Comprehensive Guide to Global Entry – Part 1
Global Entry is a program of the United States Customer & Border Patrol which gives pre-cleared passengers expedited entry into the United States. This guide to Global Entry will give you all of the information you need to know about the program along with walking you through the application process and describing what to expect at the interview.
What Is Global Entry
Global Entry is a program run by U.S. Customs & Border Patrol which allows for certain low risk travelers to be pre-approved for expedited entry into the United States. Applicants undergo a “rigorous” background check and an in-person interview in order to be accepted into the program.
Global Entry costs $100 per person and is good for 5 years from the date of acceptance into the program. Enrolling in Global Entry also gives you access to TSA Precheck when flying domestically. The American Express Platinum card reimburses each cardmember up to $100 each five years to cover this fee.
The program is open to U.S. citizens & permanent residents, Dutch citizens, South Korean citizens & Mexican Nationals. Additionally, there are a number of things that can cause an applicant to be deemed ineligible. According to the Customs & Border Protection website those items are:
Applicants may not qualify for participation in the Global Entry program if they:
- Provide false or incomplete information on the application;
- Have been convicted of any criminal offense or have pending criminal charges or outstanding warrants;
- Have been found in violation of any customs, immigration or agriculture regulations or laws in any country;
- Are subjects of an ongoing investigation by any federal, state or local law enforcement agency;
- Are inadmissible to the United States under immigration regulation, including applicants with approved waivers of inadmissibility or parole documentation;
- Cannot satisfy CBP of their low-risk status (e.g. CBP has intelligence that indicates that the applicant is not low risk; CBP cannot determine an applicant’s criminal, residence or employment history.
One of the most common complaints about Global Entry is that people just don’t see the benefit to them. The process of getting accepted includes paying money, being subjected to an interview and providing fingerprints all in the name of saving time. The truth is that it may not be worth it if you don’t fly or leave the country often. For those who travel a lot, $20 a year seems like a great deal to save time.
When deciding if Global Entry is worth it, remember to consider that it also comes with TSA Precheck. Currently the cost of only enrolling in Precheck is $85. For $15 more, you are saving a lot of time when coming into the country. Additionally, it makes on the ground plans easier, since it is easier to predict how long immigration will take.
The main benefits of the program are:
- Expedited entry into the country. (Save 30 minutes or more depending on the airport and time of day.)
- TSA Precheck when flying domestically.
That is it. Sure their website mentions no paperwork (the kiosk prints out your customs form) and expedited entry into other countries (Australia is the only free one at the current time), but those two things just don’t provide much value.
Click through below for the next two parts to this guide to Global Entry which go in depth in to the application process and what to expect at the interview.