Thinking of signing up for Global Entry but not sure where to begin? Already a member but need to renew your membership?
This complete guide will help you understand everything about the program, how it works, the benefits it provides, and where to apply or renew?
Are you thinking of taking your first trip abroad?
The last thing you want to see when you wake up bleary-eyed from a long-haul international flight and then wait in a long line at the customs and border protection checkpoint of the United States Government.
Global Entry can help shorten the time it takes to re-enter the United States after being abroad.
This article also assists you in deciding between PreCheck and Global Entry.
What’s the difference between Global Entry and TSA PreCheck? Is TSA PreCheck included in Global Entry?
Let’s compare Global Entry and TSA PreCheck to help you decide which Trusted Traveler Program is best for you.
What is the Global Entry Trusted Traveler Program?
Global Entry is one of the Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) offered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
It permits pre-approved travelers from the US and abroad to enter the United States more quickly when they arrive at the US Port of Entry.
U.S citizens, lawful permanent residents of the United States, and some foreign nationals are eligible to apply for membership. If potential members qualify then they are allocated a membership number and accepted into membership.
Your membership number in the program is valid for 5 (five) years, members can enter the United States through automated kiosks situated at various airports.
Global Entry applicants must pass a thorough background check and an in-person interview. Participants must submit their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent residence card at the global entry kiosk, scan their fingerprints for verification, and complete a customs declaration once they have been approved.
TSA PreCheck ®, a Transportation Security Administration initiative, offers low-risk travelers to receive expedited entry during security screening at U.S. airport checkpoints for domestic travel within the United States.
Members of the CBP’s Trusted Traveler programs are eligible for this program.
How can I apply for Global Entry trusted traveler programs?
New applicants who are signing up have to follow 2 steps process:
Submitting an online application:
The official websites of the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provide a step-by-step summary of the application process. After submission, check the application status.
After your application status has been conditionally approved, you will be scheduled for an in-person interview at the authorized enrollment center.
To the interview, you must bring your valid citizenship passport booklet plus one other form of identification, such as a valid driver’s license proof or ID card.
You must produce your machine-readable permanent resident card at the machine-readable zone if you are a lawful permanent resident.
You will have to pay $100 as your membership fee.
Citizens of which countries are eligible Global Entry program?
Applications must be submitted through the website of CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP). The application price for a five-year Global Entry membership is $100 and must be submitted online.
Once the application is approved, a CBP officer will conduct a scheduled interview with the applicant before determining final eligibility.
All Global Entry participants must have a valid passport and visa. Members of Global Entry who are not US citizens or lawful permanent residents must keep their visa information up to date with CBP.
If your parents visit you in the United States frequently, the program can help them enter the U.S more quickly.
What are the advantages of being Global Entry members?
As a member, you can go directly to the Global Entry kiosk when you arrive in the United States. You scan your fingerprints and passport and fill out a computerized customs declaration.
After a CBP officer of the United States Government or eGate using facial comparison, and technologies reviews your declaration form and passport, you can proceed to baggage claim or exit without waiting in line.
And, while customs and border protection wait times can vary greatly depending on your arrival airport, arrival time, and other factors, the Global Entry card eliminates the uncertainty of how long you’ll have to wait and replaces it with the assurance that you’ll be through the checkpoint in minutes.
When returning to the United States from overseas, Global Entry kiosks are available at more than 75 airports. This includes both domestic and international airports in the United States.
Membership in Global Entry also includes TSA PreCheck®, a trusted traveler program managed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that allows you to bypass airport security.
When approved as a low-risk passenger, you have access to expedited processing at the security line where you do not need to remove or separately scan your laptop, liquids, shoes, or jackets.
Where is the Global Entry program available?
Over 75 airports in 13 countries have Global Entry Kiosks. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)’s secure websites provide a comprehensive list of airports with Global Entry Kiosks if you want to know if your nearest airport expedited processing to travelers with a Global Entry membership.
Is it possible to renew my Global Entry membership on the official websites of CBC?
