about 150,000 to 200,000 New York residents who try to renew their membership in one of the Trusted Traveller Programs each year,” DHS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli said on a conference call with reporters last Thursday. “By the end of 2020, roughly 175,000 New Yorkers are going to be kicked out of our Trusted Traveller Programs, and no others will be able to join.”
Fortunately for time-pressed New Yorkers, a free-to-use mobile app is still in effect and lets users bypass customs lines in 27 US airports
The Points Guy reporter Victoria Walker pointed out that the DHS ban does not include language about the app.
Mobile Passport offers fast-track customs lines at 27 major US airports and 4 cruise ports. These include John F. Kennedy Airport and Newark Liberty National Airport.
Users can submit their passport and customs declaration information (as well as that of family members) to CBP via the app before arrival. Once at the airport or cruise port, users receive a QR code to present along with their physical passport to CBP officers in Mobile Passport Control lines.
Business Insider’s first international correspondent Harrison Jacobs, who visited more than 20 countries over the course of a year, opted for Mobile Passport over Global Entry while travelling in order to bypass the Global Entry application time – which can take up to a few months – and raved about the app’s ease of use.
“There is usually little or no line, because all CBP officers have to do is scan the QR code on your Mobile Passport app and, voila, you’re home free,” he wrote. “In the year I’ve been using the app, I’ve never had to wait more than a minute or two.”
For an additional $US4.99 per month of $US14.99 per year, users can upgrade to Mobile Passport Plus, which offers data auto-population from passport scans as well as the ability to save passport data for future trips.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.