It took me a long time to sign up for Global Entry. I was afraid that the process would be extremely time consuming, and I didn’t want to go all the way to JFK. Until, I learned that you don’t have to!
The Global Entry approval process did take a while, but it wasn’t nearly as time consuming as I thought it would be and the final appointment is extremely brief. I just spent a lot of time waiting to get approved and waiting for an appointment. For the New Yorkers out there, there is a TSA approval center down in the financial district, so you do NOT have to trek out to the airport! Now that I have Global Entry, I don’t know why I waited so long! It’s worth the wait as it saves a ton of time both going through security when you arrive at the airport and going through immigration when returning to the United States.
The benefits of Global Entry include no immigration paperwork and shorter lines at most major US airports. Select other countries also give expedited entry to Global Entry members. A huge bonus of Global Entry is TSA Pre-Check is included! This means that you will receive expedited security on all your flights including domestic flights! There is zero reason to sign up for TSA Pre-Check instead of Global Entry.
Most U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents and citizens of select countries are eligible for Global Entry membership. You may not be eligible for participation in the Global Entry program if you have been convicted of a criminal offense, have pending criminal charges or have been found in violation of any customs or immigration laws. (There are a few other reasons that you might not be eligible which can be found here: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry/eligibility)
How to apply:
1. Head to https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/ and create an account.
2. Complete your application on the Trusted Traveler Program website. The application fee is $100 and is non-refundable. Make sure have all your past residences and employer information handy. You’ll need to report this information for the past few years. Check with your credit card companies before paying the fee, many credit cards offer rebates on Global Entry enrollment.
3. You’ll have to wait for awhile to get approved. The average is 15 days.
If your application is conditionally approved, then your account will instruct you to schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. Here is the list of centers: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry/enrollment-centers
It may be a couple of months before you get an appointment, so be patient!
4. You will need to bring your passport and one other form of identification, such as a driver’s license or ID card to the interview as well as your letter of conditional approval. If you are a lawful permanent resident, you must present your machine readable permanent resident card. The final appointment is relatively painless and quick.
If you need a vacation as rationalization for your Global Entry application, contact me here!