Top 12 Things You Didn’t Know About Global Entry

by on August 13, 2013 · 117 comments

in Global Entry, Top 10, TPG Contributors

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Although the summer travel season is winding down, plenty of Americans are still traveling abroad on last-minute summer trips, so getting Global Entry is a time-saving tool no international traveler should be without.

Global Entry is the US government’s expedited immigration program for frequent travelers and helps speed travelers through customs and immigration without having to wait in hours’-long lines that makes the $100 fee (which might be waived if you carry the right credit card – read more below!) more than worth it. 

Today, TPG contributor Jason Steele talks about some things you might not know about this innovative program and ways you can take advantage of its many benefits.

Global Entry is one of the best time-saving travel tools out there.

Global Entry is one of the best time-saving travel tools out there.

Global Entry is a great program, but it is shrouded in a little bit of mystery. But I did some research and went through the process myself, and here is what I learned:

1. It can take months to get an appointment for an interview – but don’t get discouraged! It seems that the Global Entry program has gotten so popular that appointments are now being filled up months in advance at many locations. As of May 6, there were 88,000 appointments scheduled for the 35 enrollment centers, so the math is not on your side. After I completed my application earlier this year, I contacted a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) office to see if there was any way to get an earlier appointment, and I was told to keep checking their web sites for cancellations. To my surprise, an appointment opened up the following week and I was in. It appears as if the typical GOES applicant travels frequently on business but often needs to cancel their appointments with little notice. So don’t get discouraged – there are plenty of ways to get around the appointment backlog including just walking into an appointment office. After all, someone might miss their flight and their appointment and you can slip in. Another tip, don’t confine your search to your home airport, browse the airports at the destinations that you are already scheduled to visit.

2. Kids must have Global Entry to bypass customs with their parents. Just as all children, regardless of age, must have a passport to travel internationally, all passport holders must have GE in order to skip the standard line when entering the country. For maximum inconvenience, each child needs to have a separate appointment, and I don’t know how they would “interview” our 10-month-old baby, but there you have it.

3. Children do not have to have Global Entry to go through TSA PreCheck with their parents. Those with GE qualify for the TSA’s PreCheck program, which can expedite security screening at US airports, depending on which carrier you fly. But since PreCheck is an entirely separate program than GE, the rules are different. Unlike GE, adults that can utilize PreCheck (because of GE or elite status with carriers) can go through security with children 12 an under, even if the child does not qualify for PreCheck on his or her own.

Expect security lines to get a lot longer if budget cuts go into effect.

Global Entry should also get you into the TSA PreCheck line.

4. Customs and Border Patrol officers know when and where your next trip is. When you go to the interview, CBP officers will ask you when you are traveling next. When I offered the destination of my next trip, I was met with a confused look. It turns out that the CBP officer knew of my first ticketed destination, even though it was essentially a stopover on the way to the destination I cited, so if you’re using your passport to get somewhere, expect them to know about it.

5. You need to re-visit an airport Customs and Border Patrol office when you get a new passport. Even though my passport was expiring within a few months, I applied for Global Entry first in order to make sure I received it before departing on my next international trip. After I received my Global Entry card, I then renewed my passport. But I had to return to a CBP office to have them update their system with my new passport to match it to my Global Entry number. Fortunately, an appointment was not required this time and I could just stop by and talk to an officer on duty.

6. Global Entry kiosks don’t read some people’s fingerprints. The New York Times reports that a small percentage of GE users have difficulty using the fingerprint readers at the Global Entry kiosks. They even say that some CBP officers recommend rubbing their fingers over their neck and forehead. Fortunately, GE users get expedited through the standard line if they can’t get the machines to work, but if at first you don’t succeed, try that trick.

Global Entry has trouble reading some people's fingerprints.

Global Entry has trouble reading some people’s fingerprints.

7. You don’t have to fill out the blue entry form they give you on the plane. No more digging out your passport and fishing around for a pen before landing, as Customs agents will simply crumple up the form and throw it away once they see that you are a GE member, so save a tree!

8. There are several ways to have the $100 fee reimbursed. Recently, TPG wrote about credit cards that offer GOES application fee reimbursements, the Amex Platinum, Mercedex-Benz Platinum or Business Platinum (or Centurion) cards (the fee is even refunded to additional cardholders as well); and the new Citi Thank You Prestige card. In addition, United offers its Global Services, MileagePlus Premier 1K and MileagePlus Premier Platinum members the $100 reimbursement as well. If you qualify, log into this page to get your personalized code.

