Ultimate Guide to Global Entry: How to Apply and More

Ultimate Guide to Global Entry: How to Apply and More

Global Entry is one of the U.S. government's two Trusted Traveler Programs and invaluable for anyone who travels internationally regularly and dreams of speeding through airport security and immigration. If you're interested in how to apply for global entry, here’s everything you need to know.

What is Global Entry?

Global Entry offers pre-approved travelers expedited clearance through immigration upon entry to the United States. Global Entry members can use automated immigration kiosks at select airports or SENTRI and NEXUS lanes. In addition, Global Entry comes with TSA Precheck, which lets you move through airport security lines faster.

Global Entry vs. Mobile Passport vs. TSA Precheck

Global Entry sometimes gets mixed up with TSA precheck and Mobile Passport in people’s minds. The three services are similar enough to cause some confusion, so here is how Mobile Passport and TSA Precheck differ from Global Entry:

  • TSA Precheck gives you expedited security screening for domestic and international flights leaving U.S. airports. Global Entry includes TSA Precheck and provides expedited entry into the U.S.
  • Mobile Passport Control allows you to submit passport and customs declaration information through a secure mobile device app. The Mobile Passport Control app is free and does not require pre-approval.

How to Apply for Global Entry

Global Entry has a nonrefundable $100 application fee for a five-year membership. Before you apply, check whether your credit card has a service option that covers the application fee—many do.

Here’s how to apply for Global Entry:

  • Create aTrusted Traveler Programs account.
  • Log into your account and fill in the Global Entry application.
  • Pay the $100 non-refundable fee.
  • Customs and Border Protection reviews your application.
  • Once conditionally approved, CPB will contact you through your TTP account to schedule an interview.

How to Apply for Global Entry for a Minor

Children under 18 can apply for Global Entry with their parent’s or guardian’s permission. The parent or guardian does not have to be a Global Entry member for the child to submit an application. Like adults, children will have to create their own TTP account with their own email address, pay the nonrefundable fee, and schedule an interview when CBP conditionally approves their Global Entry Application. The child’s parent or guardian must accompany the child to the interview. Children of all ages must have Global Entry membership to use the service—this includes infants.

The Global Entry Interview

Expect to have to wait some time for your Global Entry interview. Some people land an interview in two weeks, while others have to wait months. It all depends on availability and the CBP’s current workload.

The interview itself is usually short, taking about 15 minutes to complete. You’ll be asked about your recent travels, expected to provide some personal details, and explain why you want to be part of the Global Entry program. Once the interviewer is satisfied with your answers, they’ll take your picture, scan your fingerprints, and send you an email confirmation that your application was approved.

What to Bring to a Global Entry Interview

Bring your passport, driver’s license or state ID, and confirmation of your conditional approval to the interview. If you’re a lawful permanent resident, bring your resident card. If your driver’s license address does not match your current home address, bring a second piece of photo ID and a recent utility bill bearing your name to confirm your current address.

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