The Trusted Traveler Program: A New Way to Speed Up Your Immigration and Security in India
August 17, 2023
The Indian government is to launch the ‘Trusted Traveler Program’ for faster immigration clearance with Indian passports at international airports across the country.
Travelers who visited India in the winter of (2022-2023) may still remember the terrible congestion at major airports, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Bengaluru. Insufficient staffing and a surge in flights to India (both inbound and outbound traffic) overwhelmed the airport's infrastructure. During peak hours, the Indian metro airports were so overcrowded that they were compared to the Kumbh Mela, Kolkata's fish markets, and Old Delhi's hawker markets on social media. NRIs were concerned about their elderly parents being subjected to long immigration delays upon arrival.
With the goal of reducing congestion at airport checkpoints, the Indian government will soon implement a 'Trusted Traveler Program' for faster immigration clearance of pre-verified travelers. The new plan would be available to Indian passport holders at all international airports in India.
Trusted Traveler Program to Speed Up Immigration Clearance in India: Everything You Need to Know
To prevent a repetition of India's grim airport congestion, the government is preparing to implement the 'Trusted Traveler Program', a tech-driven immigration plan for pre-verified travelers. Like the Global Entry program in the United States, India's Trusted Traveler Program will allow low-risk travelers to skip long immigration lines. International travelers who are planning a trip to India and have signed up for the program can go directly to the Global Entry desks at US airports to expedite immigration processing. Similarly, the Trusted Traveler Program at Indian airports will expedite immigration checks in a contactless manner.
How India's New Trusted Traveler Program Will Make Immigration Easier?
A New Era of Immigration Clearance at Indian Airports is Dawning
The Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) is set to launch soon, and it will allow pre-approved travelers to clear immigration more quickly and easily. The TTP will use electronic gates at select airports, which will speed up the process of verifying passenger identity and documents.
To use the TTP, travelers will need to scan their passports and other documents at an electronic gate. A camera will then take a picture of the traveler's face, and the picture will be matched against a database of blacklisted travelers. Travelers will also need to submit a biometric scan of their fingerprints.
The TTP is a major technological advancement for Indian aviation. It will help to reduce congestion at airports, improve security, and make it easier for travelers to enter India. The TTP will initially be piloted at New Delhi IGI and Mumbai CSMI airports, and it will be expanded to other airports in a phased manner.
The success of the TTP depends on a fool-proof backend system for seamless passenger identity verification. The backend system must be able to quickly and accurately verify the identity of all travelers who use the TTP. If the backend system is not reliable, it could lead to delays and security risks.
The TTP is a promising new initiative that has the potential to make travel to India more convenient and secure. The success of the TTP will depend on the reliability of the backend system and the cooperation of travelers.
Did You Know?
All travelers who are taking a flight to India can apply for the Trusted Traveler Program. If the traveler is cleared, they will be able to proceed to their flight or baggage claim without having to go through manual immigration checks. If the traveler is flagged as a 'person of interest,' they will be denied clearance through the electronic gate and will need to undergo manual immigration checks.
The Eligibility Criteria for India's Trusted Traveler Program
The Trusted Traveler Programme (TTP) is currently in a pilot phase, and only Indian nationals are eligible to enroll. A road map for the TTP's national rollout has been developed, but the specific criteria for pre-approved travelers have not yet been finalized. The TTP's pilot run at Delhi and Mumbai airports has provided valuable insights into how the program can be improved. These insights will be considered when the program is expanded to additional airports.
Global Entry is a program that preapproves low-risk travelers entering the US and partner countries to speed up their customs clearance at the airport. After presenting a passport, the program uses biometric scans to verify the traveler's identity and issue a customs declaration receipt. The individual can then directly claim their baggage and exit the airport.
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