If you have traveled internationally lately, you might have noticed that some people seem to slip through a short line while you wait in long lanes with the rest of your fellow travelers. That’s because they have Global Entry! If you are curious about Global Entry, here are 10 things you should know if you want to slip into the fast lane next time you travel.
What is Global Entry?
Global Entry is a program provided by US Customs and Border Protection. It allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited clearance upon arrival into the United States so that they can avoid the long lines associated with customs. It is currently available in over 42 airports in the USA
Who can get Global Entry?
US citizens, permanent residents of the USA, Dutch citizens, South Korean citizens, German citizens, Peruvian Citizens and Mexican nationals are eligible to participate in the Global Entry Program. Additionally, Canadian citizens and US citizens who are members of the NEXUS program receive Global Entry benefits.
What disqualifies you from getting Global Entry?
It is possible for any type of criminal conviction to disqualify a traveler from the Global Entry program. Less than 5% of applications are denied, and if you are denied, you can appeal your case. Only 1% of people who have Global Entry have had it revoked, so once you have it, you will be in good shape if you are a law-abiding citizen.
How do I start the application process?
Applying is somewhat easy, just a little time-consuming. To start, fill out an online application and pay the $100 non-refundable application fee. The application will take a good half hour to 45 minutes to complete, and it asks a ton of detailed questions. Once the government reviews your application, you will receive a message in your GOES account instructing you to schedule an interview at one of the Global Entry Enrollment Centers. Typically these interviews are at major airports and other government buildings.
How long will it take to get an interview appointment?
Due to the popularity of the Global Entry Program, in some cities it could take MONTHS to get an appointment. If you don’t want to wait, there are a few tricks we have for you!
- Check online regularly to see if there is a cancellation.
- Stop by an office to see if they happen to have time for an an interview, if they are slow, they may take you right then!
- When you travel to other airports, stop in the office at those airports, they may have space and time to accommodate an interview.
How much does it cost?
The $100 fee per applicant must be paid at the time of your online Global Entry application. The application fee is paid by credit card, and is not refundable if your application is denied. Global entry is valid for 5 years, so you are essentially paying $20/year.
There are several ways to have the $100 fee reimbursed. Recently, TPG wrote about credit cards that offer GOES application fee reimbursements, check here to see if you can be reimbursed!
How do I renew my Global Entry membership?
You can renew your Global Entry membership and request a replacement card by logging into your GOES account and selecting Manage Membership. Next select Request for Global Entry Card. A $25 fee is charged for the replacement card. By requesting the replacement card, the original card will be deactivated and no longer functional.
I received a new passport do I need to apply again for a new Global Entry?
Global Entry members may update their passport through their GOES account. This applies only to passports that do not include a name change. If you don’t remember your login, you can create a new account at this website. If you have a name change or other vital status change on your passport, you will need to visit a Global Entry enrollment center to update your information in person. You can typically do this without an appointment. It costs $25 and you will get a new card. Many of our travelers just take care of this at the airport before or after a trip when they are already at the airport anyway. If your passport expires, your membership remains active, simply renew your passport, and then update your passport number in your GOES account.
Still have questions? Be sure to check out this great resource that answers even more questions about the Global Entry program.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.