US citizens with Global Entry will now become eligible to use SmartGate, a system that will automatically conduct immigration checks by making use of the biometric face recognition technology. According to an announcement made by the United States Customs and Border Protection, Customs and Border Protection Service of Australia, will allow the US citizens with Global Entry to use SmartGate. US citizens who travel to Australia, will be allowed to use SmartGate initially on a trial basis and this system will securely process US citizen travelers, by making use of the ePassport technology. United States has been issuing ePassports since 2007 and this kind of machine-readable passport contains an electronic chip in the front cover.
Passengers who are eligible to use SmartGate, may not be required to wait in lines for immigration and customs clearance, while traveling to Australia and SmartGate will perform the checks that are performed by the Australian Customs and Border Protection officers. However, all the US citizens may not become eligible to use SmartGate and US citizens with Global Entry alone are eligible to use this system and the Global Entry program of the United States is administered by US Customs and Border Protection. Similarly, US citizens, may obtain this benefit if they are members of NEXUS or SENTRI. US citizens must hold ePassports to use SmartGate and must be of age 16 or older.
US citizens need not file forms or register, to use this system, while they travel to Australia. Travelers who are eligible to use SmartGate, need not wait in huge processing queues in Australia and they may use their ePassports to self-process, as SmartGate will use the data in the ePassports and biometric face recognition technology, to perform the checks. This system will make it easier for the US citizens to travel to Australia. At present US citizens, who are members of the global Entry program, may use SmartGate on a trial basis and all the US ePassport holders will be allowed to use this system by 2013.