Global Entry program US immigration
If you frequently travel in and out of the US, then you may want to get Global Entry to avoid lengthy immigration lines.

As a frequent traveler flying into the United States for business, the last thing you want to do after spending hours in an airplane is to step straight off into another massive line. According to the U.S Customs and Border Protection agency, wait times for non-U.S. citizens to enter the country at large airports such as Los Angeles International or John F. Kennedy Airport in New York often reach over an hour at peak times.

These queues are there for a reason, of course. The United States is very protective of its borders and carefully screens any prospective entrants – even if they are coming and going for a brief business trip. There is no doubt that these procedures are necessary, but that doesn’t make them less of a pain.

Luckily, the U.S. government recognizes that there are some passengers who don’t need to be screened quite so rigorously whenever they enter the country – especially if they are frequent flyers. The Global Entry program offers low-risk, pre-approved travelers the ability to skip the lines at some of the largest airports in the United States. This program is open to U.S. citizens as well as citizens from a range of partner countries.

What Exactly is the Global Entry Program?

The Global Entry program is a US Customs and Border Protection Agency program that acts as a shortcut for frequent travelers from the US and a range of partner countries who wish to skip long immigration lines. It means no more filling in piles of paperwork or waiting for hours on end. With Global Entry, you’ll have dedicated booths at airports that allow you to breeze straight through and be on your way. It also enables travelers to get expedited entry benefits to other countries outside of the U.S.

To apply for Global Entry, you will go through a simple procedure that involves a $100 processing fee, background checks, and a face-to-face interview. Once you are approved, you will have Global Entry for five years, and you will be able to renew it online.

If you are approved, the program will grant you a Trusted Traveler number and the ability to use automated Global Entry kiosks at major US airports, which allow you to skip immigration lines and move straight through to collect your baggage. All you’ll need to do is insert your passport or US permanent residency card, scan your fingertips, and then hand your printed transaction receipt to an officer.

However, at airports with no kiosks, the program doesn’t allow you to skip the line, and it also does not allow your travel companions to use the kiosks – regardless of familial status. Travelers on Global Entry will still occasionally be subject to random control checks at the border, which will direct you to the nearest CBP officer to conduct a quick interview.

Additionally, the Global Entry program does not replace the need for a visa or an ESTA, and applicants must ensure that they are traveling with the right documents if they wish to enter the country at any US border checkpoint.

Global Entry
Global Entry allows you to skip immigration lines by using designated kiosks that scan your passport and biometric data.

What are the Benefits of the Global Entry Program?

Obviously, the main benefit of the program is the ability to skip immigration lines in the US, but there are also a handful of fringe benefits to having Global Entry accreditation such as TSA PreCheck, the Global Entry card for land and sea crossings, and the ability to use Global Entry kiosks outside of the US.

TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck is a Homeland Security-run program that allows travelers to more easily pass through airport security lines by opening up exclusive lanes that allow you to go through without having to take off your shoes, belt, or jacket while leaving your laptop in its bag. An adult membership for TSA PreCheck also extends to children under the age of 12 – even if they do not qualify for a PreCheck membership of their own.

Although TSA PreCheck is technically a separate program and is run by a different government agency, the Trusted Traveler number you are issued with the Global Entry program can also be used for PreCheck. You will use this number when booking flights or using a frequent flyer profile for any one of ten different US airlines for both domestic and international flights from more than 100 US airports.

Global Entry Card

The Global Entry card is issued to U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Although these cards are not necessary for getting into the US at airports, they can be used to enter the country quickly at land and sea borders between the US and Mexico or the US and Canada.

To enter the US quickly by land, the government has set up two programs: SENTRI (from Mexico) and NEXUS (from Canada). Global Entry cards are micro-chipped in the same way as SENTRI or NEXUS cards and allow holders to use SENTRI and NEXUS lanes at these borders.

The card also acts as a TSA-approved form of ID in place of a passport or drivers license. This is useful when flying nationally or at any other point where you may need to show two pieces of identification.

Entry to Non-US Countries

As part of the Global Entry program, the US government also has reciprocal arrangements with other countries, including Australia, South Korea, and Germany. These agreements allow any U.S. passport holder to gain accelerated access to these countries at border points in certain airports. Some of these arrangements, like the German EasyPASS system, require prior registration and vetting by the country’s police. However, others like the Australian SmartGates initiative only require that adult U.S. travelers have a valid visa and hold an electronic passport.

