At Mocha Travel, we consider ourselves frequent travelers. Traveling trips in and out of the States means dealing with customs and long airport lines that could be a nightmare. Global Entry allows you to swiftly clear U.S. Customs when returning to the U.S.
What is Global Entry?
It is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that gives expedited clearance for pre-approved travelers arriving in the United States. As a member, you can use an automatic kiosk instead of standing in the agonizing line to enter the U.S.
This Trusted Travelers Program, Global Entry, is among other programs like TSA Precheck to help navigate the airport a little easier. With a $100 fee, you can use your Global Entry for five years before re-applying.
The anxiety surrounding the airport can be overwhelming. The pressure is on when you’re traveling out of the country with kids. The last thing you want when returning to the U.S. after a long international flight is to wait in a long Customs line. For families planning to fly out of the country throughout the year, standing in line is not something you’d want to repeat several times a year.
Families can join the program as well. The one hesitation parents may encounter is that the $100 fee applies to every person, regardless of age. Not to compare to TSA Precheck, where kids under 13 can access precheck with their enrolled parent. Global Entry only honors paid participants within the program.
If there are several other arriving passengers, the wait time to get through Customs could be up to 2 hours. Waiting with kids after getting off a flight can be nerve-wracking. The $100 fee once every five years is worth the peace of mind for those with international trips planned for the family.
How Does Global Entry Work?
It’s pretty simple! As a member, you’ll proceed to the Global Entry kiosk once you arrive at the airport.
3 Simple Steps:
- Present your machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card
- Do the fingerprint verification process by placing your fingerprints on the scanner
- Complete a customs declaration
Then grab your receipt, and you’re all set to head to the baggage claim.
How to Apply for Global Entry?
First, apply online at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler Programs website. There is a non-refundable application fee of $100. New applicants may have a longer processing time, possibly exceeding 90 days.
Upon conditional approval, schedule an in-person interview. There may be some difficulty getting an interview as many major cities have limited availability. Completing your interview at an Enrollment on Arrival airport location is a good alternative if you aren’t able to book it ahead of the trip. Just make sure to check that your arriving airport has this office.
For the in-person interview, check this list of what to bring. Interviews typically take less than 30 minutes, and the agent will finalize the paperwork to get a Global Entry ID mailed to you. Processing times vary. However, they will email your change of status.
Now that you know what Global Entry is and how to apply, will you add it to your travel bag?