9. Customs and Border Patrol keeps your $100 if you are denied. That’s right, the $100 is an “application fee,” not a membership fee, which non-refundable if you are denied for any reason. If you think you might be denied, save your money.

10. Customs and Border Patrol knows of any time you have been arrested. I had read that the CBP’s background check is highly exhaustive, but I got the chance to witness the extent of their scrutiny. The applicant who had his appointment before mine began the process cordially, but their conversation quickly became heated. Apparently, this gentleman had his application denied due to an arrest 40 years ago. And according to him, the arrest (for armed robbery) was a case of mistaken identity that was quickly dismissed without trial. Nevertheless, he was told that he would not be approved for GOES until he was able to produce the records from the incident. Even if you don’t have an arrest record, be very careful filling out your application. A minor typo caused my application to be initially denied, but the friendly officer was willing to correct the issue and reschedule my appointment two days later. We all know that bureaucracy doesn’t always function as efficiently as that, though, so be careful with your application.

11. Global Entry cards are a great form of secondary Federal ID. The final result of the application process is credit card sized picture ID. But this card also happens to be a Federal ID that can be valid at the TSA, DMV, and the federal courts. So keep your card separate from your driver’s license and passport, and don’t forget this fact if you need an extra form of identification in a pinch.

12. Global Entry is not just for Americans. According to the CBP website, “Global Entry is also available to citizens of the Netherlands who are enrolled in Privium and Korean Smart Entry Service members. Citizens of Mexico may also apply for Global Entry. Canadian NEXUS members have Global Entry benefits, but are not eligible to join.” However, holders of certain types of travel visas are not eligible. See this page for more information. And as TPG pointed out previously, the GE card can also be used for expedited entry into Australia in partnership with that country’s SmartGate program.

And one last thing. Throughout this process, keep in mind that the CBP officers you meet will be armed Federal Officers, and I can’t imagine that processing GOES applications was their first choice of assignments. The ones I met in Denver followed their rules to the letter, but were always courteous and professional. I always referred to them as Officer (as I do to anyone with a badge and a gun), and it seemed to help smooth out some bumps in the process.

Global Entry is an extremely popular program, and the first time you are able to catch a connecting flight because of it, that will be well worth the $100 you paid (unless you’re reimbursed by your credit card or United!). You can also get Nexus for $50 and that includes Global Entry, however it is a more complicated process (you have to go to Seattle or one of the 8 Canadian airport facilities) and Amex recently sent out notices saying they will now only reimburse for Global Entry, not any other program, though in reality their systems may still refund Nexus (feel free to comment below with your experience on this matter).

Even if you do pay for Global Entry, the $100 is well worth it because of the time saved both in security screening and immigrations lines and it’s one of the top travel tools out there for frequent flyers.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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    Just a quick idea about point 7 – the blue form. There are times when the GOES machines are all down. I would fill out the form anyway and then you can toss it when you don’t need it. Not environmentally friendly but will save you time possibly!
    OH and great post and detailed points.

  • SgFm

    It is possible to update GE for a new passport online. I just did it a few weeks ago and had no problem last week using GE with my new passport. However, the Custom and Border Patrol officers that I spoke to when I tried to use my new passport (and failed a couple of months ago, because I had not realized I needed to update my GE), incorrectly told me I needed to do this in person, and worse, one told me that my GE expired when I got a new passport. So, there is misinformation out there about this issue, even from C&BP folks!!

  • Rudy Rosenberg

    After much prodding, my father applied and was interviewed Saturday. They were unable to get his fingerprints. They fade with age, which I had no idea of. I called JFK and they said it would only add 15-30 seconds to the whole process. He’ll just have to show his passport as ID.

  • Brad

    Nice summary, thanks for putting it together. One minor correction, GOES stands for Global Online Enrollment System, i.e. the system used to apply for Global Entry and other programs. I think the correct acronym for Global Entry should just be GE.

  • Mark

    What biometric information do they require that you submit and are there any rules about what happens to that info and whether it is retained or destroyed upon departure from the program?