Who is the Global Entry Program For?

The Global Entry program is designed for frequent travelers to and from the United States who pose a low risk to the country’s national security. Applications are welcome from:

  • US citizens and US lawful permanent residents;
  • Citizens of the United Kingdom;
  • Citizens of Germany;
  • Citizens of Switzerland;
  • Citizens of Singapore;
  • Citizens of South Korea;
  • Citizens of India;
  • Citizens of Argentina;
  • Citizens of Taiwan;
  • Citizens of Colombia;
  • Citizens of Taiwan; and
  • Citizens of Mexico.

Canadian citizens and residents are also eligible for all of the benefits of the Global Entry program if they register for the NEXUS program.

However, you should keep in mind that your Global Entry status only applies to you individually. If a family wants to use the Global Entry gates at an airport, every member present needs to have their own Global Entry approval. Technically, even babies and toddlers should be part of the Global Entry program as there is no upper or lower age limit for travelers who wish to be a part of it. However, citizens under the age of 18 must have their parents’ permission, and the application needs to be processed by an adult.

Since Global Entry only benefits you when entering the US from a foreign country and not flying from state to state, it may not be a program that particularly suits travelers who only fly internally. However, Global Entry does include TSA PreCheck benefits, which can be used when flying domestically as well as internationally. Since TSA PreCheck costs $85 on its own and Global Entry is $100, the additional $15 for Global Entry benefits may be worthwhile even if you only travel internationally on occasion.

Global Entry eligibility
If you are eligible for Global Entry through your country of residence or citizenship, then you may want to consider applying to make your travel in the US a bit easier.

When you apply, you should keep in mind that the $100 application fee will not be reimbursed if your application is denied for any reason. Therefore, if you suspect that you may fail the background check or interview due to a previous conviction or suspicious travel history, it may not be worth it to spend the money. However, since a few credit cards offer to waive the processing fee for Global Entry, you may still want to take the risk and see whether you pass.

How are Applicants Approved?

Depending on your country of residence and nationality, the process for approval requires the submission of an online form and the payment of a $100 processing fee on the Trusted Traveler website. After you submit this initial application, the U.S. government will perform a background check. Citizens of other countries will also have to be vetted by their own government before being conditionally approved.

This background check can take up to two weeks for US citizens, but it may take longer for citizens of other countries. Applicants will receive an email of conditional approval once their application has been processed, and they can then log back into the Trusted Traveler website to book an in-person interview at a processing center.  You will have six months from the date of your conditional approval to take the interview, so if you wait too long, your application will be discarded and you will have to restart the process.

Interview centers are all located in the United States, and most of them are at major airports. This interview normally takes around 10 to 15 minutes and will cover your criminal history and travel history to assess your risk level. If you pass the interview, your fingerprints and a photo will be taken and will be used to identify you when entering the country. You will be able to use the Global Entry kiosks as soon as you have passed your interview.

What Makes a Traveler Ineligible for the Program?

US Customs and Immigration may deny your Global Entry application for a number of reasons.

First, and most importantly, you must be a citizen of any of the countries mentioned above. The program also used to be open for citizens of the Netherlands, but it was recently discontinued while the US and Dutch governments renegotiate terms and conditions of movement between the two countries.

According to the US Customs and Border Protection website, you may also be judged ineligible to join the program if you:

  • Provide false or incomplete information on the application;
  • Have been convicted of any criminal offense or have pending criminal charges or outstanding warrants, including driving under the influence;
  • Have been found in violation of any customs, immigration, or agriculture regulations or laws in any country;
  • Are the subject of an ongoing investigation by any federal, state, or local law enforcement agency;
  • Are inadmissible to the United States under immigration regulations, including applicants with approved waivers of inadmissibility or parole documentation; or
  • Cannot demonstrate your low-risk status.

There have been cases of people being rejected after being convicted for a DUI, but you should not let this put you off. In cases where applicants declare their convictions, especially if they happened a long time ago and you have not been convicted since, CBP has occasionally disregarded criminal records.

