UK travellers can skip US customs - if they pass face-to-face interview

British travellers who are considered in the “low risk” category will be able to avoid the dreaded long customs' queues at US airports if they get the green light in face-to-face interviews before setting out.

British travellers considered "low risk" will be able to skip US Customs' queues under a new agreement between the two countries

British travellers considered "low risk" will be able to skip US Customs' queues under a new agreement between the two countries Image by Katie Collins/PA Wire

Under the new ‘Global Entry’ system, visitors from the UK will become the latest country to get prior approval thus allowing them to walk through automatic kiosks as they enter the country.

Flying into JFK Airport will not hold the dread of long queues at customs for some British air passengers in the near future.

Flying into JFK Airport will not hold the dread of long queues at customs for some British air passengers in the near future. Image by fsse8info / CC BY-SA 2.0

To get to this hassle free situation however, approved people must pay a £42 UK government fee for processing and a US$100 (£65) to the United States authorities for the five-year membership.

The initiative comes as both countries seek to bolster trade and tourism between each other. The MailOnline reports that similar agreements – available at 46 airports - have already been brokered between the US and several other countries including Germany, the Netherlands and Mexico.

The director general of the UK Border Force, Sir Charles Montgomery, who was among those who negotiated the deal, said the agreement showed how close both countries were in terms of operating safe and secure border controls under the right circumstances.

Almost four million British people flew into the US last year – a rise of 3.6% on the previous year. UK citizens who are approved by the home office will make a final application by being given a code to access the Global Online system to gain entry to the new fast-track system from early next month.

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