Get Global Precheck in 3 Easy Steps
Global Entry is a must have for anyone who travels or will travel in the next 5 years. It’s like the US Government giving you a big thumbs up next time you enter the country. You gain entry to special Global Entry kiosks upon arrival and piggyback on shorter TSA PreCheck lines. It’s slightly different from the TSA PreCheck program in that it allows for smoother entry for international flights where TSA PreCheck allows for smoother security on domestic flights.
The process was incredibly easy & efficient (surprising for the US Gov’t) and I had my Global Entry card 4 weeks after completing my application. Here is how to get your own Global Entry card in 3 easy steps.
1. Fill out application on Department of Homeland Security’s website. To qualify, you must be a US Citizen or have a Resident card. The application requests basic information about yourself. The application doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to complete as long as you have all the necessary documents such as passport number. Once complete, pay & submit the application. The fee for the application is $100 and it is good for 5 years. Tip: Have a scanned copy of your passport ready for the application.
2. Schedule your face to face interview. The DHS will not notify you by email once your application has been approved so it is your responsibility to go back in a week and see if your application was processed. Once it is, you will be allowed to schedule your onsite interview. Make sure to bring your passport and one other form of ID, and a printout of your approval email to the interview. Interview typically lasts 5 minutes and involves no questions, just a fingerprint scan and photo. The typical wait was about 20 minutes, a total time of 25 minutes. Tip: Most onsite interviews occur at airports, so plan your interview when you are already planning to be at one. You can schedule an interview at any approved interview location, just allow for 30 minutes.
3. Wait for your Global Entry card to arrive in the mail. In the interim, a confirmation email arrives with your Known Traveler number and each time you book a flight using your passport number, your Known Traveler number is added automatically to your reservation. You don’t necessarily need the card itself to travel, only the Known Traveler number. Tip: Save this number where you save your frequent flier numbers.
Things to Know
* Global Entry qualifies for TSA PreCheck lines at domestic airports. This allows you to access the TSA PreCheck line when going through security. Make sure your ticket contains the Known Traveler number, that is what grants you access to those lines.
* Only certain airlines participate in these programs: Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Hawaiian, Jet Blue, Southwest, Sun Country, United, US Airways, and Virgin America. If you fly an airline that doesn’t participate, you can not take advantage of the PreCheck.
* The TSA PreCheck program costs only $85 for 5 years but if you even make one international trip in 5 years, Global Entry has paid for itself.
* There are a couple credit cards that will reimburse you for the $100 application fee such as Citibank Prestige card.