Speaking before the American public (and Snow White, the Seven Dwarfs, and Mickey Mouse at Disney World), President Barrack Obama announced an expansion of the Global Entry program, including the easing of B1/B2 tourist processing times at consular posts around the globe, among other things.
Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. The program is intended for frequent international travelers—mainly executives and managers for multinational corporations. Those approved for the program enjoy a streamlined admission process at U.S. airports after international travel into the United States. There is no minimum number of trips to qualify for the program.
By executive order, the President ordered the Secretaries of State and Department of Homeland Security to submit jointly a report describing the progress of achieving the goal of expanding Global Entry. The initiative seeks to ensure that the country remains secure while increasing travel and easing transactions costs (e.g., time during inspection) into the United States. The Jackson Lewis Global Immigration Group anticipates that the report will request finalization of regulation ending the current pilot program, making it permanent for additional U.S. international airports, and reducing average wait times at primary inspection to fewer than five minutes.
Multinational employers should contact their counsel to discuss how they may take advantage of the program for their frequent flyers—executives, management, and highly-skilled labor.