'VIPs will have to go through US immigration procedures'
Washington, June 8 (IANS) The United States is in discussions with various countries to smoothen travel and avoid incidents like the detaining of Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, but India is not one of them. And as far as VIPs go, unless they have diplomatic exemption, they would go through the usual immigration procedures like everyone else.
For "process for VIP arrivals, unless they have some type of, say, diplomatic visa or exemption, everyone would go through the same type of process.
We don't want it to be seen as a hassle," said John Wagner, executive director of US customs and border protection's office of field operations, admissibility and passenger programmes told foreign reporters Thursday.
"It works on a reciprocal basis and some level of agreement on a level of background checks each country will do."
"So it's a matter of whether we can reach agreement with those countries and they're willing and able to do the types of checks, and we can negotiate a threshold for qualifying our participation in that."
But Wagner made clear that as far as the "process for VIP arrivals, unless they have some type of, say, diplomatic visa or exemption, everyone would go through the same type of process. We don't want it to be seen as a hassle."
He also asked "people to understand the importance of it, and we are keeping people safe, and we want people to have the confidence that it's safe and secure to come here, and part of those processes is ensure that."
"So we do ask for the public's patience in helping us help them and make sure all those requirements are met."
However, Wagner said, he was "not aware of anything right now" about any kind of programme or negotiations going on with India regarding travellers from that country.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at email@example.com)
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