Add another country to the list allowing foreigners expedited entries. As of late 2016, a Japan Trusted Traveler program is available for foreign visitors. This allows for automated kiosks for those registered.
Trusted Traveler programs elsewhere
Expedited entry on arrivals in the US is one of my favorite benefits of Global Entry, and of course PreCheck. On a recent arrival in Los Angeles, I had no waiting. I walked past hundreds of others in both the citizens and foreigners lines directly to one of more than 10 open Global Entry Kiosks, completed the formalities, then made my way out of the customs hall. I didn’t forget my Global Entry Selfie. LAX even has a special line for Global Entry when departing the customs hall. Again, I walked by several hundred people in the queue to depart.
Global Entry works great for US arrivals, but there are similar facilities elsewhere. I have a NEXUS card, which allows expedited entry into Canada,which comes with full Global Entry membership. I registered for EasyPass in Germany, and I signed up for E-channel access in Hong Kong. In both Australia and New Zealand, holders of ePassports from the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand or Australia can use the SmartGates without any sort of pre-registration. Travelers with an ePassport from the listed countries can utilize the gates.
With Japan now offering a trusted traveler program, this is another program I’m interested in. For those with Global Entry, this process has a minimal cost (2200 JPY ~US$20), and a simple application process.
Registering for Japan Trusted Traveler
Signing up for the Japan Trusted Traveler program is online. The website is a bit confusing and the process seems a bit convoluted, but thankfully those with Global Entry have a somewhat simplified process. The first step is to create a User ID. Make sure to remember this login information, and change the temporary password that is provided within 24 hours. If not, there is not an easy way to retrieve it after that time
Once an account exists, the formal process of the application can begin. I used images of my NEXUS card in PDF format as the primary documents I submitted. The application process is more involved for those without Global Entry. There are fields seeking employer information and other details . Thankfully, the application process to get Global Entry must count for something, so it is much easier this way.
Despite applying weeks ago, the status of my application is still awaiting preliminary inspection. Maybe this is due to the fact my NEXUS account is up for renewal in a few months. Despite no impending travel to Japan, I am impatient, and hope the application will get processed soon. I’ll update this site once I have more information to share about this process.
Do you utilize any expedited entry programs when traveling?