Global Entry: Costa Ricans could soon apply for a fast pass through US customs

July 29, 2015

Costa Rica could soon join the short list of countries whose citizens can apply for customs and immigration pre-approval for low-risk travelers to the United States. If approved, the expedited process could ease travel for the more than 200,000 Costa Ricans who visited the U.S. last year.

The Costa Rican Foreign Ministry and the U.S. Embassy in San José said that both countries have begun negotiations that would allow Costa Ricans to apply for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program. The Global Entry Trusted Traveler Network claims that its process reduces wait times, expedites entry into the country and keeps travelers out of long processing lines with the use of designated electronic kiosks. Applicants must submit to a background check and in-person interview before enrollment.

Costa Ricans have been increasingly traveling to the United States during the last decade. Since 2006, the number of Ticos visits to the U.S. rose 55 percent from 130,702 in 2006 to 202,830 in 2014, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Travel and Tourism Industries.

There are five other countries that have been approved for the expedited customs procedure including the Netherlands, South Korea, Germany, Panama and Mexico. Canadian NEXUS members have Global Entry benefits but are not eligible to join, according to the CBP website. U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for Global Entry.

Dennis Whitelaw, president of the Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce told The Tico Times in an email that implementing the program could be a boon for travel and business relations between the United States and Costa Rica.

“The principle benefit of Global Entry is facilitating the entry and trips for tourists and executives to the United States. For AmCham, we believe that this type of initiative improves the business climate and could create more and better opportunities to develop Costa Rica,” Whitelaw said.

Whitelaw said that the implementation of Global Entry for Costa Rican travelers and a coinciding pre-approval process for U.S. travelers to Costa Rica also would be beneficial to new airline routes to the country and ease business travel for U.S. investors here. The United States is Costa Rica’s largest trading partner.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Eight dead in car bomb attack at Colombian police school
Colombia
80 views
Colombia
80 views

Eight dead in car bomb attack at Colombian police school

AFP - January 17, 2019

A car bomb attack on a police cadet training school in the Colombian capital Bogota left at least eight people…

Throwback Thursday
287 views

Throwback Thursday: Pocho the crocodile funeral

The Tico Times - January 17, 2019

This article was originally published on Oct. 17, 2011 The final time Chito and Pocho took center stage seemed no…

Public Security head decries failure to enact stricter gun control in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
805 views
Costa Rica
805 views

Public Security head decries failure to enact stricter gun control in Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - January 16, 2019

Minister of Public Security Michael Soto decried Costa Rica’s failure to enact stricter gun-control legislation this week, arguing that the…