Skift Take

Global Entry is the gateway drug. Now other countries are allowing you to skip through immigration faster than ever before. And it is easier than you would think.

Colin Nagy, head of strategy at Fred & Farid, a global advertising agency, writes this opinion column for Skift on hospitality, innovation, and business travel. “On Experience” dissects customer-centric experiences and innovation across hospitality, aviation, and beyond. 

I’ve been a religious user of Global Entry since its launch in 2008. It fundamentally alters the experience of getting off a long-haul flight and into a car in the shortest time possible.

It is unquestionably a comedown when you land in a country that doesn’t have an efficient immigration experience.

Fortunately, more countries are offering expedited options for frequent travelers. Some of them build off the vetting of Global Entry, and give you speedy access with a minimum fee and minor bureaucracy.

Here are some that work:

UK Registered Traveller Program

Global Entry users can register, pay a fee of around $100, and wait for processing. The next time you’re entering the UK, you simply have a few words with the officer, and then if all goes well, you’re eligible to enter using the residents line. Perfect for Heathrow mornings where there is a crush of arriving flights and the “Fast Track” line isn’t so fast.

Programa Viajero Confiable

Mexico’s option is quite easy. Apply online, schedule an interview at Mexico City, Cancun or Cabo and do a quick, simple interview. The payoff is you’re able to use residents line when you land. Which is great when you arrive into CDMX late and there’s only one or two immigration lines open for the entire plane.

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi allows travellers to have a quick biometric scan. There’s a station near checkin and the process is quick and painless. Allows for a much faster arrival and departure from the UAE, and doesn’t require interviews or other formalities.

Hong Kong

After immigration at Hong Kong’s International Airport, there’s a small office that will check your passport, review your frequent flier card and then award you a sticker to the back of your passport that allows you to use the same e-gates that residents can use on arrival and departure. Useful when you are in a hurry.

Privium/Flux — Netherlands

Similar to the UK program, this requires you to be a Global Entry member, pay a fee of around 135 Euros and conduct a basic interview for membership.

New Zealand

While New Zealand has sadly not been on any recent itinerary for me, Global Entry members will be heartened to know that with a reciprocal agreement, they can use kiosks on arrival in Auckland. There’s no additional costs and you just have to just look for the familiar Global Entry signs. Leave it to the Kiwis to be friendly, easy and streamlined.

Colin Nagy is the travel and innovation columnist for Skift. Reach him at [email protected].

Reach new heights in aviation
November 12 in Dallas
See Who's Onboard

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Tags: customs, global entry, On Experience

Photo credit: Global Entry has gained popularity as an expedited traveler program, but it's just one of many similar programs around the world. U.S. Customs and Border Protection / Flickr

Up Next

Loading next stories