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The Global Entry Program

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Comprehensive Guide to Traveling with Global Entry

As a frequent traveler, you may have heard of Global Entry, a program offered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to provide expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. With Global Entry, you can bypass the long lines at customs and immigration, saving time and reducing stress. What exactly is Global Entry, and how can you use it? This post will take you through everything you need to know to travel with Global Entry.

What is Global Entry?

Global Entry is a program designed to make the customs and immigration process faster and more efficient for frequent travelers. With Global Entry, pre-approved, low-risk travelers can use a kiosk to complete their customs and immigration formalities upon arrival in the United States.

How to apply for Global Entry

To apply for Global Entry, you must complete an online application and pay a non-refundable fee of $100. The application process requires you to provide personal information, including your name, address, and employment details, and answer questions about your travel history and criminal record. Once you've submitted your application, you will be invited to attend an in-person interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. Your fingerprints will be taken, and your photo will be captured.

Making an Appointment

Finding an appointment for an interview can be challenging, as many locations often show no availability for the next year. How do you get around this lack of availability? You can either try a walk-in appointment when you fly back on an international flight, pay several hundred dollars to fly to a location that has availability, or you can use a service that gives you alerts when there are openings in your nearest Global Entry interview location. One such alerting service is TTPAppointments.com, which lets you search for last-minute or newly available interview appointments. You can receive email alerts for free. If you want text message alerts, the one-time fee is $24 for 30 days of text alerts. 

Once approved, you'll receive a Global Entry ID card that you can use at kiosks when entering the U.S.

How to use Global Entry

Using Global Entry is simple. Upon arrival at a U.S. airport, locate the Global Entry kiosks near the regular customs and immigration lines. Scan your passport or U.S. permanent resident card and follow the prompts on the screen. You'll be asked to provide some basic information, such as your travel itinerary and the purpose of your visit. You'll also need to scan your fingerprints and take a photo. Once you've completed the process, you'll receive a receipt that you'll need to present to the customs officer along with your Global Entry ID card.

Tips for traveling with Global Entry

Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when traveling with Global Entry:

  • Bring your Global Entry ID card with you when you travel, as it can be useful as a backup if there's a problem with the kiosk.
  • Ensure your passport is valid and up-to-date since Global Entry is linked to your passport. You'll need to update your Global Entry profile if your passport expires.
  • Even with Global Entry, always declare any restricted or dutiable items you bring into the U.S.
  • Keep your contact information up-to-date. If you move or change your phone number, update your Global Entry profile, so you can be reached if there are any issues with your account.


U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, and citizens of certain other countries are eligible for Global Entry. You can find a list of participating countries on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.
The time it takes to process a Global Entry application varies depending on the applicant's background and the demand for interviews at enrollment centers. Generally, the process takes a few months from start to finish.
Global Entry membership is valid for five years. You will need to renew your membership before it expires to continue using the program's benefits.
No, only Global Entry members can use the program's kiosks. Non-members in your group will need to go through the regular customs and immigration lines.
Global Entry is focused on expedited customs and immigration clearance for international travelers entering the United States, while TSA PreCheck provides expedited security screening at U.S. airports for domestic flights. Global Entry members automatically receive TSA PreCheck benefits.
While it's not strictly required to use the Global Entry kiosks, carrying your card can be helpful as a backup if there are issues with the kiosk. You will also need your Global Entry card to access TSA PreCheck lanes.
If your passport is lost or stolen, report it to the appropriate authorities and obtain a new one. You will need to update your Global Entry account with the new passport information. If your Global Entry card is lost or stolen, you can request a replacement through your account on the Trusted Traveler Programs website.
Not all U.S. airports have Global Entry kiosks. Before you travel, check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for a list of participating airports.

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