The Smart Traveller Enrolment Program (STEP) is a free service for all U.S. citizens and nations living or traveling abroad. It allows them to enroll for their voyages in the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Pros of Smart Traveller Enrolment Program.
1. Travel advisory delivered straight to your inbox. The most significant perk of this program is that you can get real-time alerts about security or climate change before you embark on your journey. As you travel, you also enjoy the benefit of receiving updates about the country you are visiting.
2. Faster passport recovery process and access to emergency services. With an account in this program, your passport and personal identification details are stored securely online in case your travel documents are stolen, destroyed, or lost, which expedites the service delivery process for citizens.
3. Faster Assistance in the case of evacuation. While on your journey, in case of a disaster, receiving evacuation protocols from the government becomes easier when you are enrolled in this program, thereby promoting your physical safety and well-being.
4. Establishing contact in emergencies. The SMART program provides records of your travel itinerary and state-side emergency contact, which ensures that you have the ease of contacting your loved ones in case there is an emergency.
5. Additional travel protection. The STEP program ensures that as you travel, you are protected all the time; although this cannot be substituted as travel insurance against risk, it goes a long way to ensure you get back state-side safely.
6. Receiving urgent real-time information from the state-side. The STEP programs give you real-time updates about what is going on at home; this program provides a way across the globe to contact you in an emergency.
7. Access to U.S. resources overseas. The STEP program enables you to have the support of U.S. resources from all regions of the globe. More than 300 US embassies and consulates have over 50,000 US personnel globally.
8. Accessible around the clock. Using the STEP program means you can access the system anytime you need clarification or an update.
Cons of the Smart Traveller Enrolment Program.
1. This is not proof of citizenship. Enrolling in the STEP program guarantees safety and updates from the U.S. embassy or consulate; however, this is not proof of citizenship and does not distinguish between U.S. citizens and non-citizens.
2. Potential loss of control.
Using the STEP program could make you subject to travel restrictions with a limited ability to edit your listing.
3. Lack of direct contact with the consulate. Direct conversation with the consulate personnel could help build a better rapport and trust, where you can ask questions and receive an immediate and direct answer; this improves the quality of service offered by the embassy or consulate.
4. Technical Issues. Systems face the limitation of technical issues; when this happens, you could miss updates; additionally, to access these services, you need an internet connection, which could be challenging if you travel to a remote area.