If you’ve traveled much at all, you’ve likely heard of the Global Entry program. With all the fuss about waiting in lines at the airport, people are very curious about any way to beat the system.
In this article, we’ll answer all your questions and help you get signed up for the Global Entry program to speed your way through!
The Global Entry Program: From Application To Airport 
The Global Entry Program: From Application To Airport 
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Table of Contents
- What Is Global Entry?
- Global Entry Application: How To Apply & What You’ll Need
- How Long Does the Global Entry Application Take? How Long Do You Get Access?
- How Much Does Global Entry Cost?
- Global Entry Locations and Kiosks
- Tips For Speeding Up Scheduling Your Global Entry Interview
- How To Use Global Entry at the Airport
- Renewing Global Entry Membership
- What Cards Have Discounts or Credits Towards Global Entry?
- Global Entry Program Caveats
- 24 Quick Tips for Global Entry Candidates
- Final Thoughts on Getting Global Entry
What Is Global Entry?
For those who frequently travel overseas, you know how difficult it can be for an international traveler to get through customs upon arrival.
To lessen the pain while dealing with an ever-increasing number of security risks, the U.S. government created a program called Global Entry that gives pre-approved clearance to low-risk travelers entering the United States.
Currently, Global Entry is one of the five available Trusted Traveler Programs. Four of these are designed for personal and business travelers (Global Entry, SENTRI, NEXUS, and TSA PreCheck), while one is for commercial trucking (FAST).
All programs except TSA PreCheck are governed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection unit (CBP). As its name implies, TSA PreCheck is administered by the Transportation Security Administration.
The CBP Global Entry program first originated as INSPASS in the 1990’s. After the CBP merged with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), they created the Global Entry Program in its place.
Initially, the program was initially only offered at JFK and Newark airports, but has since been expanded to over 42 different U.S. locations. Almost 2 million people are currently enrolled, and Global Entry is estimated to have 50,000 new applications every month.
To eliminate waiting, member information is stored in a database. When Global Entry members enter the country through a participating airport, they scan their machine-readable passports and fingerprints at a kiosk, complete a customs declaration form, and proceed straight to the baggage claim area.
Which Countries Participate in the Program?
Besides the U.S., Global Entry has expanded to nine other countries that allow their low-risk citizens to enroll in the program:
|Global Entry Participants|
|South Korea||Canada (through the NEXUS Program)||Germany (reciprocal with their EasyPASS Program)|
Hot Tip: Even though you may have Global Entry status, this is not the same as obtaining a travel visa. Learn about the 4 Types of Travel Visas, and figure out whether you need one and how to get it before booking a trip!
What Are the Overall Benefits? How Much Time Can I Save?
As a Global Entry member, your major benefit is being pre-approved to enter the United States from a variety of entry points (see list below) without having to endure the normal lines, which can take hours.
In addition, no paperwork is necessary since the Global Entry customs form is electronic.
You also get joint access to other countries’ programs (NEXUS, SENTRI, and more), and you’re given eligibility to use TSA PreCheck, which allows you to skip normal airport security lines and save even more time while traveling.
To find out a little more about time saved, you can look at data provided by the U.S. CBP.
Data for Chicago O’Hare (ORD) from 2015 shows the average wait time was 14 minutes, with a maximum wait time of 199 minutes.
As a frequent traveler with Global Entry, your wait time can be less than one minute: the time it takes you to walk to the kiosk and scan through. Do keep in mind that after passing customs, you still have to wait for bags like everyone else.
If you don’t check a bag, though, you’ll be on your way!
Think of Global Entry as an insurance policy to ensure you never have to wait longer than the time it takes to get your bags! After an international trip, would you be willing to pay a small fee instead of waiting in line for over three hours?
If you also consider the value of your included enrollment in TSA PreCheck, the time savings more than makes up for the application fee!
How Does the Program Work?
To get started, you’ll first need to complete the Global Entry application process to be added to the traveler database.
