How Long Does It Take To Get Global Entry
Again, it depends. Some lucky travelers can finalize their enrollment in a matter of just a week or two. But others get caught up in a backlog of applications or struggle to schedule an in-person interview.
Getting Global Entry can take anywhere from just a week or two to more than a year, if you’re unlucky.
What To Bring To A Global Entry Enrollment On Arrival Interview
Initially, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol stated that for EOA, ou wont need any additional documents other than the requisite documents for international travel .
But later they clarified that you should bring:
- A valid passport.
- Documents providing evidence of residency
- A permanent resident card
So be sure to bring proof of your residency even when you are doing EOA.
What Is Global Entry
Global Entry is a trusted traveler program that allows you to get through U.S. immigration and customs quickly. It also includes a TSA PreCheck benefit that gets you into a designated lane for security. It’s a genuine two-birds, one stone program.
Because this program lets you get through high levels of security quickly, the process for getting approved is a bit more rigorous. It’s also more expensive, costing $100 versus TSA PreCheck which costs $85. Enrollment in both programs lasts for five years.
Torn between Global Entry vs TSA PreCheck? Read our guide!
The signup process for Global Entry is easy enough. You need to fill out an application online that is fairly extensive. You will answer questions about current and previous employment, residences, and more. This application will be submitted for a thorough background check.
Thrifty Tip: Pay for your application with a travel credit card that covers the cost of enrollment it’s like getting Global Entry for free!
After submitting your application, you need to get conditional approval. Once you’ve got that, you need an in-person interview to finalize your enrollment. From there, you can simply head to the designated Global Entry line when clearing immigration and waltz through in just a few minutes or less.
Read our full guide to getting signed up for Global Entry for a complete walkthrough!
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Where To Find Walk
You cannot walk in for a Global Entry on arrival appointment unless you are just arriving from an international trip. Since it is a walk-in visit, an interview is not guaranteed if there is a long line, but it’s worth a shot to try and get an earlier Global Entry appointment.
Here’s a complete list of domestic airports that offer Global Entry walk-in appointments.
You can also complete your application at certain international airports in Aruba, Bermuda, Canada, Ireland, the Bahamas and the United Arab Emirates.
Global Entry Trusted Traveler Program
Global Entry is managed by CBP and enables expedited entry through customs at U.S. airports and expedited entry benefits in other countries. It’s open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents with a valid passport or permanent resident card membership is also open to citizens of selected other countries. Visit the Global Entry eligibility webpage for more information.
- Provides access to self-service kiosks for international arrivals to the United States
- Reduces wait time at customs
- Includes TSA PreCheck
- Online application and in-person interview required
- $100 application fee charged by CBP
- Membership lasts for 5 years
How to Apply Online for Membership
Visit the CBP website to create your Trusted Traveler Program account. Complete the application and pay the $100 non-refundable fee. CBP will review your application. The review process can take up to 90 days. If CBP conditionally approves your application, then your TTP account will instruct you to complete an in-person interview.
You need the following information and documents to apply:
- Personal information : name, date of birth, contact details
- Proof of citizenship if not a U.S. citizen: permanent resident card
- Driver’s license
- Five years of home address history
- Five years of employment history
- Five years of travel history
- Payment information
- Travelers who have previously been issued a PASSID, FAST ID, Membership Number, or FLUX Membership Number: have your number available before starting the application process
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Appointment Scanner Saves The Day
Global Entry interviews are hard to come by. Small to medium markets have even fewer agents, fewer appointments, and may have a limited opportunity to participate in enrollment on arrival. I mentioned Appointment Scanner, a service that helps travelers that have applied for Global Entry and received conditional approval search for options as they become available. Many cancel or reschedule their appointments but checking the site constantly is an exhausting process.
I selected three airports that were easy for me to reach, one of which offers online appointments conducted via video conferencing. Within an hour of signing up, I had a few options texted to me that had become available. Some were not great options but I stuck with it.
One came in for Pittsburgh, my home airport, just a few weeks out. I attempted to snag it but was too slow I got another couple of opportunities and finally snagged one a few weeks out. Then, several others came open and I was able to improve my position considerably.
I found that my ability to capture an opening was best later in the evening when most might have been busy or asleep. At a certain point, so many appointment opportunities among my listed airports were coming in that I continued to monitor them for slightly better opportunities, but mostly dismissed them, happy that I had captured one that worked for me.
Families Need To Enroll Kids For Global Entry Separately
Parents cant bring their babies or children through the Global Entry kiosks with them unless the children also are enrolled in the program. This means youll have to pay the $100 enrollment fee for each child youd like to enroll.
Youll also have to schedule and attend an interview with your minor yes even for babies who can’t talk. This makes the enrollment upon arrival service extra handy.
TSA PreCheck benefits, however, do extend to children 12 years of age and younger in your family, so you can use the expedited lane together when traveling domestically. The Mobile Passport app allows you to create additional profiles for family members, and up to four people can submit a single customs declaration form. If your family doesnt leave the country often, that may suit your needs better than Global Entry.
Extra fees arent required for children who apply for NEXUS with their parents, or for children linked to the parents SENTRI profile. Remember, since you can usually pass your credit card statement credits for Global Entry to others, you can use that for your kids’ applications .
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How To Get Your Global Entry Fee Refunded
Having the right travel card in your wallet can deliver plentiful perks from airport lounge access and free checked bags to travel credits and rebates. In addition,several cards refund the fee for expedited security programs such as TSA PreCheck and Global Entry. You can use it for yourself, or you can use your card to pay for someone else. Depending on the card, the credit is valid once every 4-5 years, so you can’t use it yearly. Since Global Entry is good for five years if approved, it shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Especially notable is the United Explorer Card with an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95 each subsequent year. This means you could apply for the card and take advantage of the fee waiver without paying anything.
» Learn more:The best travel credit cards right now
Getting An Interview Appointment
At the height of the pandemic, the Global Entry program experienced a major backlog of applications because of closed enrollment centers and limited appointments, which caused months-long delays in processing new applications and approving renewals. However, the agency has now worked through most of those backlogs, and about 60 percent of applications are conditionally approved within 15 days, according to Lawson. Applications that require a more detailed review can take up to four months.
Plan to enroll in Global Entry upon landing in the U.S., and you can do your interview on the spot.
Once your application is conditionally approved, youll receive an email that theres a message in your Trusted Traveler account. Youll then be asked to schedule an in-person interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center, which can be found all over the country. With the lingering scheduling and backlog delays from the pandemic, its difficult to estimate how long it will take to secure an interview, but you do have up to 730 days after your conditional approval to complete the enrollment process. If youre having trouble securing an interview slot, check back oftenpeople sometimes cancel their appointments, opening up earlier slots.
Currently, 63 Enrollment on Arrival airports are in operation across the country heres a full list.
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Renewing Global Entry Interview: What To Bring
If you are renewing your Global Entry membership, the same document requirements above will apply in your case.
I recently renewed my membership after moving to a different state and all I had to do was show my new Arizona drivers license to prove my residency.
I did have a couple of additional documents with me such as new utility bills but they never requested for me to show them.
And remember, an interview for program membership renewal may not be necessary.
How Global Entry Appointment Scanner Works
Appointment Scanner uses a simple 3 step process to find you available interview times:
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What To Expect During Your Global Entry Interview
When your Global Entry interview day arrives, be sure to arrive on time and bring:
- A print-out of your letter of conditional approval.
- Valid passport or permanent resident card.
- Evidence of residency .
Once at the facility, you may have to wait a bit if the CBP officers are busy. I waited about 15 to 20 minutes for my interview on a Friday morning at the Chicago enrollment center, but one former TPG editor didnt have to wait at all for her interview at a center in Los Angeles.
During the 10- to 15-minute interview, expect to be questioned about your application and about why you want to join the Global Entry program. The officer I spoke with, who was both friendly and professional, asked to see my conditional approval letter, passport and drivers license.
I was then asked to confirm some of the countries I had visited recently and whether Id traveled to each for business or leisure. The final step was to give my fingerprints and get my photo taken .
A few minutes later, the officer told me I was officially enrolled, and that I would receive my Global Entry card within seven to 10 days . I then received my Known Traveler Number, so I could enter it into my frequent flyer profiles and be eligible for TSA PreCheck.
