Fast track to US may open for Israeli frequent flyers

New program would let the jet set cut lines at customs when flying between Israel and the US

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel.

Lines for frequent flyers between Israel and the US could get a lot shorter. (photo credit: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)
Lines for frequent flyers between Israel and the US could get a lot shorter. (photo credit: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

The US and Israel have launched a new initiative to expedite travel procedures for frequent flyers between the two countries, Channel 2 News reported on Wednesday.

Diplomats, businessmen, and ordinary folk who travel frequently because parts of their families live in both countries, among others, may be eligible for a 10-year visa linked to a biometric ID card. The program, Global Entry, already applicable to some US travelers, would allow these frequent fliers between the US and Israel to cut through lines at customs. They will simply use the card, have their fingerprint checked, and be on their way.

The arrangement has been discussed in talks conducted in recent weeks between US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman aimed at easing bureaucracy for the jet set.

The Foreign Ministry, Interior Ministry, the Civil Registry and the Immigration Police met on Wednesday to discuss how to apply the initiative. It could be launched following a coordination of particulars with a delegation of American experts due in Israel in a few weeks.

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