Once approved, upon return from international trips, you’ll take your passport (must have embedded technology) or permanent residency card to the Global Entry kiosk at the airport. At the kiosk, you’ll need to swipe your passport and provide fingerprint verification.
After swiping, you will have to fill out an electronic customs declaration card. Once completed, you’ll receive a piece of paper telling you to either go to the baggage claim area or to see an agent at a booth.
If you’re a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, or Mexican National, you also get a Global Entry Card that allows you to enter at land and sea ports of entry, much like the Passport Card.
Note that this card cannot be used in place of your passport at Global Entry airport kiosks. In addition, there don’t appear to be specific Global Entry expedited lanes at any sea ports, unless they are equipped with NEXUS and SENTRI.
At these locations, this simply means you can use your Global Entry Card in lieu of your passport.
What Are the Requirements and Eligibility? Restrictions?
Global Entry requirements begin with your nationality. If you are a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or citizen of one of the other participating countries listed above, then you are eligible for the program if you meet further requirements.
Of course, providing false information on the application is grounds for ineligibility. To gain Global Entry access, you have to go through a very serious background check to make sure you are a low-risk traveler. Additional requirements include:
- Not being convicted of criminal offenses or have pending criminal charges or warrants
- Not being found in violation of any laws on agriculture relations, immigration, or customs
- Not being the subject of a current ongoing investigation
- Must be admissible to the U.S. under immigration regulation
- Must be able to prove your low-risk status to the CBP if they cannot immediately do so
Be aware that ineligibility involves things like DUIs, serious past arrests (but not ALL arrests), and other similar offenses. Anecdotally, you are “allowed” one misdemeanor before becoming ineligible.
There is no minimum age requirement for Global Entry access, but if you’re under 18 then you need consent of your parent or legal guardian. This person does not need to be a member of Global Entry in order to allow your participation.
However, if you want to use the program with your family, you will each need to have your own membership (even babies).
The last step is to complete an in-person interview at one of the Global Entry Enrollment Centers (a list is provided further in this article). This is a security interview to verify your low-risk status.
Global Entry Application: How To Apply & What You’ll Need
You will need to complete a questionnaire on the Global Entry website in order to sign up. Follow these four steps to apply:
- Create a Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) account (here)
- Complete the application in the GOES system and pay the fee
- Schedule your security interview (once conditionally approved) at one of the Global Entry Enrollment Centers (listed below)
- Bring your passport (or permanent resident card) and one other form of ID to the in-person interview, along with a printout of your GOES application conditional approval letter
You’ll need your current basic contact information to fill out the application, but you’ll also be asked for prior addresses for up to 10 years. This can be difficult if you’ve moved a lot and haven’t kept track.
Hot Tip: Create a document where you can save all your prior addresses every time you move. It’s easy to forget your past addresses, and these can later be important for many things, including Global Entry.
You’ll also need any prior names, your place of birth, passport number, employment history, and a list of foreign countries you’ve visited. The latter can also be difficult if you’ve traveled a lot and haven’t kept track.
Unlike the process for getting a passport, to apply for Global Entry you only need to have a couple pieces of identification (one of them a passport) and be able to fill out an online application.
However, there may be additional documents necessary on a case-by-case basis, including proof of current residency.
This requirement can be met with rent bills, utility bills, and other standard service documents that prove you live where you say you do.
A Quick Step-by-Step Walkthrough
For the international traveler who wants to see a step-by-step of the application, you are in luck! Here is how the process works:
Step 1: Navigate to the GOES Home Page
The Global Entry website will look like the page below, and you will need to click the blue “Register” button toward the bottom left that. This will log you into a Homeland Security system where you input your information.
From this screen, you may also log back on if you’re already a GOES user.
Follow all the screens to go through your application. You can expect this process to take 20 minutes if you have all the necessary information.
Step 2: Wait for your Conditional Approval Status
After you fill out your application, getting approved is basically a waiting game. There is no way to see what is going on in the background of your application, speed up the process, or contact anyone to ask for information.
Rest assured that your application is being processed!
