It used to be that flying internationally usually meant waiting in long customs lines–some of which could take hours to clear. But now, you can breeze through check points within a matter of minutes if you have Global Entry.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Global Entry advantages that can get you through passport control more quickly when returning to the U.S.
What is Global Entry?
Global Entry is a trusted traveler program that lets U.S. citizens or residents expedite their reentry into the country. The perks of Global Entry can also be used at participating airports in Canada, Abu Dhabi, Aruba, and the Bahamas.
Global Entry vs TSA PreCheck
It’s easy to get TSA precheck confused with Global Entry, since they are both designed to eliminate the hassle of long lines while traveling. But they are not the same. Here is a breakdown of the differences between Global Entry and TSA PreCheck:
- TSA PreCheck will help you fast-track through security lines when you’re departing from domestic airports.
- Global Entry will help you fast-track through customs when you're reentering the U.S. on an international flight.
- Both TSA PreCheck and Global Entry memberships must be renewed every five years.
- For TSA PreCheck, it costs $85 to apply. For Global Entry, it costs $100 to apply.
- You automatically get TSA PreCheck when you are approved for Global Entry.
- You do not automatically get Global Entry when you are approved for TSA PreCheck.
How Do You Apply For Global Entry?
To be eligible for Global Entry, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You also can’t have any criminal convictions or prior customs violations on your record.
Once you’re sure you are eligible, you will create a Trusted Traveler Program account online. Through this account, you can fill out the online application, submit payment, and schedule your interview at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection office near you.
Here’s what to bring to a Global Entry interview:
- A valid passport
- A driver’s license or ID card
Benefits of Global Entry
With Global Entry, you can skip long lines at customs and instead, visit a kiosk where you will scan your passport and fingerprint and input your customs declaration. Some kiosks even use facial recognition technology – no travel documents required. Of course, if you are traveling internationally, you need to bring your passport and always keep it protected from loss and identity theft by storing it in a passport cover or security neck/waist pouch with built-in RFID protection that keeps all of your travel essentials conveniently at hand.