There is a Trusted Traveler Programs available for travelers who want to have expedited travel through Customs and Immigration when returning to the U.S.A. This is called the Global Entry program. For an international traveler, having Trusted Traveler status is beneficial and a timesaver.
What are the advantages to the program? It’s like a ‘skip the line” pass – a real convenience when you have a connecting flight, the lines are long, and the staffing is lacking. An added bonus is it is not necessary to complete a declaration form. Global Entry also includes the TSA PreCheck line offering expedited Security Screening when you depart the USA. In the TSA PreCheck line you will go through security with your shoes and light jacket on and your computer and bag of liquids will stay in your carry on.
The application process is straightforward. The following pagehas a wealth of information for you to read. https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry. When you do, you should see a screen that looks like this.
The page to create an account is well hidden here. Once you’ve learned about the program, go to the Trusted Traveler Page, by using this link: https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/
It will look something like this but much clearer.
Click on GLOBAL ENTRY and follow the prompts. Have your passport and drivers license ready and your credit card. Complete the application and pay the $100 processing fee. Please note that this fee is non-refundable In other words, if you are not accepted you will not receive your money back.
Please be aware that approval may take longer than you expect. Your background is being checked and this can take some time. Also, the government is still backlogged from the shut down so must be patient.
Stay on top of your approval status by logging in to the website about once a week. After your application has been submitted, this notice appears on the site.
Checking the website will let you know if you need to schedule an appointment. Log in to the website within 30 days of seeing that it was approved to schedule your appointment.
Finally, on the day of your appointment appear at the appointed office with the letter of invitation, if you receive one, your valid U.S. Passport, and driver’s license or other proof of residency.
You’ll have a couple of minutes to watch the Global Entry video. An officer from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection will take your picture and your fingerprints as well as confirm the information on your application. You’ll be interviewed for a couple of minutes, asked a question about your past or future travel plans.
When you are approved, you will receive a Trusted Traveler Number and your passport will be ready to use immediately. A card will be sent to you in the mail. Record the number in your frequent flyer accounts and all international reservations that you make
Now, you can carry this card with you; I usually don’t because it’s already recorded, or put it away in a secure place. You should not be asked to show it when traveling. To enjoy the benefits of the Trusted Traveler Program remember to include the Global Entry Membership Number in all airline reservations.
One disclaimer is that the CBP always reserves the right to check any luggage they decide necessary. This means even if you have the Global Entry, you may still need to go through the line. Personally, I’d rather have Global Entry and avoid the lines wherever possible.
To learn more about using Global Entry, read my article on How to Breeze Through Customs.
If you have been thinking about purchasing CLEAR, read my article Don’t Buy Clear Until You Read This.
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