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We love how Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check save us a ton of time at the airport when we’re in the US. However, when we fly internationally, we still have to wait in lines for customs. If you travel to Mexico frequently, you should sign up for the Mexican version of Global Entry so you can skip those lines as well!
What is the Viajero Confiable program?
It is described on the Mexican immigration website as:
The Mexican Immigration Institute has designed a program to allow quick and secure entry into Mexico through automated kiosks located at participating airports.
The program is targeted to Mexican citizens and U.S. citizen Global Entry members:
– Mexican citizens
– U.S. citizens who are members of Global Entry
If you’re familiar with the United States’ Global Entry program, this program is very similar. In fact, as a US citizen, you must be signed up for Global Entry in order to qualify for the Viajero Confiable program. All of our family has Global Entry, even my 4 year old son… and my 5 month old daughter will be getting her card in early 2016, thanks to the generous $100 credits from some of the credit cards I have.
Since Southwest started flying to Mexico with their acquisition of AirTran, Mexico is one of our favorite destinations. We go to Cabo about once a year and will be headed to Isla Mujeras later this year.
Just like Global Entry, the Viajero Confiable membership is good for 5 years.
How do you get the Mexican Global Entry?
To apply for Programa Viajero Confiable, follow these 4 simple steps:
- Apply online at their website.
- Make your payment – currently 1,372 Mexican pesos (approx $84).
- Choose a location for your interview. Currently, you can interview at one of three airports – Mexico City, Cancun, or San Jose del Cabo.
- Show up for your interview (at least 15 days after you apply) to get your photo taken, have biometric scans, and verify submitted documentation. Bring your passport and a signed copy of the application.
How do you use Programa Viajero Confiable?
The Programa Viajero Confiable is very simple to use, just the like United States’ Global Entry system. There are designated lanes which allow you to speed through customs because the government has already performed a background check on you, and you are considered a trusted traveler.
- When you fly to the 3 airports listed above, use the designated lane (just like TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry in the US).
- Scan your passport and fingerprints.
- Complete the electronic immigration form.
My experience applying for the Program Viajero Confiable
I applied via their website and chose the English version.
Then choose to start a new application.
Then there are instructions about General Requirements, the Enrollment Process, and Membership Renewal. Basiscally, a rehash of the FAQs and overview pages of their site. Most important, once you start the application process and pay, you have 6 months to complete your interview. If you fail to complete your interview within those 6 months, you will forfeit your application fee.
You start the registration process and complete your personal information, including passport information, date of birth, email address, etc.
Once you complete your registration, the system sends you an email that you need to click on to continue your registration.
The email will contain a link to continue to your application and includes a temporary password. After you click the link and change your password, you will continue your application.
Now you’ll enter the rest of your personal information.
Once you have completed your personal information, including your Global Entry number, now you’re ready to pay.
The website directs you to another website to process your payment. When paying for your application fee, make sure that you use a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees.
After I paid, the system had me download my receipt since it is necessary to bring that with you when you arrive for your appointment.
Now it is time to book your appointment at any of the three airports available – Mexico City, Cancun, or San Jose del Cabo (aka Cabo San Lucas).
After you pick your date and time, you are given an opportunity to print and save your appointment confirmation and your membership application.
So, you should now have 3 pieces of paper to bring with you, in addition to your passport:
- Programa Viajero Confiable application
- Payment receipt
- Appointment confirmation
I would also recommend bringing your Global Entry card with you, since that is a requirement for participating in this program.
If you fly to Mexico City, Cabo, or Cancun on a regular basis, you should consider signing up for Mexico’s Programa Viajero Confiable (aka the Mexican Global Entry). Your registration is good for 5 years, just like Global Entry, so this program is a bargain at less than $20 a year. It took me about 15 minutes total to apply, and it was a really simple and straightforward process. I look forward to my interview during our trip to Cancun. I’ll have more to report after I complete the interview later this year.