When it comes to traveling, navigating a busy airport can be the most stressful part and because of this, ensuring that the process is as smooth and painless as possible is a common priority among all travelers alike, but especially for those who travel internationally on a fairly regular basis. It is a known fact that upon reentering the US from another country, processing lines can be long and paperwork can be tedious but being apart of the Global Entry Program can expedite the clearance process and have you quickly on your way to your final destination.

What is Global Entry and How can it Help?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched the Global Entry Program in an effort to grant low-risk, pre-approved travelers with expedited clearance upon entering the United States. Program members are able to check in at the Global Entry kiosks located at select airports using their machine-readable passports or U.S. resident cards. After scanning their fingerprints for verification and completing a customs declaration form, the kiosk provides the traveler with a transaction receipt and sends them on their way to baggage claim. Global Entry allows 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.

Eligibility and How to Apply

Travellers must be pre-approved for the Global Entry Program and all applicants will be subject to a rigorous background check and in person interview before being enrolled. Those low-risk travelers who are eligible to apply are U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, citizens of the UK, citizens of Germany, citizens of the Netherlands, citizens of Panama, citizens of South Korea, and Mexican nationals. Citizens and residents of Canada are also eligible for Global Entry benefits through the NEXUS program.

Those who are eligible and wish to apply are required to complete an application and submit a $100 non-refundable fee after creating a Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) account through CBP’s online portal. If conditionally approved, applicants are then instructed to schedule a mandatory interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. Definitive approval is dependent on the applicant’s in-person interview and background check and could take 2-3 weeks to process.

While the main point of the Global Entry Program is to expedite travelers through the clearance process, it is important to note however that members may still be selected for further examination upon entering the U.S. and any violations to the terms and conditions of the program will result in the termination of the individual’s membership status as well as any necessary legal action. Visit the CBP website for more information on how to apply.