Having a Global Entry is like having a secret pass to get through the airport security easier and faster after going on an international trip. Global Entry helps people avoid staying in long lines when entering the US after traveling abroad. In this article, we go through everything you need to know about Global Entry, including how to qualify for one.
What is Global Entry?
Global Entry is a program by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that facilitates clearance for pre-approved and low-risk travelers upon arrival in the US. This pass is specifically for international travelers returning to the US after traveling out of the country. With a Global Entry membership, people can quickly and easily enter the US after an international trip. This simplified check is an excellent advantage for people who often travel and want to fast-track their exit upon arrival at the airport. Also, Global Entry membership comes with a TSA PreCheck.
Benefits of the Global Entry Program
With a global entry membership, you can enjoy different benefits as a traveler, including:
- Escape long lines at the border counter
- No time-consuming paper customs declaration forms
- Faster entry compared to other travelers
- Separate airport check in the USA
- TSA PreCheck authorization
- Use your global entry pass at selected countries
Where Can You Use The Global Entry Card?
You can use the Global Entry pass at Global entry ports in US airports and other selected pre-clearance locations worldwide.
Who Is Eligible for Global Entry?
You are eligible for Global Entry if you are a US Citizen or US permanent resident. Children under 18 can also qualify for Global Entry, but they will need the consent of their parents or legal guardians. Also, residents from 19 partner international countries are eligible for Global Entry Membership. Some of the partner countries include :
- United Kingdom
- South Korea
Depending on your country, you may need additional requirements to qualify for Global memberships.
Some things that may disqualify you from the Global Entry program include:
- If you have criminal records or outstanding warrants, including driving under the influence.
- The subject of an ongoing investigation by a law enforcement agency at the state, federal or local level.
- Found in violation of customs, immigration, or agriculture laws of any country.
- Provide false or incomplete information on your Global Entry application.
- Cannot satisfy CBP of your low-risk status.
How to Qualify for Global Entry Membership
Here is a step-by-step guide to applying for the Global Entry program in the US:
Step 1: Create an Online Account
Applicants eligible for Global Entry can create an account through the Trusted Travelers Program (TTP) Systems. You can then log in to your account to start the application process. Here you will submit your personal information like name, gender, eye color, as well as your employment details, travel history over the past five years, and resident address. Also, you will have to answer some questions to ascertain that you are eligible for the program.
After filling out the application form, you will pay a nonrefundable fee of $100 for processing. If approved, this fee covers a five-year global entry membership. You need to ensure you completely fill the application form as incomplete forms are automatically denied access to the Global Entry program.
Step 2: Schedule an Appointment to Interview
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will review your application upon your submission. If your application is approved, you will get an email from Trusted Traveller. Note that it will take about 1 to 3 months to get an eligibility confirmation for the Global Entry pass.
Once you receive the confirmation message about your application, you must book an in-person interview at the Global Entry Enrolment Center to complete the process. Your interview will be with the US border officials, and you have 180 days to book an appointment. If you do not book an appointment within this period, you will be denied access to the Global Entry program. Also, you will need to pay another application fee should you decide to re-apply for the Global Entry.
Step 3: Attend Interview
If you secure an appointment for an interview, then it’s time to go for it. For your interview, you’ll need to print out your approval letter and bring along your valid passport and other forms of identification.
Also, you will need your proof of residency so remember to take along your utility bill or rental agreement. Many of the questions you will be asked will revolve around why you want to join the Global Entry and the official ones already asked in the application form.
Answer the questions thoughtfully and honestly without contradicting what you already have on paper. When you are through, the officers will take your fingerprints and a picture for the Global Entry ID. Once you’ve been completely approved, you will get a Known Traveler Number you can start using to get through airport security.
Step 4: Receive Your Global Card
You will receive an official Global Entry card within 2 weeks after your interview, and you’ll need to activate it within 30 days.
Global Entry Application Fees
To apply for Global Entry, you need to submit an application fee of $100. If your application is approved, you get 5 years of membership covering Global Entry and TSA PreCheck at selected airports. The application fee for this program is not refundable even if your application is denied. Meanwhile, some credit cards refund the application fee for Trusted Traveler Programs when you charge the payment to the card.
Once you have a Global Entry Card, you can speed up the airport security check after your international travel. All you will need to do is navigate to the Global Entry kiosks at the airport. Here they will scan your passport and permanent resident card to verify your identity. Afterwards, you will be directed to the baggage claim and exit. The Global Entry Kiosks are only available at specific airports and shouldn’t be confused with the regular passport control terminals.
Traveling With Others
Your global card can only work for you alone. If you are traveling with someone without a global pass, yours can not cover for them. You can only use your Global Entry Card if all members traveling with you have their passes or if you want to exit without them.
Global Entry is designed to make traveling easier, especially if you frequently travel out of the US. This pass lets you go through airport security faster without intrusive screenings. You can apply for one by opening a Trusted Traveler Programs account, providing relevant information, and going for an in-person interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center.