Once you are conditionally approved, you will see this in your login area:
Here is what the conditional approval letter will look like:
Step 3: Schedule Your In-Person Interview
Now for the difficult part: you need to schedule your interview. In your online GOES account, you will see a button labeled “Schedule Interview” on the same line that your conditional approval is on.
First, choose your closest Trusted Traveler Enrollment Center from the available list (see examples below).
You must schedule an interview within 30 days of your conditional approval, or you risk having to reapply. However, once an interview is scheduled, you can modify it if necessary or try to find a better time.
Once your interview is scheduled, you will see the details on this interview screen. It will give you your scheduled interview time and the location of the Enrollment Center within the airport.
If you need to reschedule, make sure to do that through this screen! Don’t miss an interview, or you may have to reapply completely.
Use the tips below to speed up the Trusted Traveler program interview process a bit.
Step 4: Attend Your Interview and Complete Your Application
Finally, the last step is simply to show up for your scheduled interview. Remember that you’ll need the required information (passport, permanent resident card, other government ID, proof of residence) and your printed GOES Conditional Approval Letter.
Interviews usually last about 15 minutes, during which you’ll be asked some questions (see below) and shown how to use the CBP Global Entry program.
Once you’re finished, final approval can be instantaneous, or it can come very soon after the interview.
Your final step is to activate your card once you receive it, which should take about 1-2 weeks. Visit the GOES login area and look for “Activate my Card” to complete this step.
After that, just be sure to add your Known Traveler Number to all loyalty program profiles and every flight you take!
How Long Does the Global Entry Application Take? How Long Do You Get Access?
Filling out the actual application for Global Entry does not take long if you have previous addresses and other information handy. However, the long part of the process is waiting for approval and getting your security interview.
According to the GOES FAQ, application approval for this frequent traveler program can take up to 4-6 weeks.
Again, remember that you will not be able to communicate with anyone working on your application. All applications are sent directly through the GOES system, and you will not be notified by phone or email when your status changes.
Just be sure to check the system daily to see if you’ve been approved!
After conditional approval, the next step is getting an interview. Securing an interview time can take up to two months as well, and you may even have to schedule a follow-up interview.
Once you’ve scheduled your interview, you do not need to reconfirm. If you end up getting an alternate time, be sure to reschedule or notify the Enrollment Center officer that you have a different interview time scheduled.
The Global Entry Trusted Traveler program interview itself shouldn’t take long either, and is usually under 30 minutes depending on your individual situation.
How Much Does Global Entry Cost?
All applicants must pay a one-time fee of $100, even those under the age of 18. If you are rejected from the program for any reason, you will not get your $100 back.
To hedge your bets, make sure to get your fee reimbursed by a credit card or loyalty program (see below for more info).
Remember that along with Global Entry approval, you’ll also get access to the TSA PreCheck Trusted Traveler Program, which itself is valued at $85.
Global Entry Locations and Kiosks
There are 59 known airports with Global Entry kiosks. The following table lists all current Global Entry locations:
|Global Entry Locations|
|Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)*||Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS)||Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)|
|Anchorage – Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC)||Burlington International Airport (BTV)*||Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)|
|Aruba – Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA)*||Calgary International Airport (YYC)||Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)|
|Austin – Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)||Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT)||Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW)|
|Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)||Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)*||Denver International Airport (DEN)|
|George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston (IAH)||John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York (JFK)||Seattle-Tacoma International Airport-SeaTac (SEA)|
|Guam International Airport (GUM)||John Wayne Airport (SNA)*||Miami International Airport (MIA)|
|Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)||Lambert – St. Louis International Airport (STL)*||Milwaukee – General Mitchell International Airport (MKE)|
|Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)||Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)||Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP)|
|Honolulu International Airport (HNL)||McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas (LAS)||Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL)|
|Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)||Shannon Airport (SNN)*||San Francisco International Airport (SFO)|
|Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG)||Tampa International Airport (TPA)||San Jose International Airport (SJC)*|
|Vancouver International Airport (YVR)||Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)||San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU)|
|Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)||Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)||Oakland International Airport (OAK)*|
|Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)||Dublin Airport (DUB)*||Orlando International Airport (MCO)|
|Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)||Edmonton International Airport (YEG)||Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB)|
|Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)||Fairbanks International Airport (FAI)||Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)|
|Portland International Airport (PDX)||Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL)||San Antonio International Airport (SAT)|
|Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)*||Nassau – Sir Lynden Pindling International Airport, Bahamas (NAS)*||San Diego International Airport (SAN)*|
|Saipan International Airport (SPN)*||Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)|
* List of GE locations taken from CBP website
Which Airports Have Customs and Border Patrol Security Offices?
