Faster immigration clearance for ‘Trusted Travellers’, Details inside

NEW DELHI: In a bid to provide a better and traffic-free experience by strengthening immigration checks during departures and arrivals, the central government of India is preparing to roll out a Trusted Traveller Programme (TTP) for all Indian passports for holders who are travelleing overseas in the country.

According to information provided by the officials of the aviation industry, the project will enable pre-verified international tourists to pass through immigration quickly and without having to wait in long lines. He said that the Delhi and Mumbai airports would serve as the initial test sites for the proposal. It will thereafter be installed at 15 airports by 2027 and at all airports in the nation by 2032.

He added that three electronic gates have already been installed for these travellers at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport. Two of them are reserved for arrivals, and one is reserved for departures.
A home ministry employee said that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in coordination with the Bureau of Immigration and civil aviation, had already developed a road map for the trusted traveller programme.

He added that the initiative's main goal is to employ technology to streamline and expedite immigration processing. He said, the US Department of Homeland Security also uses entry programmes similar to these to quickly process pre-approved tourists for security and immigration.

In the meantime, it has been reported that the total number of passengers travelling by air in 2023–2024,  both domestically and internationally, will surpass 395 million.

For the fast implementation of the programme, the Ministry of Home Affairs  has already prepared a roadmap for the "trusted traveler programme', as per reports.

What is Trusted Traveller Programme: Trusted Traveller Programmes are initiatives implemented by various countries' immigration agencies to expedite the entry of pre-approved, low-risk travellers into the country. These programmes aim to streamline the immigration process by conducting thorough background checks on travellers beforehand, allowing them to bypass certain immigration procedures, such as long lines and extensive questioning.

Trusted Traveller Programmes vary from country to country, but generally involve pre-screening of applicants, often through an online application process, and the collection of biometric information, such as fingerprints or iris scans. Approved applicants are then given a special identification card or sticker that allows them to use expedited lanes at immigration checkpoints.

Examples of Trusted Traveller Programmes include Global Entry in the United States, NEXUS in Canada, and Registered Traveller in the United Kingdom. These programmes are typically available to citizens and permanent residents of certain countries who meet specific eligibility criteria, such as having a clean criminal record and a history of compliance with immigration laws.

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