Have you ever come back from an international trip only to find yourself waiting in an extremely long line at Customs? If you travel internationally more than once per year you should apply for Global Entry. What is Global Entry? Global Entry is a program offered by the Department of Homeland Security and the Customs and Border Protection Agency. With Global Entry you can breeze through special lines when entering the United States.
Getting Global Entry
When you decide you want Global Entry you’ll need to apply. You can apply on their website here. You will fill out an application online to get approved for an interview. You’ll answer a couple of questions about your travel and work history. Once you finish these questions you’ll pay a one-time fee of $100.00 USD. You’ll then be scheduled for an interview at one of their application locations. For me this was my local airport.
Make sure you arrive on time and bring your Passport, Driver’s License and Printout of your conditional approval/appointment confirmation. I arrived for my interview and experienced no wait. I was seen by an agent who asked for my documents. After scanning my passport and looking at some paperwork on his end he asked me a few questions. Once the officer was satisfied I scanned my fingerprints on a sensor and was quickly on my way. The interview was quick and painless.
Using a Global Entry Kiosk
When you arrive back in the United States of America and are going through customs you can skip the usual lines and follow the signs to the Global Entry point. You will see kiosks that say Global Entry. Go up to one that’s open and begin. You will scan your fingerprints at the kiosk (to identify yourself) then you’ll answer a few questions. The machine will then take your picture. Then just follow the path to baggage claim.
As an added bonus to your Global Entry you will receive TSA Precheck. TSA Precheck will let you go through a separate line at TSA security checkpoints in Airports. These lines will save you time. You also don’t need to remove your belt, laptop, light jacket or shoes when you go through.