If you’re an active international traveler, then you should know about Global Entry, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. In addition to easy entry into the U.S., participants also automatically qualify for TSA PreCheck, which helps to ensure speedy security checks at domestic airports as well.
At participating airports, program participants can skip long lines and proceed directly to dedicated Global Entry kiosks. At the kiosk, they present their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingertips on the scanner for verification, and make a customs declaration. The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction receipt, directs them to baggage claim and away they go!
Most international airports in the U.S. participate in the program, as well as a few foreign airports such as Abu Dhabi International Airport, Saipan International Airport and Toronto Pearson Airport.
Even though the program was created for frequent international travelers, there is no minimum number of trips necessary to qualify, although there is a non-refundable fee of $100 (and certain credit cards include covering the cost as a benefit). You will need to get pre-approved for the program, which includes a rigorous background check and in-person interview. The popularity of the program means this process can potentially take from three to six months.
Global Entry is open to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and citizens of Colombia, United Kingdom, Germany, Panama, Singapore, South Korea and Switzerland as well as Mexican nationals. Canadian citizens and residents may enjoy Global Entry benefits through membership in the NEXUS program.
To learn more and apply, visit www.GlobalEntry.gov.