You’ve heard about Global Entry, the U.S.-based program that enables travelers to skip the lines when reentering the U.S. We recently posted about this and other programs in North America. But what about programs for U.S.-based travelers to other countries? Fear not. You don’t need to wait in line at Heathrow when time is ticking before your visit to Big Ben. Just read on for information on U.K.-, Netherlands- and Germany-based trusted traveler programs.
Update (April 9, 2019): This summer, travel to the U.K. will get easier for many with the expansion of ePassport gate-eligible travellers at airports across the region. Reminder - if you are a current Registered Traveller, ePassport gates are accessible, even if you are not from one of these seven countries included in this most recent expansion.
Registered Traveller Program
Visiting the U.K.? Head of U.K. Marketing at Travel and Transport, Josh Gunn, recommends the Registered Traveller Program. “After a long transatlantic flight, the last thing you want to do is fill out a paper landing card and then stand in a queue for another half an hour. This program is a must for any regular business traveller entering the U.K. It also works at Eurostar train terminals too, which can make it easier to fit in a short visit to France or Belgium.”
If you are at least 18 years old and have U.K. visa or entry clearance or have visited the U.K. at least four times in the last 24 months, you’re eligible for the Registered Traveller Program. For £70 (approximately $100), you apply online and find out if you were accepted within 10 working days. If you are not accepted to the program, you’ll receive £50 back (approximately $70). You’ll complete a landing card the next time you visit the U.K., then will be able to pass through U.K. and E.U. passport entry lanes, skipping the long lines. Registered Traveller status is valid for one year and costs £50 to renew.
Going to the Netherlands? Whether you’re visiting the tulip fields or the Van Gogh Museum, the Privium program will help you get there faster. This Netherlands-based program is for U.S. citizens who already have Global Entry (and are at least 4’11” due to the height of the iris scanners) and are entering Europe at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The basic program, with a a €130 yearly fee (approximately $160), allows travelers to use fast lanes to get through border checks. However, frequent travelers may be interested in the “Plus” option for €215 yearly fee (approximately $260), which also provides airport lounge access at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, fast check-in and priority parking.
Looking for the fastest way to get into Germany for Oktoberfest? Try EasyPASS. A Germany-based automated border control system eliminates manual border checks and provides additional lanes, called eGates, for trusted travelers. Entry to EasyPASS is free of charge, but travelers must enroll at the Frankfurt or Munich airport, be at least 18 years old and have an ePassport. Even better, your EasyPASS membership lasts as long as your passport does.
Whether you travel for business or for pleasure, getting where you’re going as fast as possible makes a huge difference in your trip. These traveler resources help you get there faster. Stay tuned for more information on trusted traveler programs in the APAC region that can make your global business travel a breeze.
Looking for a list of all international agreements for trusted travelers? Check out the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for more.