blankHave you noticed more and more travelers skipping right by you in airport lines recently?   If so, they are probably part of a Trusted Traveler Program – a program developed by Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to speed up the travel process.  Trusted Traveler Programs provide expedited travel for pre-approved, low risk travelers through dedicated lanes and kiosks.

There are several different TTP’s you can apply for depending on the type of travel you plan on doing.  Here is a brief overview of each program:

GLOBAL ENTRY:  If you want to travel internationally and move quickly through CBP processing, this is the program for you.  The Global Entry program provides expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.  Participants may enter the United States by using automated kiosks located at select airports.

NEXUS: A joint Canada-USA program designed to let pre-approved, low-risk travelers cross the Canada-US border quickly. Members of the program can avoid long waits at border entry points by using self-serve kiosks at airports, reserved lanes at land crossings, or by phoning border officials when entering by water.

SENTRI:   The SENTRI Card is for pre-approved travelers who cross the U.S./Mexico border frequently. It has the added benefit of access to dedicated commuter lanes on the southern border.  SENTRI is solely a CBP program and only applies to customs and immigrations inspections into the United States, not into Mexico.

TSA PreCheck (TSA Pre):  This is a program for domestic travel within the United States.  You can qualify for TSA PreCheck if you are a member of one of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Trusted Traveler programs, including Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI.  TSA Pre✓™ is currently available at 40 airports nationwide.  TSA recently announced it would be opening up the program to more US Citizens later this year.

This is the first part in our series on Trusted Traveler Programs where we will cover each program in more detail.  In our next post, we will focus on the Global Entry program.