If you think that you are ineligible for any reason, remember that the processing fee of $100 is non-refundable. It may be worth saving your money if you have a record or are the subject of a police investigation.

Scheduling an Interview

The Global Entry program is, unsurprisingly, very popular. More than 2 million people are part of the program, and approximately 50,000 applications are filed each month. This means that there is often a large backlog when it comes to registering for the interview stage of the process. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can get an interview quicker if you want to start using the program as soon as possible.

After receiving conditional approval, you will be able to log into your Trusted Traveler account and check for an appointment at any of the enrollment centers. Obviously, if you are a US citizen, it would be most convenient to get an interview at your local center, but the most popular centers can have weeks-long waits.

Instead of settling for a date far into the future, you should continue checking the system for cancellations. As most users of the Global Entry program are busy businesspersons, they often will have to cancel or reschedule appointments based on their schedules. If you keep checking, you might just get lucky with a slot opening up within the week.

Another way to get an interview is to search for open slots in locations you are traveling to or at airports you will travel through in the future. If they are in less popular areas, they could have shorter waiting lists on or around your travel dates.

If you live outside of the US, there is also a program called Enrollment on Arrival, which enables any traveler with conditional approval to complete their Global Entry application with an interview upon arrival in the United States without having to pre-book an appointment. At participating airports, you can simply follow the signage to the CBP officers who will then conduct your interview at the same time as your admissibility inspection. Apart from your passport, you will not need any special documentation. For a list of participating airports, visit the Enrollment on Arrival page on the CDP website.

If you are on a tight schedule and need to gain your Global Entry membership as quickly as possible, you can also go through travel agents who may have pre-booked slots. This option will cost more money than waiting for a slot to open online, but it is often quicker and easier than hoping a suitable time shows up when you are logged into your account.

Finally, a non-official way of getting an interview is just by walking into an assessment center and asking whether anyone can see you. This is not guaranteed to work, but it may be worth a try. Of course, you may be turned away if the center is busy, but since people tend to book appointments around their flights, delays or cancellations may open up slots. Be polite, ask nicely, and although you might have to wait for a few minutes, you may be fortunate.

List of Enrollment Centers:

  • Albuquerque International Sunport Airport (ABQ)
  • Anchorage Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC)
  • Atlanta Port Office (Customs House)
  • Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL)  Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal
  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
  • Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) Thurgood Marshall Airport International E Pier Arrivals
  • Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS) Terminal E – Arrivals
  • Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) Terminal 5
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW) Terminal D
  • Denver International Airport (DEN)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) North Terminal
  • Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
  • Houston City Hall Visitor Center
  • Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) Terminal E
  • Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) Terminal 3
  • Long Beach Seaport
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Tom Bradley International Terminal
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport (MKE)
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) Terminal 2
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) Terminal B International Arrivals Area
  • New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Terminal Four, Main Lobby next to baggage reclaim
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB)
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) Terminal A West
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX)
  • Portland International Airport (PDX)
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
  • San Antonio International Airport (SAT)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO) International Arrivals Level
  • San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport-SeaTac (SEA)
  • Tampa International Airport (TPA)
  • Washington, DC Enrollment Center
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD) Main Terminal Ground Floor International Arrivals

For a full and up-to-date list of enrollment centers, check the CBP website here.

Global Entry airports
At many international airports in the US and around the world, you will be able to take advantage of your Global Entry Benefits.

Where can you use the Global Entry kiosks?

Global Entry kiosks are available at more than 50 US airports as well as some international airports:

  • Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)
  • Anchorage – Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC)
  • Aruba – Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA)
  • Austin – Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
  • Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
  • Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Burlington International Airport (BTV)
  • Calgary International Airport (YYC)
  • Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT)
  • Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Denver International Airport (DEN)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Dublin Airport (DUB)
  • Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
  • Fairbanks International Airport (FAI)
  • Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston (IAH)
  • Guam International Airport (GUM)
  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York (JFK)
  • John Wayne Airport (SNA)
  • Lambert – St. Louis International Airport (STL)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Milwaukee – General Mitchell International Airport (MKE)
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
  • Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
  • Nassau – Sir Lynden Pindling International Airport, Bahamas (NAS)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK)
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB)
  • Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
  • Portland International Airport (PDX)
  • Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
  • Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
  • Saipan International Airport (SPN)
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
  • San Antonio International Airport (SAT)
  • San Diego International Airport (SAN)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • San Jose International Airport (SJC)
  • San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport-SeaTac (SEA)
  • Shannon Airport (SNN)
  • Tampa International Airport (TPA)
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
  • Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG)

It is worth noting that some international airports do not have kiosks, and the Global Entry program does not permit travelers to skip the lines at these borders. However, if the kiosks at any of the above airports are not working or if travelers are flagged by the kiosks and sent to see a CBP agent, you will be permitted line-jumping privileges.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Global Entry

Below is an easy to follow step-by-step guide for each nationality interested in gaining access to the Global Entry program.

