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As of November 2018, the Global Entry program in the USA is open just to USA citizens, USA permanent residents, and to citizens of 11 other countries:

  • Citizens of Argentina
  • Citizens of India
  • Citizens of Colombia
  • Citizens of United Kingdom
  • Citizens of Germany
  • Citizens of Panama
  • Citizens of Singapore
  • Citizens of South Korea
  • Citizens of Switzerland
  • Citizens of Taiwan
  • Mexican nationals

What’s so special about these 11? I can understand why Canada is missing (you’re supposed to use NEXUS) but why is South Korea there but not Japan? Why Argentina and not Australia? Why the UK but not New Zealand?

The absence of two of the Five Eyes is particularly interesting given that those countries are supposed to be America’s closest allies (well, up to Feb 2017).

What is the criteria by which the Global Entry eligible foreign nations are chosen?

  • Note that a pilot program for Japanese citizens to enroll in Global Entry was launched last fall. – Michael Seifert Jul 8 '18 at 13:03
  • @michaelseifert indeed there's a smart-entry program in Japan that has started recently, although it is still quite hard to register. – user67108 Jul 8 '18 at 14:35
  • For explanation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Entry – glglgl Jul 8 '18 at 15:03
  • Given current US politics, I am also confused why Mexico is on the list ... – Hagen von Eitzen Jul 9 '18 at 5:53
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    Global entry to where? – Bernhard Jul 9 '18 at 6:23
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These countries have reciprocal smart-entry agreements with the US. In these countries, US citizens can use, after registration, electronic gates when arriving and leaving. And citizens of these countries can do the same in the US.

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    This does not explain why Australia is missing. Australia has allowed US citizens with Global Entry to use their SmartGates for many years, and has allowed ALL US citizens to use them for over 2 years. Whilst this may be part of the answer, it is clearly not the full answer... – Doc Jul 8 '18 at 21:07
  • @Doc I guess many other stuff dors not make sense... including this one. – Kyslik Jul 8 '18 at 22:50
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    @Doc: There seems to be a difference between allowing someone to do some thing and having a mutual agreement signed by officials. – PlasmaHH Jul 9 '18 at 9:51
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    Auckland airport has a special lane for American Global Entry members but New Zealand citizens aren't eligible for GE. On the other hand, Switzerland has APC gates that I don't think Americans can use and I haven't noticed India or Argentina (that I've been to recently) doing anything special for arriving Americans either. I don't think reciprocity is strictly necessary, my guess is it is more about the countries involved being willing and able to reliably share information about their own citizen's behaviour at home with the US. – Dennis Jul 9 '18 at 14:21
  • As Tom noted in a deleted post, you do not need Global Entry to use APC kiosks if you are entering on a visa waiver or a B1/B2/D visa. Global Entry is a trusted traveler program, and should not be conflated with expedited entry systems. – choster Jul 9 '18 at 18:19

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