CBP’s Global Entry program is a great option for those who travel internationally on a frequent basis and want to expedite their clearance process when entering the U.S. The Global Entry program allows low risk, pre-approved travelers to skip the long processing lines, avoid lengthy paperwork, and reduce the amount of time spent waiting for clearance, while also providing them with automatic eligibility for TSA Pre-Check as an added benefit. Global Entry can be a great option for qualifying travelers but there are however, several things to be aware of when applying for the program:
- Getting an appointment for an in-person interview can be a very lengthy process. Because of the great benefits that the program has to offer, it has grown increasingly more popular among international travelers and as a result, appointments are often booked for months in advance. It is recommended that you pay close attention to CBP’s website however, as cancellations are fairly common but generally when applying for the program, you will want to be prepared for the possibility of a long waiting period.
- Should your passport need to be renewed after you’ve been approved for the Global Entry program, you will need to revisit an airport CBP office. It is essential that your passport information matches your Global Entry number so if your passport information changes, it is required that CBP’s system is updated as well. In this case, it is recommended that you give them a call because it is likely that a formal appointment will not be required.
- Regardless of age, children must be apart of the Global Entry program as well as their parents, in order to bypass customs. All passport holders of all ages must have Global Entry in order to bypass the standard line and procedure when entering the country, no exceptions. It is also important to note that when applying for the program, all children will need separate appointments for their in person interviews.
- Children do not however, have to be apart of the Global Entry Program in order to go through TSA Pre Check with their parents. As a Global Entry member, you are automatically eligible for TSA Pre Check, which can grant you expedited security screening at U.S. airports depending on which airline you are flying with. Because TSA Pre Check is an independent program and different rules apply, adults who qualify for it, can actually go through security with children under 12 years old, regardless of the child’s eligibility status.
- The $100 fee that you pay when applying is completely nonrefundable. It is important to note that this fee is actually an application fee, not a membership fee, so even if your application is denied, the CBP will still keep your $100 as payment for processing.
While the process of applying for the Global Entry program may seem lengthy and time consuming, there’s no need to get discouraged because it is likely that it will be well worth the average amount of time spent waiting in clearance lines at airports and filling out paperwork for customs, especially for frequent travelers. Still have questions about the program? Feel free to read more about CBP’s Global Entry Program and how to apply.