Traveling to Australia just got easier. Users of U.S. Trusted Traveler programs (Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI) can now gain expedited entry into Australia. The following is from an email I received from the Global Entry people:
Visiting Australia is now easier than ever for U.S. Trusted Travelers. Late last year, Australian Customs and Border Protection opened up access to its automated border processing system, SmartGate, to U.S. Trusted Travelers. Now when you arrive in Australia, you can bypass the passport processing queues and self-process using an ePassport¹.
How does it work? SmartGate uses facial recognition technology and biometric data to perform the customs and immigration checks usually conducted by an Australian Customs and Border Protection officer. You can still choose to talk to an Australian Customs and Border Protection officer if you prefer, but as long as you have a U.S. ePassport¹, you have the option to use SmartGate.
Can I use SmartGate? You can use SmartGate provided you are:
- flying into Australia;
- 16 years or older; and
- traveling on a valid U.S. ePassport¹.
There is no additional enrollment process to participate in SmartGate and it is open to all U.S. citizen Trusted Traveler members enrolled in the Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI programs.
Tips on using SmartGate in Australia. Australian Customs and Border Protection has produced a new fact sheet to help US Trusted Travelers use SmartGate with confidence.The fact sheet is available at: http://www.globalentry.gov/pdfs/FAQs_for_US_Trusted_Travelers.pdf. Australian Customs and Border Protection would like to hear from you Have you tried SmartGate in Australia?
Australian Customs and Border Protection would like to hear about your experience. Please email your comments, suggestions or any questions about SmartGate to firstname.lastname@example.org.
¹ For more information on ePassports, please visit http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_2498.html