  • JReed

    Great post, but one quick thing about point 2. I think there is some confusion here among the agents as to what is and what is not required. We got my 16 month old son a GE pass after the agent who interviewed my wife and I told us that it was required to get all 3 of us through the expedited customs line together. But when we used it, the agents at customs told us that our son’s GE isn’t valid because his fingerprint id won’t work (apparently young childrens’ fingerprints don’t work on the biometric scanner because they are constantly changing). So we had to wait in a (small) line anyway. Who is right here? Thanks!

  • Rachel

    The downtown DC enrollment center has a lot of availability. Unfortunately it is a bit of a trek from the airport, but certainly worth checking out if you’re heading to the DC area.

  • TravelScrounger

    Is there any way to see the appointment schedule before applying?

  • Brian(J)

    I have never seen a review or article point out an interesting way to get GE for $50. That is to apply for the NEXUS program, which runs alongside the GE program and involves the exact same process. NEXUS allows you cross border travel between the US and Canada in speacial lines (airports) and lanes (driving). In the case of driving across the border from Washington State to Britsh Columbia the wait is reduced from 45 minutes to a line that never actually comes to a stop. NEXUS costs $50 but if you add a check mark in the correct box they throw in GE for free. In Seattle there is a NEXUS office at Boeing Field which is almost in the downtown area so you don’t even have to drive to the airport.

  • Matt B

    Best $100 I’ve ever (not) spent.

  • Steve

    How frequent of a traveler do you have to be to get one of these? Will they reject you if you’re just a once-a-year vacationer?

  • Rudy Rosenberg


  • Buns Steele

    Global entry was my nickname at the bar.

  • Mercruiser

    Pointsguy writer: You are wrong about Nexus enrollment centers, “(you have to go to Seattle or one of the 8 Canadian airport facilities)”?
    In addition to Seattle, there are US NEXUS enrollment centers in Blaine, Buffalo, Calais, Champlain, Detroit, Niagara Falls, Pembina, Port Huron, Sault Ste. Marie, Sweetgrass,
    and Warroad. Basically, all of the US border states have enrollment centers, some at airports, others at land crossings. Here is the complete list:

    My wife and I have NEXUS, which includes NEXUS (expedited entry to Candada and back) Global Entry, and TSA Pre Check privileges. If you live in the northern US, I think NEXUS is the better deal at $50 for all three programs.

    If you apply for Global entry at $100, and later decide you want NEXUS, for Canada trips, you have to pay another $50. My advice for Northerners is to just apply for Nexus and be done with it.

  • Umut

    one more thing to add; even if you have green card ( U.S. Permanent resident) you can apply for global entry. Once you get your citizenship you have to go back to Enrollment center so they can update your profile w your new U.S. Passport

  • daslax

    Can also confirm that you do not need to visit CBP to update your passport. I’ve now done it twice without issues. In fact, my partner couldn’t get his GE to work at the kiosks, eventually went to GOES and realized that they entered his passport number wrong! After correcting it himself, no issues getting through.

    For some inexplicable reason, however, you cannot change your driver license info – I had to go to an enrollment center to update (no appointment and the officer was surprised that you couldn’t change it online).

    One note on NEXUS, if you sign up in the US you will need to visit an enrollment center in Canada for iris scanning. All of the other benefits will work without it (GE, PreCheck), but you cannot enter Canada using NEXUS until that step is complete in Canada.

  • Steve

    How frequently does GE need to be renewed?

  • DavidYoung2

    Every five years, but it expires on your birthday. So you get at least five years, and up to 5 years and 364 days if you time it right.

  • JTP

    SENTRI (For Mexico crossings) come with Global Entry as well, for my southern border friends.

  • DavidYoung2

    Yes, you see it in the GOES system after conditional approval. Just FYI, appointments at LAX were over three months out and we couldn’t get three all together. But we rescheduled for San Ysidro and got three consecutive appointments for one week later. BTW, our 7-year old just had to get her picture taken and fingerprinted — they didn’t interview her other than to ask her name and if we were her mom and dad.

  • Garrett

    I got denied for a reckless driving (technically a DUI). The formal reason they quoted was my “criminal record,” and that’s the only thing there. Shame–leads me to believe I won’t be approved for PreCheck when they make that independently available later this year. Anyone else run into the same issue?

    They said if I feel as if the denial was made based on incorrect information, I could set up an appointment to have it reviewed, but there’s nothing I can tell them if it was for the DUI.