Before you apply, you should find out if there is a Global Entry interview location near you. You may also be interested in what other cities are available, in case you are planning a trip and want to complete your interview while away from home.
If you’re not sure where the actual office is located inside the airport, simply ask any security personnel to point you in the right direction.
The following airports have CBP security offices that conduct the interviews (listed by 3 digit code):
|Airports with Global Entry Enrollment Center Offices|
* Data taken from cbp.gov
Other Office Locations: Outside the Airport
You may be able to get an interview at a location outside of the airports above. Contact CBP for more info.
Tips For Speeding Up Scheduling Your Global Entry Interview
Many people report unreasonable wait times for Global Entry interviews. This is a popular program, and the CBP only have so many staff to help accommodate all the applications.
However, there are ways you can speed up the process as long as you are flexible. Unfortunately for CBP, many people don’t show up for their interviews due to travel or or other reasons.
These forfeited spots are prime times you can snatch up to get your interview! Be sure to check the GOES system often to see what interview slots open up, and be ready to run to the airport for your interview.
Here are some in-person interview tips for speeding up your time:
- Check the interview appoint page as frequently as every 30 minutes. Changes are always happening; the more effort you put in, the quicker you will get your appointment. Keep the page open and refresh it periodically.
- Try a walk-in appointment! No matter where you are, as long as you have your interview scheduled at any location, you can always try a walk-in appointment in case they had a cancellation. This doesn’t always work, but it’s worth a try!
- Schedule your interview for a city you are traveling to. This is a great way to take care of business while traveling.
- Note that interviews are only available during normal business hours! The CPB is a government organization, so you won’t find weekend appointments. Don’t try to do a walk in on a Saturday.
Global Entry Interview: What Should I Expect?
Typically, interviews will not last longer than about 15 minutes.
Remember to bring all your necessary documents: you will need your printed conditional approval letter, valid passport, evidence of your residence (rent bills, utility bills, or other similar information), and a second valid U.S. government-issued ID (most people use their driver’s license).
Make sure to arrive at least 15 minutes early. Interviewers may be running ahead of schedule, and you might get in and out more quickly. Alternatively, if you miss your time, you will probably have to reschedule completely.
According to most reports, the CBP officers are friendly and will ask you questions about your past and upcoming travels. They may ask you why you want the Global Entry membership.
Most people want Global Entry to make travel quicker and less stressful, and this is a completely acceptable answer for the interview question.
Just be up front and honest, since they will likely know everything about you, including any arrests or potentially risky behavior from your past. Be candid with them and discuss why you are no longer a risk.
If you were conditionally approved, there is really no reason to be nervous, since you are probably no longer a threat and will likely be approved. They have already done your background check, and would have completely denied your application if they really wanted to.
The last thing you will have to do at the interview is give your fingerprints, so don’t be shocked when they ask for this. Once your fingerprints are on file, you can use the kiosks to speed up your customs entry process.
You may be approved on the spot at the end of your interview, or it may take some time. In any case, you’ll get your card within a couple of weeks, and you should already have your Known Traveler Number from the GOES system from your conditional approval.
At the end of your interview, you get a training session on how to use the Global Entry kiosk! This includes showing you how to scan your machine-readable passport and fingerprints on both hands, as well as filling out the customs form.