In a nutshell, yes.
Renewal applications, like initial applications, can be performed online. Renewal interviews may or may not be required, so keep a watch out for any additional processes or government information after you’ve completed your renewal application. Your online Trusted Traveler Program account contains all your sensitive information about your membership.
Global Entry members can renew their membership one year before the program expires. If you renew your membership before it expires, you will be able to enjoy your Global Entry benefits for up to 24 months after your membership expiration date.
What exactly is TSA Pre-check?
TSA PreCheck – Trusted traveler programs that allow you to bypass airport security lines. The Transportation Security Administration of the United States Government Department of Homeland Security administered the program. When you are approved as a low-risk passenger, you have access to an expedited clearance in the security line where you do not need to remove or separately scan your laptop, liquids, shoes, or outerwear.
A five-year membership costs $85 for the first year and is open to all U.S citizens and individuals who have a permanent resident card. A five-minute online application is followed by a ten-minute in-person interview at an enrollment center (such as your local airport), which includes a background check and fingerprints.
More than 200 domestic airports, as well as 80 international and domestic airlines, participate in the program (check hereto see if yours does). (Note: To use the PreCheck lane, you must fly on a participating airline and through the participating airport.) Once approved, you just enter your Known Traveler Number (KTN) when booking a flight.
Please keep in mind that you are not guaranteed TSA PreCheck for every flight. If you have TSA PreCheck and your boarding pass isn’t labeled as such, mention it at the airline check-in counter to see if it may be added to your travel documents. In the future, make sure your KTN (Known Traveler Number) is mentioned and in the relevant field in all of your frequent flyer accounts. This will facilitate the booking and expedite passage through security lines.
Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are part of the Trusted Traveler programs and are valid for the next five years from the registration date.
Advantages of TSA PreCheck
The shortest airport security line is the most important benefit of TSA PreCheck for most travelers. TSA PreCheck has a lot to offer, whether you want to clear airport security faster or simply leave your shoes on and your baggage packed during the screening process. If you travel frequently, it’s worth your time to apply for TSA PreCheck and become a Trusted Traveler.
Does Global Entry automatically include TSA PreCheck?
Yes, TSA PreCheck membership is automatically included with Global Entry membership, so passengers with Global Entry cards can enjoy a speedier screening process whether traveling domestically or returning to the United States after a vacation abroad.
Global Entry, like TSA PreCheck, is a federally administered Trusted Traveler Program (TTP). Global Entry, unlike PreCheck(which is for domestic travel), is intended to help passengers expedite the customs process when returning to the United States after traveling internationally.
Difference between Global Entry and TSA PreCheck
TSA PreCheck is the best option if you travel frequently within the United States. Once you’ve signed up for TSA PreCheck, you’ll be able to use your Trusted Traveler application status to bypass security lines at nearly all domestic US airports.
If you frequently travel outside of the United States, you should think about getting Global Entry. You will not only receive all of the benefits of TSA PreCheck, but you will also have access to an expedited customs process when you return to the United States after flying internationally.
If you are unsure whether TSA PreCheck or Global Entry is the better option for you, the Department of Homeland Security’s Trusted Traveler Program official websites can assist you in determining your best option.
The Global Entry application process can also be more time-consuming than the TSA PreCheck program application which is something to consider when deciding between PreCheck and Global Entry.
The Department of Homeland Security warns that processing global entry applications can take up to 90 days and urges travelers who do not anticipate an international trip within the next six months to apply for TSA PreCheck instead.
Global Entry now has over 10 million participants, and CBP estimates that it is processing more applications than ever before, more than 3.5 million applications each year.
Do you automatically get TSA PreCheck with Global Entry?
Global Entry is usually better for frequent travelers because it provides additional perks when returning to the United States. Even if you pay the application fee yourself, the additional benefits of Global Entry cost only $15, or $3 each year.
Furthermore, you do not have to be a U.S citizen to obtain Global Entry. Membership is open to U.S citizens or lawful permanent residents and Mexican nationals, citizens of India, Argentina, Colombia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Panama, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, and Taiwan.
