The Global Entry Program allows biometrically registered and pre-authorized travelers belonging to certain nationalities to undergo passport control at so-called Global Entry Kiosks at selected U.S. airports and thus pass through identity checkpoints at border crossings more quickly.
The Global Entry U.S. entry program is maintained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and it is currently reserved for previously approved, trusted citizens (low-risk travelers) from Argentina, Colombia, Germany, Great Britain, India, Mexico, Panama, Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the United States as well as U.S. immigrants (lawful permanent residents). Canadian citizens who participate in the NEXUS program can also take advantage of the Global Entry program (e.g., pass through a Global Entry Kiosk).
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Those who would like to register for the Global Entry Program must first undergo a thorough security check and an interview and pay a fee of USD 100 for inclusion in the program. There is currently no prescribed minimum number of entries into the United States in order to participate.
Currently, the Global Entry Program is valid for five years.
German citizens can officially participate in the Global Entry Program due to its expansion, take advantage of the automated and biometrics-based border control process, and thus pass through simplified border checkpoints.
Those who want to participate in Global Entry must first use the EasyPASS border control system. EasyPASS can be found at the six busiest passenger airports in Germany (Berlin-Tegel, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt/Main, Hamburg, Cologne/Bonn, and Munich). It replaces the automated biometrics-based border control (ABG) system. The system will transmit your data to the EasyPass RTP database of the German Federal Police. You can also use Global Entry, since it performs the same function. In order to participate in EasyPASS, you must have an electronic passport (e-passport) with a radio frequency chip or a new ID card in credit card format, among other things.
Upon arrival at a U.S. airport, program participants will scan their machine readable passports or permanent resident card (Green Card) at the designated Global Entry Kiosks, scan their fingertips to check their fingerprints against the database, and provide their customs declaration. In addition, a digital photo will be created. Then the traveler receives a receipt with further instructions and is led either to the baggage claim area or to a U.S. border official.
Participants in the Global Entry Program must have a valid U.S. visa in order to be able to continue to enter the U.S. (insofar as they do not qualify for visa-free travel), as the Global Entry process only serves to accelerate the entry procedure and does not replace any entry and residence permit. Please note that certain visa categories cannot be used together with Global Entry. Those who enter without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program must have a valid ESTA clearance.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provides additional information about this issue on its official Global Entry website.
The most important information about this visa category can also be found here, briefly summarized and free to download in PDF format.