  • santafefran

    Albuquerque Airport is one of the newer interview locations and has lots of openings. I applied for GE on July 30, was interviewed in ABQ on August 5, was approved Aug 6 and got my GE card on Aug 10.

  • Jason Steele

    It seemed like I should be able to do it online, but I was told to return. good to know.

  • Jason Steele

    Interesting thought, I guess that would be backup. Glad you liked it.

  • ryan

    Agreed. Nexus is the way to go if you have easy access to one of the offices. Being in Toronto, it’s a no-brainer as GE is included for free. In YYZ there are now more GE machines than Nexus and they seem to operate faster than Nexus which appears to have lousy computing capabilities.

    Also, if you have Nexus you’re entitled to the faster security line in YYZ T1 and other Canadian airports even when only flying domestically. I found it odd that at security lines in YYZ, YUL and YOW where all the passengers in those specific security lines are only going to Canada they have a Nexus line as you don’t even need a passport. You actually need to show them your Nexus card – its usually a quicker line than the platinum and priority lines.

  • Sam

    Here is some info for families. My experience has always been that if traveling with family, fill out the blue form for family members (do not count yourself), and on arriving at immigration, just show the expediter your global entry card, 9 time out of 10, they will let the whole family proceed on to global entry kiosk where you get processed and then use the “crew” line to get the family processed.
    Breezed past 200 deep line at SFO last week.

  • Randy

    If you live in the Chicago area and can’t get a quick interview, Try Mitchell in Milwaukee. That’s what I did. The office is in a building by the airport with free parking.

  • Jetstream007

    I did it online, no problem.

  • Darth Chocolate

    I recently came through DTW and there were only TWO kiosks.
    And it was the best $100 I was ever reimbursed (through AMEX Platinum)

  • TravelScrounger

    How do you get conditional approval before you apply?

  • Matt C.

    I live in Seattle and there was tons of interview availability. Once conditionally approved, I could have gotten in the same day. I picked the following Tuesday and the interview was very straightforward. The agent was friendly and we ended up talking about movies for the last 15 minutes.

  • DavidYoung2

    You apply on-line through the GOES system. Then wait — about two weeks later we got a notice that we were ‘conditionally approved’ and had to make an on-line appointment. You go to the appointment, they ask you some simple questions, get fingerprinted and photographed, and that’s it. We entered our ‘trusted traveler’ number into Delta that day and flew to Portland two days later using the Pre check line. Didn’t even have our physical cards, but your ‘trusted traveler’ number is activated immediately after your interview (assuming, of course, you’ve passed – whatever that means.)

  • TravelScrounger

    I haven’t been clear. How do you see available appointment dates/times without applying for GE? I have an online account, but have NOT applied or paid the $100.

  • Jeff

    US Amex platinum does not automatically reimburse for NEXUS. I’m a Canadian citizen and got a runaround from AMEX until they got around to sending the letter informing members that only GE is reimbursed.

  • Josh

    This is a government program. It’s safe to assume that anything you submit will be retained forever.

  • whrobb

    I got Global Entry through NEXUS for $50… great deal. I made my appointment coincide with a trip I had planned to Seattle. They have a NEXUS appointment center at the small airport outside of SEA-TAC (I can’t remember the name offhand), but it was only about a $10 cab ride away.

    Walked in about 3 hours early for the appointment and they took me right back. The CBP officer who interviewed me for the US side took my fingerprints and picture, and then we BS-ed about the Steelers (I’m from Pittsburgh) for the rest. The Canadian customs appointment was next and it was a LOT more strict. They asked me how often I plan on visiting Canada and why I need it (I was honest and told them I will probably never use it, but it’s cheaper than spending $100 for GE) and kept stressing over and over that if I were to drive through the Nexus lane, everyone in my car would have to be Nexus members too, or else I would get my card revoked.

    About 2 weeks after I got back home, my Nexus card arrived in the mail, and I’ve been breezing through immigration ever since! I think I made it from an arriving int’l flight to my connecting gate in ATL in 10 minutes.

  • SirJim

    My wife & I were conditionally approved in early May. Our interviews were set up in Denver – me in July and she in Sept. Adfter checking back only a couple of times, up popped 2 openings on the same day in June only one hour apart. It pays to check.

  • Jason Steele

    Without paying, you can’t see the appointment list.

