• Mike Sullivan

What is Global Entry and Why You Should Get it.

Updated: Dec 18, 2018

Global Entry Kiosks- Photo by cbc.gov

If you plan to travel abroad a bit, I highly recommend you get a Global Entry card. Global Entry is run by the U.S. Customs Border Control that gives pre-approved clearance to low risk travelers entering the U.S. The program eliminates waiting in line to clear customs by storing members information in a database. When members arrive in the airport from abroad, they go to a Global Entry kiosk where they scan their passport , fingerprints and face . Then they complete a customs declaration form, receive a receipt print out which they hand to an officer on the way to baggage claim. The process takes about 5 minutes. This saves a HUGE amount of time. In Atlanta you can easily save an hour of waiting in line. Don’t believe me? Check out how long you have to wait at your airport: https://awt.cbp.gov.

To get a Global Entry card, you apply online at https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/ .

It costs $100 and lasts 5 years. The government does a serious background check to make sure you are a low risk traveler. If your background is the least bit sketchy (DUI, arrest record), don’t waste your time as the $100 is nonrefundable. If you are deemed worthy, you schedule an in-person interview at the nearest Enrollment Center ( usually in the nearest airport). The interview is to verify your low-risk status. The agent takes a picture of your face and your fingerprints for their database. Within 3 weeks your card will be sent to you.

With Global Entry your benefits are twofold. One, you get TSA Precheck on all your flights. Which means you go through a separate line where you can leave your shoes and belt on. And you can keep your laptop and small liquids in your bag.

Photo by tsa.gov

Photo by tsa.gov

Second, and a biggie, you don’t wait in line to go through customs and passport control when you come back to the U.S. from abroad.

I highly recommend you get a Global Entry Card. You will thank me.