U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently published a general notice announcing that it will be expanding the Global Entry program to citizens of the Republic of Panama.
Global Entry is a CBP program that allows pre-approved, low risk travelers of certain countries to receive expedited clearance upon arrival to the U.S. Participants who are pre-approved may enter the U.S. via automated kiosks located at select airports, rather than waiting in long lines at customs. The process involves presenting a machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card at a Global Entry kiosk, making the customs declaration and scanning fingertips for fingerprint verification. A transaction receipt is then issued and the traveler may proceed to the exit. All applicants for the Global Entry program undergo a rigorous background check and interview before enrollment. The goal of the program is to make the admission of travelers, especially frequent travelers, quicker and more efficient. Participants may still be selected for further examination when entering the U.S.
Currently, eligibility for participation in Global Entry is limited to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, U.S. lawful permanent residents, Mexican nationals and certain eligible citizens of the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Qatar, the United Kingdom and now the Republic of Panama.