How to Apply for Global Entry?

Global Entry is a fast and easy way for travelers to bypass passport control lines and paper customs declarations. The program is open to all U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and citizens of a few other countries.

If you’re tired of waiting in long airport security lines to reenter the United States, consider applying for Global Entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection runs this expedited clearance program, and it is available for citizens of select countries. However, getting Global Entry can be frustrating, especially since it’s been made more difficult due to COVID-19. We’ve put together a complete step-by-step guide on everything you need to know about applying for Global Entry for the first timeā€”from filling out the application to aceing the in-person interview.

It’s best to check the website regularly for updates. That’s also where you’ll find information on how to make an appointment. If you’re having trouble, try using a third-party service that can notify you when an interview becomes available in your area. That could save you time and hassle. It’s also worth looking into whether or not your credit card covers the Global Entry fee. Some cards, such as the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, do. Others, such as the CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Privilege credit card, offer a statement credit for the cost of Global Entry membership every four years.

Global Entry Application Process

To get started, you’ll need to create an account with Trusted Traveler Programs and pay the non-refundable $100 application fee. Once your application is processed, you’ll be notified that you are conditionally approved, and you’ll have to schedule an interview at one of the Global Entry enrollment centers. Depending on your country of citizenship and the availability of appointments, this can take months or even a year.

Once approved, you’ll receive a Global Entry membership card by mail, typically within 7 to 10 business days of your interview approval. You can then use your Global Entry member number to bypass the regular airport security line and enter the Global Entry lane when flying into a participating airport. Global Entry costs only $22 more than TSA PreCheck, and it’s well worth the investment for anyone who frequently travels internationally.

How Long Does it Take to Get Approved for Global Entry
How to Apply for Global Entry? 1

How Long Does it Take to Get Approved for Global Entry?

Getting approved for Global Entry involves a process that can take four to six months. Applicants must be pre-approved by CBP and pass a rigorous background check before completing the interview with an officer at an Enrollment Center or through Enrollment on Arrival at select airports. The program is available to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and nationals of 18 foreign partner countries who can apply for membership through the Trusted Traveler Program website.

Once a traveler is conditionally approved, they can log in to their Trusted Traveler Programs account and schedule an interview at an enrollment center. These are located in the United States, Canada, and at some border crossings in Mexico and Alaska. Interview slots fill up quickly and are limited during peak season, so travelers should try to schedule their interviews well in advance.

How to Speed Up Global Entry Application Process?

Fortunately, there are ways to speed up the process. Several high-end travel credit cards offer Global Entry as a benefit, allowing cardholders to use the card as payment for their application and receive the remainder of the fee in the form of a statement credit. Moreover, it is possible to reschedule an interview as many times as necessary, and there are third-party services that will alert you when an open slot becomes available. The process is well worth the hassle of avoiding long lines reentering the United States and getting access to TSA PreCheck, free for Global Entry members.


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