  • Allan Klein

    I’ve also updated passport info online. However, that’s not 100% accurate about the iris scan. You cannot enter Canada using NEXUS via *air* without the iris scan. You can, however, via land and sea crossings.

  • Allan Klein

    You can’t see the available slots until you’re conditionally approved (after applying and background check).

  • SeaBee3

    Yep, no problem adding another passport online. I added my second passport without difficulty and it can be done over the phone as well.

  • Rockguy

    Q: I had a DUI expunged over 10 years ago. Can I still get GE card? Should I even attempt? I do a couple work trips to Europe a year. Great discussion. Great site. Thx.

  • SeaBee3

    I found that airport locations have great availability, the outlying stations not so much. We just did it for our kids a couple of months ago and found tons of slots at all airports around us. Also, with JFK, if you make an appointment on that day, you can show up at anytime on the day of your appointment. Makes it easier in case of flight delays or you cannot make a certain appointment slot. In my experience, JFK agents are the best and most helpful (believe it or not!).


    At JFK they accept walk-ins without reservations they told me. My interview was all of 5 minutes and they were very friendly.

  • Chanel @ La Viajera Morena

    I <3 GE and breezing through customs, also telling flight attendants 'no thank you, I don't need to fill out that card' haha

  • Getty Pro

    Got GE through nexus. Flew lga-yyz for my appt. And had a fun day (thanks avios)

  • Wanderingentrepreneur

    One frustrating aspect of having global entry: Customs pre-clearance at foreign airports. I just returned from Aruba, and it had been a while since my last trip there, so I didn’t realize there was a pre-clearance facility. Most people love this bc it means no delays upon return to the US, but there are also no Global Entry kiosks at the foreign airports. So now, the long lines have moved from US airports to the foreign airports, and they all seem to LESS staffed than the US ports of entry. Our line in Aruba was almost 90 minutes long, and the CBP officer told me “You’ll be waiting a really long time before they allow Global Entry at a foreign airport.”

  • nevers say never

    Not sure why anyone would pay the government and/or even give them your biometrics. The security theater known as TSA and the bs a flyer has to go through for an unfounded threat is a joke. It is bad enough most working people spend 1/3rd of the year as a slave to the government and give them their hard earned cash in taxes, fees etc and now they are bending you over at the airport. It is not about your time, it is the principle of being screwed over and over and over again. It truly is sad how naive the general population is about what is happening to them and it has been planned for generations.

  • Andy

    GE kiosks are at all Canadian airports with pre-clearance. Might be a while before they come to Aruba though.

  • BigRedBears

    Can be done online. You only have to go back in person if you want CBP sticker for your passport

  • jamru

    Where are the GE kiosks at Vancouver Airport–I didn’t see any last time I was there.

  • guest

    what will not keep you from getting GE

  • MaryAnn

    @Garrett- my interview is next week and I have the same thing on my record… sounds like i may have wasted my $100. Any advice on how to present this in the interview ahead of time? I was never convicted, just arrested and charged with reckless. Let me know what you think.

  • Garrett

    @cda404da07b749802b645de6bd8acfa1:disqus I was denied right off. They didn’t give me the opportunity to schedule an appointment. If you were conditionally approved and allowed to schedule an appointment, you’re in a better spot than the one they put me in.

    They conditionally approved you with a reckless driving on your criminal record?

  • Garrett

    MaryAnn here is some additional information from the denial notification:

    The review by either the Enrollment Center or the Ombudsman will be based on the information provided by you and should include any information to further clarify a record, explain an incident or arrest, or show the disposition of criminal charges. Please remember that the following circumstances may make you ineligible for participation:

    Providing false or incomplete information on the application;

    Convictions for any criminal offense or pending criminal charges to include outstanding warrants;

    Violations of any customs, immigration, or agriculture regulations or laws in any country;

    Inadmissibility to the United States under immigration laws;

    Receipt of a criminal pardon from any country; or

    Other circumstances that indicate to CBP that you have not qualified as “low risk.”

  • Wanderingentrepreneur

    Yeah they said some Canadian airports would have them, but that was it. Hopefully the CPB officer was wrong.