What will you need to apply online?

Before applying online, make sure that you have gathered all of the information you will need to fill out the application form accurately. Depending on your nationality and citizenship status, you will need:

  • Proof of citizenship;
  • Passport;
  • Proof that you are allowed to enter the United States;
  • Permanent Resident Card (if you are a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States);
  • Valid driver’s license;
  • Proof of address;
  • An email address;
  • Address history for the past five years;
  • Employment history for the past five years;
  • Travel history for the past five years;
  • Court documents (if you have ever been convicted of any crime other than a traffic violation);
  • Vehicle information (if you plan on driving across the border from Mexico into the United States);
  • Phone number; and
  • Documentation to prove any other citizenships.

US citizens

US citizens need to follow an easy three-step process to gain access to the program:

  1. Register online at the Trusted Traveler website. This will include logging in through the login.gov website and creating a profile. You will then fill out the application form on the Trusted Traveler website using the information above, pay the $100 processing fee, and wait for approval.
  2. Once conditional approval is granted, which should take no more than two weeks, you must log back into the Trusted Traveler website and book an interview appointment.
  3. Go to the interview, hope you pass, and give your fingerprints and a photo. You should now be cleared to travel and skip the lines using Global Entry kiosks.

UK Citizens

UK citizens who don’t have a Green Card must first register on the Home Office website and receive a UK background check before registering though the Trusted Traveler website.

  1. Go to the Global Entry page of the Home Office website, and register for a background check. This will cost £42 and will take up to two weeks to be processed.
  2. Once processed, you will receive an access code via email. Use this code to register online at the Trusted Traveler website. This will include logging in through the login.gov website and the creation of a profile. Fill out the application form on the Trusted Traveler website using the information above, pay the $100 processing fee, and wait for approval.
  3. Once conditional approval is granted, which should take no more than two weeks, log back into the Trusted Traveler website and book an interview appointment at wherever best suits you.
  4. Go to the interview, and should you pass, you will give your fingerprints and a photo. You should now be cleared for Global Entry.

German citizens

German citizens have to pre-register with the German Federal police through the EasyPASS system before applying online. Any attempt to apply using the Trusted Traveler website before registering with the police will not be valid, but the application fee will still apply.

  1. Register with the German Federal police through EasyPASS centers at Frankfurt Airport, Berlin Tegel Airport, Hamburg Airport, or Munich Airport. Ensure that you inform them your registration is for the Global Entry program.
  2. Once you have successfully registered with the police, you can register online at https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/. This will allow you to create a profile and begin your application. Fill out the application form on the Trusted Traveler website using the information above, pay the $100 processing fee, and wait for approval.
  3. Once conditional approval is granted, log back into the Trusted Traveler website and book an interview appointment.
  4. If you pass your interview, you must give your fingerprints and a photo to complete your registration process.

The German Federal Police refuse to interview anyone under the age of 12 for security clearance. Because of this, no German citizen under the age of 12 can get Global Entry status.

The Global Entry program lasts for five years for all members before having to renew online. However, for German members, the entire five-year membership is subject to passing a second interview with the German Federal Police after two years of membership. The CBP will inform the traveler via email once it is time to get clearance, but if you are not cleared within the allotted time, your membership will be canceled.

Swiss citizens

Swiss citizens, like German citizens, first have to be cleared by the Federal Police before registering on the Trusted Traveler website.