Additional In-Person Interview Tips:
- Bring more information than you need. If they end up asking for more, it’s always better to have it than not. Just put everything in a manila envelope and give them what you need!
- Know your travel history, since they’ll ask to confirm past trips. If you don’t recall a trip off the top of your head, at least discuss that with the interviewer.
- They’ll make you watch a short video explaining the rules.
- They’re going to take your picture, so come looking your best if that matters to you.
- Once approved, your card will arrive in a couple weeks with a protective sleeve to help prevent electronic theft.
- Don’t forget to activate your membership card as the very last step!! Visit the GOES home page, click “Activate Membership Card” and follow the prompts.
How To Use Global Entry at the Airport
After you’re all set up, using the CBP Global Entry program is easy. Simply walk up to the kiosks at the airport when you arrive from your flight. Scan your fingerprints and your passport, answer the on-screen questions, and pose for your photo.
You won’t need your actual Global Entry card to get through the airport kiosks; just make sure to wait for your printout to finish the process.
These printouts are necessary at the next checkpoint in order to complete your entry, so don’t forget them! You will have to hand them to a CBP officer before exiting.
Remember that skipping the customs line doesn’t mean your bags will be waiting for you right away, but at least you’ll get a front-line spot! Bonus if you don’t have any checked bags.
Once you have collected your bags and are ready to exit, you’ll have to go through the last checkpoint where you’ll need your printout. Here, too, you’ll see priority lines for Global Entry members.
Hot Tip: If you ever get an “X” on your receipt printout, take it to the nearest Passport Control Officer to get approval before moving on.
Getting Your TSA PreCheck
One of the best benefits of the Global Entry program is the fact that you will get access to TSA known traveler program, called “PreCheck“, as well, which expedites your security line access.
The PreCheck benefit is approved on a trip-by-trip basis if you don’t have an actual PreCheck membership, and probably even if you do. Providing your Global Entry Known Traveler Number on your travel ticket will put you into their database to approve or disapprove PreCheck.
To get TSA PreCheck, you have to be flying on an airline that participates in the program. While there are many airlines included (they recently expanded to 30 in 2017), not all of them are:
|TSA PreCheck Airlines|
|Aeromexico||Emirates Airways||Southern Airways Express|
|Air Canada||Etihad Airways||Southwest Airlines|
|Alaska Airlines||Frontier Airlines||Spirit Airlines|
|Allegiant Air||Hawaiian Airlines||Sun Country Airlines|
|American Airlines||JetBlue Airways||Sunwing Airlines|
|Aruba Airlines||Key Lime Air||United Airlines|
|Boutique Airlines||Miami Air International||Virgin Atlantic|
|Delta Air Lines||Seaborne Airlines||Xtra Airways|
Hot Tip: You don’t need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids, belts or light jackets when going through TSA PreCheck! For more questions, check out the TSA FAQ.
Renewing Global Entry Membership
What happens after your 5 years is up? At this point, you’ll have to renew your membership. Global Entry renewal is not too difficult, and you can begin the process about six months before your membership expires.
First, log into the GOES system (operated by Homeland Security), find the “Manage Membership” page, and select to renew your Global Entry membership. When doing so, you’ll have to pay another $100 fee and update any information about yourself as applicable.
An updated security interview may or may not be required, and this will be determined upon your renewal. Check back in to your GOES account to see if there are any updates on what is required for your renewal.
What Cards Have Discounts or Credits Towards Global Entry?
Since we’re in the world of getting great travel benefits for little cost, what would this article be without a section on helping you get Global Entry cheaply?
All the following cards offer credits toward Global Entry, with the applicable credit listed next to each card. To receive the credit, you must pay your Global Entry fees with the applicable card.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express ($100 credit)
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN ($100 credit)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card ($100 credit)
- Mercedes-Benz Credit Card from American Express ($100 credit)
- Citi Prestige Card ($100 credit)
- AAdvantage Aviator Silver World Elite MasterCard ($100 credit – note this card is not available for new applications)
- Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard ($100 credit)
- Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card (up to $100 credit; $300 annual credit for travel)
- Centurion® Card from American Express ($100 credit)
If you have one of the above cards but don’t need the credit, you can always try to pay for someone else’s application! Share the love and make everyone’s travel easier.
