I recently took advantage of my American Express Platinum Card’s offer to reimburse the $100 Global Entry enrollment fee and signed up for the program. Global Entry provides participants with expedited U.S. customs and immigration processing at U.S. ports of entry.
Upon arrival, you skip the long immigration line and head directly to a self-service kiosk, swipe your passport, provide fingerprints, answer a few questions, and you’re done. The program was designed for frequent travelers, but there is no minimum number of trips per year requirement. You must renew your membership every four years. Click here for more info on Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) website.
The application process was really easy and only took a few minutes. Once I submitted my online application, I recevied notification of pre-approval and signed up for my in-person interview with a CBP officer. While CBP does interviews at airports across the United States, it now offers appointments at a downtown location in Washington, DC convenient to my office. To my surprise, I had no trouble scheduling an appointment. The interview with the CBP officer took five minutes and I was cleared for the program. My Global Entry card came in the mail two weeks later.
One of the best perks of Global Entry is that approval also gives you TSA PreCheck, the TSA’s expedited airport screening process. With TSA PreCheck, you can leave your shoes on, liquids in your suitcase, and skip the long, regular security line.
If you want to skip the immigration and customs line when you re-enter the United States, as well as enjoy expedited TSA screening through TSA PreCheck, take a few minutes and complete the Global Entry online application. I look forward to using it for the first time while transiting through Houston my trip home from Mexico next week.