Can You Use TSA PreCheck With Global Entry Conditional Approval?

by SharonKurheg

Over the years, the Department of Homeland Security has introduced a couple of programs to make waiting in queues at U.S. airports a little less painful. No real need to go into their details because if you’re reading this piece, I’ll assume you’re already familiar with both. But suffice to say that Global Entry and TSA PreCheck have been, if not lifesavers, at least time savers for millions of weary travelers.

Getting TSA PreCheck is a relatively simple process:

  • Fill out the application online and pay the $78 application fee (I still can’t believe the price actually WENT DOWN!)
  • Schedule your appointment for in-person enrollment
  • Do said enrollment (it’s mainly just fingerprinting for a background check)
  • Get your Known Traveler Number (KTN)

And BOOM, you have TSA PreCheck! According to the TSA, most applicants receive their KTN in 3-5 days after their fingerprinting (TSA admits some applications can take up to 60 days but that appears to be the exception, not the rule).

Global Entry is a more complicated process:

  • Create a Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) account online
  • Log in to your TTP account, complete the application and pay $100
  • Wait for your application to be conditionally approved
  • Once conditionally approved, set up an interview
  • Find out if you’ve been approved or not

Global Entry takes more time (much, much more time) to complete because it can be difficult to find an interview appointment time (although there are all sorts of ways to expedite that). They are MAJORLY backlogged. They were backlogged before the pandemic, and now, between so many more people applying, and fewer people working at DHS, it’s just that much worse since.

Remember though, that one of the perks of Global Entry status is that you also get TSA PreCheck status for free. It makes sense – they’re already doing the heavy-duty vetting for Global Entry, which is just as applicable for TSA PreCheck. So instead of having to pay $100 for Global Entry and $78 for PreCheck, you got both for $100. Good deal.

And that leads to the big question:

If you already have conditional approval for Global Entry, is that “good enough” to be able to go on the PreCheck queue?

You would think so, since TSA PreCheck doesn’t require an interview. Unfortunately, the answer is a solid NO.

Remember, in order to go on the TSA PreCheck queue, you have to have a KTN. You have to give the airlines your KTN at some point before you fly, in order for “PreCheck” to be marked on your boarding pass (that number is your golden ticket to the PreCheck line). And unfortunately, you won’t get a KTN via Global Entry until the whole process – including your interview – is complete.

So I have to just sit and WAIT?

Not necessarily.

As we mentioned earlier, there are ways to expedite getting an interview.

And if you’re that interested in getting TSA PreCheck in the interim of waiting for your Global Entry application/interview to be completed, you can always apply for PreChek separately. But it’ll still cost you that extra $78.

I know…the whole situation stinks. But it is what it is. Good luck!

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B.Zilla April 16, 2023 - 8:45 pm

Hi there! Went through the Global Entry process last summer and it went pretty quickly. Like <1 month. They offered to do the interview with Zoom. Took about 5 minutes and I was immediately in the system. The actual card took about another month to arrive. I was flying to the USA from Germany and when I got to JFK, I went to the Global line and after the passport didn’t scan, they looked me up and saw I was legit. They didn’t believe that I was actually interviewed over Zoom, so I showed them the email.

I guess my point is that if you agree to a Zoom meeting, it happens quicker, though that have been because I was in Germany. Who knows for sure. But it’s a new thing since pandemic.

SharonKurheg April 16, 2023 - 8:50 pm

THAT is cool. I’ve heard they were looking at online interviews, but didn’t know if they were actually doing them yet. Going to look into it right now. Thanks!

SharonKurheg April 16, 2023 - 8:55 pm

Update: Looks like Zoom interviews for renewals is a “thing,” but not so much for new applications. Don’t know how/why you got so lucky (maybe it WAS because you were in Germany?), but… 😉

askmrlee April 16, 2023 - 11:00 pm

Was this a renewal or new application of Global Entry?

Private June 1, 2023 - 10:15 am

I was given a KTN with the conditionally-approved notice so what do you make of that?

SharonKurheg June 1, 2023 - 10:32 am

No idea. Luck?


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