You should also note that many of these cards will extend the credit for additional cardholders if you add them. While this may cost money in some cases, the $100 credit certainly helps offset that!
Sharing Your Global Entry Credit
Many people ask or wonder about sharing your Global Entry credit from one of the above cards if you already have purchased Global Entry. The answer is yes, you can always pay for someone else’s application, as the charge simply shows up as a generic charge and is not attached to your name.
You may want to consider whether or not you will want to use that credit in the future, however, since it is only good once every 5 years.
Another option is to add people as authorized users to your existing cards that offer it. For some cards, like The Platinum Card® from American Express or Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card, your authorized users also get access to the Global Entry credit. Just make sure it makes sense to do so, as you will likely be charged an extra fee.
The bonus will be that your authorized users will also get access to things like Priority Pass and some of the other card benefits!
Other Ways to Pay for Global Entry
Delta Elite Status members may also get a $100 Global Entry voucher if they choose it as part of their Choice Benefits when they reach Platinum or Diamond status.
United will pay for your Global Entry fee if you are a member of United Global Services, MileagePlus Premier 1k, or Premier Platinum.
If you live in a northern U.S. state, you can get Global Entry access by applying to the NEXUS program with Canada. The best part? This fee is only $50! However, your NEXUS fee may not be reimbursed by your credit card, and the only interview locations are in the north.
(NEXUS also allows you expedited access to and from Canada, whereas Global Entry only allows fast access back into the U.S.)
Global Entry Program Caveats
For those with any criminal background or marred history, it is likely not worth your time signing up. Even small glitches can disqualify you from participating in the program, which will cost you the nonrefundable $100 fee.
Trusted Traveler Program Comparison
Which is the best trusted traveler program? You’ll have to decide for yourself. Each has its own pluses and minuses and it will depend on what type of traveling you are doing.
Global Entry Versus NEXUS
NEXUS is the border protection program between the USA and Canada, and having Global Entry allows you some of the benefits of NEXUS members.
To use the shared benefits of NEXUS, remember your Global Entry card is only good for entry back into the U.S. You’ll need to have a separate NEXUS membership to be able to skip these entry points on the way out of the country as well.
If you do have a full NEXUS membership, however, you get quick access both in and out of Canada in addition to full benefits of Global Entry (including TSA PreCheck).
This is an excellent deal, especially considering it only costs $50 for five years. The main caveat here is that all NEXUS enrollment centers are located in certain northern U.S. cities.
Global Entry Versus SENTRI
SENTRI is the USA and Mexico border protection program. Similarly to NEXUS, to use the shared SENTRI benefits of border crossing back into the U.S. you must have your Global Entry card.
To gain access to the SENTRI lane into Mexico you have to have a full SENTRI membership. Visit a local SENTRI enrollment center to apply (located in Arizona, California, and Texas).
Global Entry Versus TSA PreCheck Program
TSA PreCheck is the U.S. Transportation and Security Administration’s priority security access lane at the airport. Having a TSA PreCheck membership allows you access, but you do not get Global Entry membership for having PreCheck.
TSA PreCheck program enrollment can be done here. Enrollment is similar to Global Entry: fill out the PreCheck application, go through the interview process, and soon you’ll be on your way!
24 Quick Tips for Global Entry Candidates
Here are some tips we’ve collected through our own experience with the Global Entry program and other research on the subject.
If you have any additional tips, please let us know!
Tip #1: Be nice and courteous to the CBP officers!
While they are government employees dealing with security and may appear intimidating, they are still people like us who appreciate common courtesy and respect.
Refer to them as “Officer” and treat them like you would any other official. Remember that they aren’t personally trying to make your life difficult and they didn’t personally make the interviews difficult to get!
Tip #2: While it can take many months to get an interview, staying on top of the process by proactively seeking an interview date can speed things up greatly.