  1. Register with the Swiss Federal police, informing them that your registration is for the Global Entry program. This will cost CHF 100.
  2. Once you have registered with the police and been cleared, you can register online at https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/. Fill out the application form on the Trusted Traveler website, pay the $100 processing fee, and wait for approval.
  3. Once conditional approval is granted, which should take no more than two weeks, log back into the Trusted Traveler website and book an interview appointment at wherever best suits you. See above for more details on how to gain an interview.
  4. Go to the interview, hope you pass, and give your fingerprints and a photo. You should now be cleared to travel and skip the lines using the Global Entry kiosks.

Indian citizens

Indian citizens should first register through the Trusted Traveler website and then apply for a background check in their own country. They will need to fill in an online form and go to an in-person interview in India before they can schedule a conditional approval interview in the United States.

  1. Register online at the Trusted Traveler website. Fill out the application form, pay the $100 processing fee, and wait for approval.
  2. Once you have registered on the TTP website, register and pay ₹500 on the Passport Seva Portal for a background check in India. In addition to this, all Indian applicants must schedule an in-person interview at either the Passport Seva Kendra or the Passport Seva Laghu Kendra office, depending on their residential jurisdiction in India.
  3. Once conditional approval is granted and the in-person interview in India has been passed, log back into the Trusted Traveler website and book an interview appointment.
  4. Go to the interview and give your fingerprints and a photo. You should now be cleared to use Global Entry kiosks.

Korean citizens

Citizens of the Republic of Korea must first apply through the SES (Smart Entry Service), which is the Korean program allowing low-risk travelers to enter into Korea quickly at border checkpoints using e-gates. Once registered for SES, Korean citizens can then apply on the Trusted Traveler website for Global Entry.

  1. Complete an online application for the Smart Entry Service and register biometric information.
  2. Once registered for the SES, register online at the Trusted Traveler website: https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/. This will include logging in through the login.gov website, and the creation of a profile. Fill out the application form on the Trusted Traveler website using the information above, pay the $100 processing fee, and wait for approval.
  3. Once conditional approval is granted, which should take no more than two weeks, log back into the Trusted Traveler website and book an interview appointment at wherever best suits you.
  4. Go to the interview, hope you pass, and give your fingerprints and a photo. You should now be cleared to travel and use the Global Entry kiosks.

Taiwanese citizens

Citizens of Taiwan must first receive a Police Criminal Record Certificate from the Taiwanese police before registering on the Trusted Traveler website.

  1. Register with the Taiwanese police and receive security clearance for the Taiwanese Global Traveler program.
  2. Once cleared, register online at https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/. This will include logging in through the login.gov website and creating a profile. You will then fill out the application form on the Trusted Traveler website using the information above, pay the $100 processing fee, and wait for approval.
  3. Once conditional approval is granted, log back into the Trusted Traveler website and book an interview appointment at wherever best suits you. See above for more details on how to gain an interview.
  4. Go to the interview, hope you pass, and give your fingerprints and a photo. You will then be cleared for the Global Entry program.
Canada NEXUS Program
If you’re a Canadian citizen, then you may obtain Global Entry through the NEXUS program.

Canadian citizens

Canadians do not have to register on the Trusted Traveler website to gain access to the Global Entry benefits. These benefits are instead granted as part of the Canadian program, NEXUS.

Other eligible nationalities

Other nationalities have no need to register with the national police or receive a separate security clearance before registering with the Trusted Traveler website, so their process is the same as the process for US citizens.

Children

Children of any age can be registered for the Global Entry program, apart from German citizens under the age of 12. However, a parent or guardian is required to give permission when they complete the application and accompany any child under the age of 18 to the interview.

Could you get Global Entry for free?

The main problem with Global Entry is the $100 non-reimbursable application fee, which you have to pay whether you get approved or not. However, this does not have to be such a sticking point. There are many credit cards that have started to offer reimbursements for your application fee as part of their rewards package.

According to The Points Guy, the best cards that offer reimbursements of your Global Entry processing fee are the Platinum Card from American Express, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, both the Prestige card and the Executive Elite World Mastercard from Citi, the US Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express Card, and the Ritz Carlton Rewards Credit Card.

These cards have yearly fees anywhere from $85 to $550, and they also offer a range of benefits on top of the Global Entry fee waiver. For example, although the Platinum Card from American Express may be the most expensive card on the list, the other authorized users of the card can also have their fees waived. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card also offers the reimbursement every four years, ensuring that you will never have to pay for renewal.

