CBP Announces International Registered Traveler (IRT) Pilot Program

On April 11, 2008, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced in the Federal Register a pilot International Registered Traveler (IRT) program and requested comments. The IRT program will allow for expedited clearance of pre-approved low-risk air travelers into the United States. The pilot program will initially be conducted at three airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York (JFK), the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston (IAH), and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). The program may be expanded to other locations as announced.

Applications to be an initial participant in the pilot program should be submitted by May 12, 2008 and the pilot program will commence on June 10, 2008. Applications to participate will be accepted throughout the duration of the pilot and are available through the Global On-Line Enrollment System (GOES) at www.cbp.gov. At this point, applicants must be either a U.S. citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident (LPR). 

Expedited clearance will be effected using automated kiosks located in the Federal Inspection Services (FIS) area of each participating airport. IRT uses fingerprint biometrics technology to verify a participant's identity and confirm his or her status as a IRT participant. After arriving at the FIS area, the participant will proceed directly to the IRT kiosk. A sticker affixed to the participant's passport at the time of acceptance into the IRT program will provide visual identification that the individual can be referred tot he IRT kiosk. IRT participants need not wait in the regular passport control primary inspection lines.

In the Federal Register notice, CBP invites public comments concerning any aspect of the pilot program, provides eligibility requirements for voluntary participation in the pilot program, describes the basis on which CBP will select participants, and describes how the IRT program will operate.