Global Entry: What is it and do you need it?

Global Entry, also known as Global Entry, allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival to the United States. Global Entry provides an application process through U.S Customs and Border Protection that includes an in-person interview and background check, biometric data (e.g., digital photo and fingerprints) submission, and payment of a $100 non-refundable fee ($85 if you are a U.S. citizen). Some Frequently Asked Questions include: What is Global Entry? Do I need it? How do I get it? Etc…

Explain Global Entry

Global Entry allows approved travelers expedited clearance at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) kiosks located in more than 150 airports, making their return to travel seamless, says Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security.

It is an application that not only allows you to bypass standard immigration lines when entering or re-entering the United States; but also gives a chance for the members to bring along three guests into any airport in America regardless if there’s an entry or exit point.

 The cost of joining Global Entry is $100 per person, with applications being processed within four to five weeks. If approved, your membership card will be mailed directly to your home address within seven business days after submitting your application online. There are no further costs associated with using this Entry.

The program also comes with TSA PreCheck and access to CBP’s Known Traveler programs such as NEXUS and SENTRI which provide low-cost or free crossing privileges between Canada, Mexico, and other countries in Central America respectively.

Things to Consider

Global entry is a US Customs program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk international travelers. Its pass will allow you to skip long lines at customs and save a lot of time in the airport upon arrival back in America.

The application process requires an interview with a customs officer as well as a review of your background by Homeland Security officials. There are no costs or fees to apply or be approved for Global entry, but there are also some things you should consider before jumping on board.

 In most cases, it is worth it if you travel internationally two or more times per year. If not, then you may want to look into other options such as TSA Precheck instead.

The Application Process

We all know that flying within our country can be a major hassle, with lines winding around entire concourses at our major airports. But there are ways to avoid long airport lines, as well as speeding through security checkpoints abroad.

 The application allows qualified applicants to enter into expedited screening programs at domestic airports, giving travelers significantly less wait time while ensuring they aren’t being under-screened. Also, the application isn’t an overnight process, though – even if your application gets approved, it will still take six to eight weeks before you can use your benefits.

 Why so long? It has to do with background checks and other screenings required by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). However, once you’re in, you should have no problem reaping some serious rewards from using Global Entry. Here’s what you need to know about applying, including who qualifies and how much it costs.

Where can I use my passport after applying for Global Entry?

After submitting your application, you’ll receive a permanent passport card within about 5 weeks. That means that for travel into Canada, Mexico, or an international airport kiosk anywhere else in the world, your Entry will speed up security without requiring your passport to be stamped.

 This keepsake card can be kept in your wallet, checked into a bag (in lieu of your hard-copy passport), or used for any type of domestic travel until its expiration date. Then, if all goes well with Global Entry, head to have your hard-copy passport renewed. It should arrive before it expires—but no later than 6 months after.

The whole process should take less than half an hour from start to finish at most major airports, but don’t forget to bring valid ID and proof of citizenship as required by law! If traveling internationally outside of North America, check out our guide on how to use your passport. Note that some countries may not accept your passport as identification for entry purposes. Be sure to research entry requirements prior to departure.

Is there anyone who shouldn’t get this service?

Not everyone should sign up for Global Entry. You can get TSA Precheck for free, but if you’re traveling a lot, it may be worth looking into. Here’s what Global Entry does: allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and The Bahamas at select airports.

 As long as your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your departure date and has machine readable information on its biographic page as well as a digital photograph taken within 2 weeks of application submission on file with CBP, then there’s a pretty good chance that you will qualify to use Global Entry when going through Customs.

 If you are not a citizen of one of these countries or don’t meet all requirements, then it doesn’t matter how often you travel internationally; you won’t be eligible for Global Entry. In fact, even U.S citizens who live abroad or frequently travel outside of North America might want to consider other alternatives before applying for Global Entry – they might not see enough value in having access to expedited processing at customs checkpoints when returning home.

How long does the application process take?

You can expect a Global Entry interview appointment within 60 days of applying. It takes about an hour to complete, including an in-person interview. Once that’s done, your information will be sent to CBP who will make a decision within 15 minutes.

 If all goes well, you’ll be approved for five years—it will take less time if your application doesn’t require further investigation or adjudication by CBP. If denied, after two weeks, you can re-apply as long as there has been no change in your circumstances since your last application.

What are its benefits?

It offers expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and The Caribbean at select U.S. airports. In addition to expedited processing upon arrival into the U.S., members may also use automated kiosks for domestic travel at more than 40 major U.S. airports – saving even more time! Members also enjoy access to TSA Pre✓® lanes when flying on participating airlines.

What are the benefits of being a citizen/resident of the US or Canada with Global Entry?

Many frequent flyers swear by their membership in TSA Preâś“TM or Global Entry. They say that, for those who fly frequently, these programs are a must. However, not everyone is convinced that membership in one of these programs is worth its hefty price tag.

If you’re not sure whether to go with TSA Pre✓TM or Global Entry, here are some things to consider before making your decision. How much does it cost?: In order to enroll in either program, you have to pay an application fee as well as an annual fee.

While there are many factors that contribute to how much each program costs (such as age), generally speaking, both TSA Pre✓TM and Global Entry cost $100 per year—not including any additional fees you may have to pay depending on your circumstances.


So now that you know a little more about Global Entry, will it be worth applying for? Some travelers are concerned with whether or not they’ll use Global Entry enough to make it worth their while. If you don’t travel internationally at least once a year (or more), then it probably isn’t worth your time, but even if you only fly outside of North America once every two years, there may still be value in obtaining a Global Entry membership.

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