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I'm a business consultant on a non-immigrant visa in the USA. I have to travel every week for my job. Is there a way I could skip lines and opt for TSA PreCheck?

  • What is your citizenship? – Nate Eldredge Apr 21 '18 at 23:50
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    If you're lucky, you'll get selected for it randomly. That happens routinely for my wife and mother in law. I'm still not sure why. – phoog Apr 22 '18 at 3:57
  • @phoog, My sister-in-law also gets routinely selected. I think it might be age-related (or age + gender + other things I don't know). – Dennis Apr 23 '18 at 16:57
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TSA Precheck itself is only available to "U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and lawful permanent residents." As a visa-holder, you wouldn't qualify. However, there are other Trusted Traveler Programs with different requirements, which can provide access to Precheck lanes. In particular, Global Entry allows applications from citizens of 11 additional countries. NEXUS is an alternative if you have Canadian citizenship.

Another option to consider if you're not eligible for any of those is CLEAR. This will not get you TSA Precheck benefits, but will allow you to jump to the head of the line for regular screening at the airports where they operate. They require a US Driver's License or state ID, but seemingly not citizenship. They're only at certain airports (and certain checkpoints or terminals within airports) and it costs considerably more than Precheck (worth shopping around online for one of their many promotions), so it's only worth it if you'll frequently be able to take advantage of it.

At some airports/airlines, high-tier frequently fliers have access to shorter security lines (well, sometimes they're longer lines).

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    The page you link to is craftily worded. "TSA PreCheck application program membership is only available to...." That's not the same as "TSA PreCheck is only available to...." – phoog Apr 22 '18 at 4:03
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Most major airlines offer a TSA-Pre program for well-known frequent-fliers.

For that, you need to have a frequent-flier membership with them. If in doubt, call your airline and ask them if they offer that.

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