U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced today the signing of a joint statement launching a full Global Entry partnership with the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain (GOB).
Bahrain now joins a growing list of 14 Global Entry partner countries with full arrangements, including Argentina, Colombia, Germany, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, Brazil and the United Kingdom.
“We are excited to have partnered with Bahrain. After years of dedication, conversation, and collaborative efforts, CBP welcomes Bahrain and its citizens to full partnership and membership in Global Entry,” said Matthew Davies, Executive Director, Admissibility and Passenger Programs.
“Today’s announcement symbolizes our countries’ efforts and commitment to foster a relationship that facilitates commerce and as importantly strengthens both of our countries’ security while providing a benefit to our citizens.”
The United States and Bahrain established diplomatic relations in 1971. Bahrain plays a key role in the region’s security architecture and is a vital U.S. partner in defense initiatives, hosting the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet and participating in U.S.-led military coalitions, including the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Bahraini forces have supported the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
CBP and Bahrain, a major Non-NATO ally since 2002 and Major Security Partner since 2021, signed a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) in 2010, but in January 2020, Bahrain expressed interest in adding Global Entry to the agreement. This would allow for pre-approved, low-risk Bahraini travelers to apply for the program for entry into the United States for tourism and certain business purposes. On June 28, 2022, the Bahrain Minister of Interior became the first Bahraini member of the program.
Global Entry is one of four branches of the Trusted Traveler Programs, which allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival at United States airports. Members enter the United States through automatic kiosks at numerous airports located within the U.S. and at Preclearance locations around the world.
Despite the pandemic, Global Entry surpassed 10 million participants this fiscal year. That number exceeds the previous record of approximately 3 million applicants prior to the pandemic in 2019. In 2021, despite a reduction in travel, over 27 million arriving travelers were processed using Global Entry, representing over 70,000 arrivals per day.
Trusted Traveler Programs support CBP’s mission of securing U.S. borders while facilitating lawful travel and trade. Travelers must be pre-approved for all TTP programs, including Global Entry. All applicants undergo rigorous and recurring background checks and an in-person interview before enrollment. While a key goal of the program is to expedite travelers through the process, members may still be selected for further examination when entering the United States. To maintain a strict standard in establishing Global Entry members as low- risk travelers, any violation of the program’s terms and conditions will result in the appropriate enforcement action and termination of the traveler’s membership privileges.