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Global Entry: Trusted Traveler Protection

by Lux Joseph 11. August 2013

If you are a frequent traveler you are probably well aware of some of the long lines you stand in at customs, immigrations, and TSA. Even as the US Government provides additional funding, waiting in line is not going to disappear on its own. These long lines can affect a traveler by missing a connection, late for a meeting, or simply extra aggravation after traveling 16 hours from Asia. One of the government programs that have been in existence since 2008 is the Global Entry Program and it is something that we encourage you to look into if you travel frequently to alleviate some of this stress.

Try not to get the Global Entry Program confused with the TSA PreCheck program. Transport Security Administration piggybacked on the Global Entry Program. The Global Entry Program was piloted in 2008 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport. Today there are Global Entry kiosks at over 40 airports. Enrolling in this program is only $100, but if you are an American Express Platinum cardholder AMEX will reimburse you. By enrolling in this program you will complete an application which goes through a rigorous background check and screening followed by an interview to determine if you are a low-risk traveler. It may take several months to get an appointment, but once you do you are solid for five years.

Once you have completed your interview and you have received your Global Entry card, you are set for international travel. No more struggling to find that pen at the bottom of your backpack or having to ask another traveler for one to simply complete the customs forms upon arrival into the USA. With this program, you no longer have to complete any of those forms. You will bypass the regular customs line and proceed right to the kiosk where your fingerprints will be scanned to compare with biometric data, a digital photo will be taken, and you answer a few declaration questions on the screen.  Once that is completed you will be issued a receipt to present to the CBP officer and you can proceed to your final destination.

If you accepted into the program, you are automatically qualified for the program I mentioned earlier, TSA PreCheck. Many of you may be familiar with this or already enrolled by your frequent traveler programs like Delta Skymiles, American Advantage, and United MileagePlus. This program enables you to go through TSA screening without having to remove your belt, shoes, laptop, or even taking out your liquids. As a traveler, it is important to keep up to date with these types of programs to ensure stress free travel. 

At the end of the month I will go to the Miami International Airport for my interview. Below is the timeline of the typical process:

  • July 3, 2013- Applied online for the program and paid the $100 application fee.
  • July 27, 2013- Application was accepted and interview date selection was available. The soonest date available was August 23, 2013.

As the process continues, I will keep you informed so you know what to expect when you go for your interview.

To enroll in the Global Entry Program visit the following website: http://www.globalentry.gov


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