Want to breeze through security and immigration lines? Listen up.
Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. It’s open to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, Dutch citizens, South Korean citizens and Mexican nationals. Canadian citizens and residents can get Global Entry through membership in the NEXUS program.
Four steps to joining Global Entry:
- Apply Online ($100 non-refundable fee for five years.)
- Schedule an Interview
- Interview Determines Your Eligibility
- Provide Identification
Currently, there’s 38 enrollment centers from Boston to Honolulu. Most are in major U.S. airports including San Juan but New York, Houston and Washington DC have downtown offices.
If you have the American Express Platinum card pay your application fee with it because AMEX will refund the $100 on your next statement.
Another huge perk of Global Entry is that you automatically get approved for TSA Pre✓ which allows for expedited screening to pre-approved airlines so travelers can leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on in select screening lanes in the U.S.. Gotta love that! Just be sure to input your Trusted Traveler number (on the back of your Global Entry card) and log into your frequent flyer accounts and enter that information into your profile under “Known Traveler ID.”
Imagine not having to wait in a long line or fill out any handwritten forms after your flight to the United States. Just walk up to one of the kiosks, confirm your identity (photo and fingerprints for Global Entry and scanning your eyes for Nexus) and answer the standard immigration questions and go!
Remember, to apply, all you need to do is fill out a 15-minute online questionnaire, accept a background check and go for a 30-minute interview. It’s good at 35 US airports, eight in Canada and two in Ireland.
If you travel to Canada often, then apply for NEXUS first since it’s only $50 for five years and it will automatically get you enrolled in Global Entry. Plus children under 18 get it for free. I give it two HUGE thumbs up!
Note: If you don’t travel internationally and just want TSA Pre✓ the Transportation Security Administration began inviting everyone just yesterday to apply for the expedited security PreCheck program for $85. Previously, you had to be an eligible frequent traveler or be enrolled in one of CBP’s Global Entry, SENTRI or NEXUS Trusted Traveler programs.
Do you have Global Entry or any other of the CBP Trusted Traveler Programs? If so, please tell everyone how incredible it is!