Tip #3: Make sure your frequent flyer or loyalty program profile name matches your name in Global Entry, or you will not be approved for PreCheck!
Tip #4: Having trouble scheduling an interview? Try looking for times at another local airport (see the list above) or traveling to a place with an interview office!
Tip #5: Forgot to add your Known Traveler Number to your itinerary? You can always add it afterward by calling the carrier or adding it online. This also applies if you book through an agency that doesn’t accept KTN’s.
Tip #6: If you want to bring your kids or other people with you through the priority kiosk, each of them will have to have their own Global Entry membership.
In contrast, children 12 and under can go with you through TSA PreCheck even if they don’t have individual access.
Tip #7: In rare cases, the kiosks may not be able to read your fingerprints. If fingerprint verification fails, you can still get priority access through the normal line.
Tip #8: Don’t worry about filling out the customs form given to you on the flight if the airport has Global Entry; you will fill this out electronically at your kiosk.
Tip #9: Even with Global Entry, at times when you may be randomly selected for an interview and bag check. This is normal and just a process of trying to ensure security. Suck it up, cooperate, and you’ll be out quickly!
Tip #10: When you get a new passport (whether through renewal or otherwise), you will need to update your information. You can update it via GOES. This also includes your driver’s license and any other applicable personal details.
However, you will need to visit a CBP office to update your Global Entry profile if you have a name or status change on your passport. In this case, it will cost $25 to get a new card.
There is conflicting information about whether Global Entry expires when your passport expires (even from officers), but most people report that once they updated their profiles with the new passport they were fine.
Tip #11: Global Entry Cards count as a form of government-issued ID. Keep this in mind for cases where you may need multiple forms of ID!
Tip #12: You have to input your KTN on all your travel info in order to use the program! If you don’t, you won’t be in the system for that trip. If you forgot, you can always add it before your trip. This is especially important in order to ensure you can get TSA PreCheck!
Tip #13: Check with your airline to ensure you are opted in to the TSA PreCheck program with them before you fly.
Tip #14: You only need your physical Global Entry Card when traveling by land (car or train) or sea.
Tip #15: Unfortunately, the fee doesn’t appear to show up as a travel-related purchase if you’re using a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Tip #16: “Reimburse” can be misleading: you first must pay for the program yourself on your card, and then the card will issue a credit for the same amount once approved.
Tip #17: Don’t become complacent when answering the questions on the Global Entry kiosk! If you answer no to everything all the time, you may look suspicious. Don’t lie, because if you are caught you will be kicked out and subject to any other applicable penalties.
Tip #18: Maximize usage by planning your travels around the airports that have Global Entry kiosks!
Tip #19: Always check your ticket to see if you’re approved for TSA PreCheck. It is not guaranteed for every trip, and you will see your status there. This will save you from getting into the wrong security line, since they can’t and won’t let you through if you don’t have it for that particular trip.
Tip #20: Lost or stolen card? You can order a replacement online via the GOES system. You may be required to do another interview and pay $25 for a new card.
Tip #21: Application denied? You may be able to reapply; contact the nearest Trusted Traveler Enrollment Center or write a letter.
Tip #22: Here are some common other Global Entry questions.
Tip #23: The busy type? You can always have a third party do all the application and processing for you! You just need to show up for the interview.
Tip #24 [from reader BC]: Make sure your name on your passport matches the name on the Global Entry application exactly; problems have occurred with some people who don’t match. If you a first, middle, and last name on your passport, include those on your Global Entry application.
Final Thoughts on Getting Global Entry
Those who travel a lot and don’t mind doing a little work up front will find the Global Entry program a refreshing way to skip lines that may be irksome after long travel.
With multiple ways to get your credit paid for and a moderate fee at $100 for five years, you get a useful travel tool that doesn’t break the bank.
Adding in the value of TSA PreCheck along with the NEXUS and SENTRI Trusted Traveler Programs will make your travels just a bit more enjoyable!