Dont forget to activate your card within 30 days of receiving it, although you dont necessarily need it to pass through Global Entry kiosks at the airport, with some notable exceptions. Some CBP officers will provide actual kiosk training, but mine did not.
How To Get Global Entry
Global Entry itself costs $100 for a five-year membership. However, plenty of credit cards include a credit that covers the entire cost of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment as a perk. It seems like a new card adds this feature every year.
Many top-tier cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve , The Platinum Card® from American Express, and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offer this benefit. But then there are even cheaper options where you can cover the cost of Global Entry, like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or the new U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature Card, which even waives its $95 annual fee for the first year.
Read our guide on the top cards that offer Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
All you need to do to cash in on that credit is pay with the card that covers your application fee. That means you can pay for a friend or family member to apply if you are already enrolled. Just use your card with a credit and you’re set.
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Global Entry Interview Appointment Issues
My husband and I just applied and received conditional approval for our Global Entry card. Our next step is to schedule our interview. The closest international airport for us is Logan Airport in Boston. However, when we try to select this airport location, it stays that there are no appointments. At all. For over a year and counting. That does not make sense to me. We have tried to call but were only allowed to leave a message and the recording said to use the web site to schedule your interview. And, the web site wont let us make an appointment at that location. Is anyone else experiencing this issue with scheduling their Global Entry interview? We fly out August 18th and are not sure how to move forward with the interview process. We were thinking it might be a technical glitch, but it is not resolving.
Good luck. It took my husband 10 months to get an interview in 2021. We monitored Tampa, Orlando and Miami airports daily for openings and cancellations. Unfortunately, people don’t tend to cancel their appointments when they find one sooner. On the day I went for my interview in Tampa, there was a 20 percent no-show rate. You can always conduct your interview when you land back in the States. It defeats the purpose of the GE but you’ll get your interview.
You will be required to show:- Global Entry membership nbr.- your Known Traveler Nbr Good luck! Hope this helps.LAH
How Does Global Entry Work
After you apply, attend an interview, and you get approved, you will be issued something known as a PASSID which is also called a Known Traveler Number. This number will be automatically attached to your passport.
When you arrive back in the US, you will be able to bypass the main immigration line and head over to a kiosk area where you can scan your passport and biometrics. After verifying your travel details and making any declarations, you will be issued a receipt and often you will show that to an immigration officer who will quickly wave you through immigration.
Its a very efficient process that takes the pain out of international travel to a large degree.
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Important Tips For Global Entry Renewal
- If you also need to renew or get a new passport or drivers license, you must also update that information on your Trusted Traveler account.
- Changing your name? You wont be able to update that online, so once youve received your new passport and drivers license showing the change, youll have to go to an enrollment center to add the new documents to your account. Appointments are not accepted for this service, so youll need to do a walk-in.
- If an interview is required for your renewal, and you are booked on an international flight, CBP may offer you the option of doing your interview upon arriving home.
How Do I Challenge My Fbi Identity History Summary
If you believe your Identity History Summary contains inaccurate or incomplete information, you may request a change or correction by contacting the agency or agencies that originally submitted the information to the FBI. However, most states require that changes ot Identity History Summary information be processed through their respective state centralized agency . For the State Identification Bureau listing refer to: www.fbi.gov/checks.
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Airports With Global Entry Enrollment Centers For Interviews
The toughest part of the Global Entry application process is scheduling a timely interview at a nearby location. Over 100 global airports have enrollment centers, but it may still take months to find an interview time slot.
Not every airport with Global Entry kiosks has enrollment centers and vice versa. Use the tables above to see which airports with kiosks also have enrollment centers. These airports are marked with a * symbol after the name.
Which Is Better: Global Entry Or Tsa Precheck
It depends. If you travel internationally at all, Global Entry is definitely the winner as it will allow you to speed through immigration on your return to the U.S. Plus Global Entry also includes a TSA PreCheck membership.
But Global Entry is slightly more expensive, at $100 for a five-year membership as compared to $78 for TSA PreCheck. And the enrollment process for Global Entry can take much longer than TSA PreCheck.
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