In the early 2000’s the United States Customs and Border Protection agency launched the Global Entry program as a way to expedite clearing customs upon arrival to the United States. The program was well received by travelers and gradually expanded through the years. For travelers that frequently travel internationally Global Entry saves valuable time when trying to clear customs. Members of the Global Entry program receive access to automated kiosks at nearly all international airports. The kiosks replace the need to wait in line and speak with customs agents when entering the US. Members are required to scan their passport and scan their fingerprints, then they are generally directed past customs agents to the baggage claim area.
Applying for Global Entry is easy! If you are interested in the Global Entry program, visit the US Customs and Border Protection’s how to apply website. When you apply you will be required to pay a $100 non-refundable deposit. IF you are not accepted into the global entry program you will not receive your money back for ANY reason. Below is a listing of potential reasons for being denied Global Entry participation direct from the US Customs and Border Protection website.
You may not be eligible for participation in the Global Entry 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 (to include 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 regulation, including applicants with approved waivers of inadmissibility or parole documentation; or
- Cannot satisfy CBP of your low-risk status.
Majority of applicants should not have any issues when applying, but anyone who has received a DUI will be denied. Flyertalk.com has an extensive discussion about rejections to the Global Entry program. Some members report being accepted into the program with a DUI conviction older than 10 years, but results vary.
After an initial screening, Global Entry applicants are directed to set up an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. The interview might intimidate some travelers, but the process is painless. Keep in mind, the agency will know of all prior trips and upcoming reservations. Be prepared to discuss any unusual travel patterns. For example, anyone who has visited Turkey might receive additional questioning as to the nature of their visit.
After completion of the interview, the decision will be reached and communicated to you within a few weeks. Acceptance into the Global Entry program also included acceptance into the TSA PreCheck program. (An $80 Value!) Both programs require renewal every 5 years, but most will find the $100 an exceptional value for 5 years of relatively painless travel.
It is important to note there are several credit cards that offer a statement credit for the Global Entry application fee. The Citi Prestige, Citi Executive Advantage, Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards, and American Express Platinum cards all offer Global Entry application fee reimbursement. Applying for Global Entry alone should not be the sole reason to open a premium credit card, but if you already have one of these credit cards applying for the program should be on you radar.