Of course, these cards are only available to residents of the United States. Unfortunately, the UK version of the Platinum Card doesn’t offer the same benefits, and neither could we find any other card that offered reimbursements to international users who don’t reside in the US.

Alternatives to Global Entry

If you’re not completely sure whether the Global Entry program is right for you, don’t worry. There are other alternative schemes that offer similar benefits, such as NEXUS, the E-Passport App, and TSA Pre-Check. Here is a short rundown on a few of the best alternatives so that you can start comparing.

E-Passport App

The E-Passport App is a scheme created by CBP for eligible travelers in order to expedite border controls. Travelers simply upload their passport details onto the app, answer some questions about their trip (in the 24 hours before you land), and then a completely unique QR code is generated upon landing. Users of the app have separate lines within the U.S. border, and they are allowed to simply skip ahead to talk to a CBP officer and have their passport and QR code scanned. It is just as quick as the Global Entry program, and at present, there are fewer members of the E-Passport scheme – which means much shorter lines at airports even compared to the Global Entry kiosks.

Unlike the Global Entry scheme, there is no pre-approval required, and the app is completely free to use. However, it is only available for holders of US or Canadian passports. This means that few international travelers can take advantage of the scheme, making Global Entry the easiest way for them to skip the lines.

The E-Passport app is also a much newer scheme, and at present, only 25 airports and one seaport have the capability to handle the E-Passport App, making Global Entry an easier option for people traveling to many airports throughout the country. The E-Passport app also doesn’t remove the necessity of talking to a CBP agent, and some travelers have remarked that the process isn’t as quick as using a Global Entry kiosk.

NEXUS

NEXUS is a program to allow low-risk travelers expedited processing at land, sea, and air border points between the US and Canada. Instead of Global Entry, both Canadian and American passport holders can sign up to the NEXUS program, which works in a very similar fashion but also allows members to skip lines at some Canadian airports as well as at land and sea border crossings.

The application process is similar to Global Entry, requiring the submission of an application form on the GBP website and the payment of an application fee followed by an in-person interview. The conditions for the program are the same as those for Global Entry with both the CBP and the Canadian Border Patrol carrying a background check.

The main advantage of NEXUS is that it is more economical than the Global Entry program, costing only $50 per adult application with children under the age of 18 processed for free. You also get all of the advantages of Global Entry as well as access to TSA Pre-Check.

The downside is that there are much fewer NEXUS enrollment centers across the US than there are Global Entry centers, which can make it hard to get to a center for an interview. Most of the NEXUS centers are located in northern areas of the US or across Canada, which means that unless you are traveling to Canada or the Northern US often for work, you may have to make a separate trip for the interview. The other disadvantage is that this scheme is only open to Canadian and American passport holders as well as to members of the equivalent Mexican program, Viajero Confiable.

TSA PreCheck

As mentioned above, the TSA PreCheck is a program run not by the CBP, but by Homeland Security. It is designed to speed up the security process when entering an airport at the start of your journey. Although it is included with the Global Entry scheme, some travelers who only travel internally may decide that they do not need all of the benefits of Global Entry.

TSA PreCheck applications are processed in a similar manner to those for Global Entry, necessitating an online application, an application fee, and an in-person interview. The plus side to TSA PreCheck is that, at $85, it is slightly cheaper than Global Entry. The extra $15 does seem to go a lot further for the wider-reaching program, however.

Should I get global entry
Frequent travelers to and from the US may want to consider getting Global Entry,

Is Global Entry Worth it?

In conclusion, it’s hard to find fault with the Global Entry program aside from its price and the possibility of a long wait for an interview at the end of the process. These things are easily worked around, though, especially if you are an American citizen who can get reimbursement through a credit card.

For international travelers who are in and out of the United States often, you can’t really put a price on the satisfaction of breezing through the lines out of the stuffy airport as soon as possible. For non-U.S. residents especially, the queues for immigration can get incredibly long at peak times, and for short business trips, you want to be making the most of your time instead of waiting around. This is where Global Entry really pays off – in the time and effort it saves its members.

Jovana Andjelkovic

Jovana is an Operations Assistant at Nomad Capitalist. Each day, she researches operational issues for our clients, from obtaining travel visas to relocating pets. In her blogs, she shares results from her most interesting research projects.
Jovana Andjelkovic
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