Global Entry is a program offered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to help international travelers re-enter the USA more efficiently.
From U.S. Customs & Border Protection: “…At airports, program members proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingerprints on the scanner for fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration. The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction receipt and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit.”
However, even that information is outdated since newer Global Entry kiosks can identify you just by taking a picture of your face.
The application fee for Global Entry is $100 for a 5-year membership. Once approved, you can use your Known Traveler Number to access the TSA Precheck lanes.
I’ve said that if you have any international travel planned, it’s a better deal to pay the extra $20 for Global Entry over getting TSA Precheck. Of course, that was before the COVID pandemic when CBP Global Entry enrollment centers were closed for months, causing a backlog of people waiting for an interview. An in-person interview is a requirement for all new applicants and can be required even when renewing your membership in the program.
Wait times for interviews stretched for months with no open appointments. This meant that while you had conditional approval, you were still stuck in limbo (without your TSA Precheck number, no less).
Fortunately, Global Entry allows you to start the renewal process one year before your expiration date. I had no intention of letting our membership lapse and possibly losing access to TSA Precheck. It was months until Sharon’s renewal date but we started the renewal process. FWIW, there’s no harm in renewing early as the additional five years are added to the date when your membership expires.
When we started filling out Sharon’s application, one question stood out from the others. Global Entry asked if the applicant had international travel planned in the near future. When I clicked yes, the website advised that it would be better to use the Enrollment on Arrival option instead of trying to reserve an interview time.
But we weren’t there yet; we still had to complete the application.
Global Entry renewals are straightforward. First you need to confirm and update your citizenship status. address, drivers license, passport, and work history, if necessary.
Then comes the difficult part. Listing all the countries you’ve visited in the past five years. Here’s where I’m happy that I use TripIt to keep track of our travel plans. It keeps me from having to think “When did we visit Ireland for lunch?”
After reviewing all the information several times to make sure there were no mistakes or omissions, I paid with a card that reimburses Global Entry application fees.
Then we waited.
The renewal was sent on Tuesday evening. We received the approval email on Thursday evening.
Even better was the news that there was no interview required. Another five years of Global Entry acquired.
So while the process is unnecessarily difficult if you need to schedule an interview, it can be amazingly easy for a boring renewal request. Your Mileage May Vary.
Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary, or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.
Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary