India in select list of countries for easy US immigration

An existing passport holder can enrol with GEP by submitting an application which in turn is scrutinised and processed by various agencies after which clearance is obtained from each of them. DH File photo

Indian passport holders travelling to the United States will have a hassle-free immigration procedure in the coming days, according to Regional Passport Officer (RPO) Bengaluru, Bharath Kumar Kuthati.

This follows a memorandum of understanding between India and the US, which allows hassle-free entry to citizens of only select countries, of which India has recently been included, Kuthati said. The decision was made during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US recently, he said.

Though this scheme, termed as Global Entry Programme (GEP), started last July, it is progressing at a slow pace since it requires clearance from multiple agencies, he added.

“Immigration procedure for Indians travelling to the US used to be cumbersome and GEP will ensure a hassle-free entry to the US for Indian passport holders,” Kuthati said.

Who can enrol?

An existing passport holder can enrol with GEP by submitting an application which in turn is scrutinised and processed by various agencies after which clearance is obtained from each of them. “Once the process is successfully completed, it would be a hassle-free entry to the US,” Kuthati said.

Besides GEP, RPO Bengaluru is also working on increasing passport issuance rate by opening more Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSKs). Twelve POPSKs have become functional since the first such centre opened in January 2017. At all these PSKs, SMS-based appointment facility is available and there is no need to carry a hard copy of the appointment receipt.

 

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