What are the Benefits of Having Global Entry and TSA PreCheck?
The Global Entry program incorporates TSA PreCheck.
Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck, but TSA PreCheck does not include Global Entry, therefore anyone considering Global Entry vs. TSA PreCheck should just apply for Global Entry. That way, you get the benefits of both Global Entry and TSA PreCheck.
If you already have TSA PreCheck and wish to switch to Global Entry, you must go through the entire process, including the $100 application fee.
Before applying for either program, consider the advantages of having both Global Entry and PreCheck.
Other Trusted Traveler programs available to U. S citizens
You can receive the equivalent of Global Entry benefits for entering Canada for $50, or half the price of Global Entry. The bad news is that an interview is required, which must take place at a border crossing facility. This program will mostly benefit Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents.
So apply only if you reside near the Canadian border or will be passing through and can schedule an interview around your travel arrangements. NEXUS membership is valid for 5 years, and enrollment for children under the age of 18 is free.
Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) is for passengers who voluntarily submit to a complete background check against pending criminal charges, law enforcement, customs, immigration, and terrorism indices; a 10-fingerprint law enforcement check; and a personal interview with a CBP officer.
Clear is a private company-managed pre-screening program it is not an official government organization.
It confirms your identification at a kiosk using biometrics such as fingerprint and iris scans. Physical security screenings are still required at participating airports, however, you can skip the identity check and proceed straight to the conveyor belt and security scanners.
Clear will be available in more than 50 airports, stadiums, and other events across the country by June 2022. However, to receive Clear’s airport security benefits, you must complete the registration process at an airport site.
Clear does not entitle you to the expedited TSA PreCheck screening. However, you can use Clear and PreCheck simultaneously. Clear also allows you to bypass security lines at various venues.
Is the Global Entry program legitimate?
If you travel frequently, you should apply for the Global Entry program, it reduces wait times at Air, Land, and Sea border security checkpoints.
But be careful! There have been reports of deceptive websites that dupe people into giving them money and sharing sensitive information. Global entry applicants should only apply with an official government organization and look for the DHS CBP logo seal, do not share sensitive information with dubious websites. The official government organization and their websites i.e. gov websites are the right starting point.
How to Safeguard Yourself Against Third-Party Service Scams
First, go to the secure websites of the official government organization
Before applying for a Global Entry card, go to secure websites and learn about the application process. You will most likely discover that there is no need for a third-party service.
Read the fine print.
If you do decide to use a third-party service for an application process, be sure to carefully read the fine print. Scammers frequently create websites that appear to provide additional services but instead charge consumers for free information or services that they could easily perform themselves. Or more importantly, they may misuse sensitive information you provide them.
- Check out these links from the official website of the United States Customs and Border Protection to know more about Global Entry and the Trusted Traveler Programs offered by the Department of Homeland Security.
- Visit this official website while applying for Global entry and check this link if you want to know more about the Global Entry enrollment center.
- Check this link out while applying for TSA PreCheck.
Frequently asked questions
How can I get Global Entry?
To begin your application, go to the US Customs and Border Protection official websites. You must schedule an in-person interview after being conditionally authorized to complete your enrollment at the enrollment center.
Is TSA PreCheck worth the cost?
TSA PreCheck may make sense if you usually travel domestically and want access to quicker security screening. If you travel internationally and want faster customs screening upon return to the United States, consider Global Entry, which includes TSA PreCheck.
How can I obtain free Global Entry?
As a cardholder benefit, many travel credit cards offer reimbursement for the Global Entry application price. If you pay the application cost with one of these cards, you will receive a credit for the amount ($100).
How can I obtain A free TSA PreCheck?
Many travel credit cards, including Global Entry, offer reimbursement for the TSA PreCheck application fee as a card member advantage. While you may get lucky and be allowed to utilize the TSA PreCheck line at random, paying for your application using one of these cards and using the credit is a more reliable choice.