Global Entry Program: Process overview for Indian Citizens

Update (08/21/17):

Ashish Aggarwal provided this update.

This is regarding your post about GEP @ India on Medium platform. Just wanted to give you update on the GEP process in India and my experience so far here. I applied for the GEP here in India more than a month ago and got the police verification-biometrics done within one week’s time. After that the application status on Passport site has gone into “Waiting for clearance from other Govt. bodies. Once clearance received, the same will be shared with CBP. No further queries will be entertained”. It is the same status for another guy here in Delhi. Both of us are constantly following up with RPO & PSK through various channels. Unfortunately, no one at RPO, even RPO Head, has clarity on process for GEP here in India. According to RPO Head, the backend processes & SLAs for GEP verification in India are not fully defined yet. What we also understand from RPO is that there are only 2–3 cases so far (as of beginning of August) who have applied for GEP here in the NCR region — myself, the other guy & someone in Ghaziabad. RPO head “thinks” that MoF (Finance) and MHA (Home Affairs) are also involved in clearance process but he is not sure about the same. We have raised some queries with MEA & PMO on the same by writing to them on emails and also twitter handles. But have not received further responses yet. If you want, then you can post this update on your Medium post. Thanks Ashish

Important: Update (07/28/17):

Bharat Pannala was kind enough to share this.

Apparently, applicants need to visit a PSK “within 90 days of submitting the GEP form online”.

GEP website, however, mentions no such thing neither does the automated email you receive from the Passport office asking to submit for verification.

Update (07/17/17)

Got an email from the CTO of Passport Seva. This was in reply to an email I sent to them a few weeks back. While it was nice to get a reply and I thank him for that, the decision to not have the verification process done at the Indian Consulates in the United States is unfortunate.

“Please note that you have to complete the India side verification process as mentioned in www.passportindia.gov.in , which is must. You may provide your India permanent address where verification can be done and also you need to appear for in-person interview, biometric capturing etc. in India only. This can be done whenever you visit India or as per your convenience.
Rgds,
Golok Kumar Simli
Chief Technology Officer
Passport Seva
follow me on twitter @ctopassportseva ”

The Latest

tl;dr;

Looks like we HAVE to go to India to get the verification done. If you applied for Global Entry before July 6, you can get a refund.

My take: If you plan on travelling to India in the next 12 months, don’t apply for a refund. Hopefully, the Indian government will re-consider their stance but if not, well, in the worst case, you might end up losing $100.

In the mean time, please do continue to reach out to the Indian government officials.

Update from Arjun (07/10/17)

“CBP is offering refunds now.

Thank you for contacting the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Information Center.

The Government of India (GOI) recently informed us of their new requirement to have Indian nationals applying to Global Entry go to India for an interview. As this was not previously disclosed to us or our applicants, we are offering full refunds for anyone that applied before July 6, 2017 who cannot fulfill the GOI terms. We apologize for this, but this is not a U.S. Government requirement but rather the GOI.

Please reply to this email with the PASSID/membership number and we will send the request to process the refund.

It is our goal to provide you the best information we have in response to your question. If you follow the information provided in our response, and still need assistance, please reply to this email and we will investigate how we may further assist you.

Thank you again for contacting the CBP Information Center.”

Update from Bhargav (07/03/17):

I went to the Indian consulate in SF today the consulate staff seems to have no idea what global entry is or what it is for. Finally one of the staff member took the issue to the consulate general and the response was “ they are aware of the issue but the IT dept needs to add he (sic) US location to the site and until then they cannot do anything about it and they have no idea when that will be done so keep looking on our website for updates”
Only option is folks sending emails/messages asking for an update to ramp up the pressure.

— Agreed with Bhargav. If you are reading this, please consider reaching out to an Indian Consulate near you or emailing any relevant Indian government official.

Also, please consider re-tweeting/liking this tweet (or consider tweeting a new message) to Sushma Swaraj so we get some traction. https://twitter.com/MV010113/status/881934016504516608

So, Indian citizens are now eligible to apply for the Global Entry Program. I have put in my application today. I plan on updating this thread with the process details. You can read more about the Global Entry Program here.

The gist of it is, if you travel frequently (or infrequently) and if you wish to experience an expedited immigration process, apply from the Global Entry program.

The application fee is $100 but if you pay with a premium credit card, (like Chase Sapphire Reserve) the credit card company would reimburse the fees. More details here: https://thepointsguy.com/guide/top-cards-for-global-entry-precheck/

CBP hasn’t updated the Eligibility page yet (as of 06/27/2017), but the internal application is updated and Indian citizens can now apply for the Global Entry program.

The Process

Go to the Global Enrollment website (https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/) and create a new account if you don’t have one already.

You would most likely be eligible for Global Entry and SENTRI. Select Global Entry and fill out the application. You will be asked to fill out information like your addresses for the past 5 years, your employment history etc.

Note: Don’t leave any gaps in the employment history and the address history.

At the very end, you’ll be asked if you’d want to register your vehicle for use in the SENTRI lanes. Select this if you plan to travel to/from Mexico via road and want to experience a faster entry/exit process there. Also, note that registering your vehicle is free at the time you submit your Global Entry application. You’d, however, have to pay an additional fee (of $42) if you decline now and wish to register later.

Your application would now be in “Pending Review” stage. This stage could take anywhere between 4 to 8 weeks.

You will not receive an email or a call once your application is approved or denied so keep checking the page every few days. If the application is approved, you can schedule an appointment at a Global Entry Enrollment center near you.

My Application Status

  1. Submitted my application on 06/27/2017.
  2. Got an email from “ Passport Seva System” within the hour asking me to submit an application for “background verification of GEP application”. This process also requires you to attend an interview at the Passport office closest to the residential address mentioned on your passport

Unfortunately, the Passport Seva System’s website only lists Passport offices in India.

So, if you are living in the United States, you’d have to travel to India to get that background check done.

Also, if like me, you have a US address on the passport, you would be stuck in a limbo since the Passport Seva System doesn’t actually link to any of the Indian Consulates in the United States. 
I sent an email to the Indian Consulate in San Francisco to see if the background verification can be done here. I am yet to hear back.

Current Status: Waiting for the SF Indian Consulate to reply.