US and India working on immigration exemption plan

Immigration ReformThe United States is working on a pact with India to exempt some Indians from American immigration checks, including former top industrialists, former prime ministers and presidents, and even some movie stars. Top immigration officials from the two nations held a meeting recently to talk about how to implement the US Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program, which enables expedited clearance for low-risk and pre-approved travelers arriving in the US.

The meeting included discussions about the nature of the categories of Indian people who could be granted an exemption from US immigration checks, sources say. Names mentioned included former prime minister Manmohan Singh, film stars Shahrukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, industrialists Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani, and former president Pratibha Patil. Khan once experienced an unfortunate incident at an airport in the United States whereby he was detained due to having a similar name to an individual on the country’s watch list.

“The US has been pressing for India’s inclusion in the Global Entry so that high dignitaries, frequent flyers and top industrialists could visit America without any hassle,” a source claims.

People featured on the list would be able to enter the United States through the use of automatic kiosks at certain airports, where they would present their US visa or passport to be read by the machine, verify their fingerprints and fill out a customs declaration. The kiosk would then issue a receipt and direct them to baggage claim and the airport exit.