  • donroberto

    I am a Canadian and have had a Nexus card for over a year.
    When we returned from Mexico last November we used the Global Entry Kiosk at LAX and were through all the lineups in minutes – even quicker than the air crews.
    We use the Nexus cards at airports in Canada such as YOW on domestic flights which makes our security waits a lot shorter.
    Getting a lot of use from the $50 card.

  • IC

    If you get a new passport after you receive Global Entry, you can also update your profile online after you sign into the GOES website instead of going to the customs office.

  • Louis

    I was denied a couple of years ago for a minor infraction 18 years ago. it took them over a year to get back to me to deny me. I sent them a letter asking what I could do and over a year later, they told me I can re-apply. I wonder what is the point if I already applied and got denied. I stopped in an office and they told me this all had to be done via the mail. Their turn around time on this takes soo long. Do you think I should spend another $100 if I was denied the first time? What can I do to be approved this time?

  • joeypore

    Global Entry is incredible. Pre Check isn’t icing on the cake… it’s another cake.

    2 cakes! But for real… Global Entry and Pre Check has probably saved me at least 20 hours in lines for the 17 months or so that I’ve had it. Well worth $100. And after I got my AMEX Plat, got it for my mom as a gift!

    Doesn’t even need to be said that if you get it free it’s better.

  • cohenm123

    I flew from Dublin to Chicago in May. The Dublin airport has pre-clearance and there were Global Entry kiosks there. Perhaps the situation in Aruba is different.

  • Traci Means

    Is your mother a authorized user, or card holder on your Amex?

  • joeypore

    Nope. I already had it before I got the AMEX, so just used my credit to get it for her.

  • Traci Means

    I am interested to know the outcome of this.

  • Garrett

    My age (26) might have something to do with it. My uncle who travels back and forth from the middle east and europe (oil broker) had a DUI in the late 70′s. He said they asked him about it during his interview, but he was still approved. My incident was less than 5 years ago, which I’m sure also contributed to my unfavorable response.

  • ddbear

    There are many reports of Global Entry revoking memberships for people with perfectly clean records, and CBP will not tell them why, only to write a letter to the Ombudsman. But the Ombudsman typically doesn’t respond. Sounds like a problem with CBP applying the “Due Process” clause of the constitution, if they never tell people why they were denied. At least one journalist is already starting to write articles about this.

  • Isaac Hersly

    I have updated new passport info on the GE web site. But has anyone figured out how to update driver’s license info? …

  • Isaac Hersly

    Can you update your driver’s license info on the GE web site ?? … I have not figured that out.

  • JL100

    Any chance of doing the interview before I leave the country and being able to use it 3 days later upon return? I’ll be in Miami on the way out of the country and could do my interview there. Do you have to wait the 7-10 days to get your card first before its effective? thanks,

  • Arielle

    me and hubby and two kids all have the amex plat. and we all got the $100 reimbursed. You just have to use your own Amex Plat card when filling out the Global Entry card

  • road2perfection

    I have to use a wheelchair and I never have to wait in any of the lines. Much cheaper too!

  • Amy

    That was my experience. I interviewed three days before an international trip, and the card did not come before I left. You need to have the card in your hand to activate on line.

  • Dr. Steve

    No, you can’t. I got my new driver’s license and I called the local GE office, and they said to stop in. I did it at JFK without an appointment and it took 20 minutes.

  • neospectrum

    I also went thoughthe process with a DUI on my record, approved. I believe mine only went through as the incident was over 10 years ago.

  • Scott

    because they know who you are anyway by facial recognition. I agree that the public is being screwed over and what you’ve said but it’s worth it when you fly by the line of hundreds waiting in line to see an agent

  • Brown

    My husband and I and two friends all applied online within a few days of each other. I was conditionally approved first, my husband the next day and one of our friends a few days after that. My husband and I have since had our interviews and received our cards. The third person has scheduled his interview. The fourth person, who was the first to apply by one day, still has not been conditionally approved. He applied 09/30/13 so it’s been two and a half months. He has no criminal record, is in fact a lawyer. Does anyone know who he should contact to find out if his paperwork has been misplaced?

  • Luke Bornheimer

    I understand United says the $100 credit is only for the Premier Member who received it; I’m hoping to use my fiancé’s $100 credit for my Global Entry application fee. Anyone have experience doing this, or heard of someone who successfully used their United $100 credit for someone else’s Entry application?

  • Garrett

    Just wanted to update the comment I made below about getting denied. Reapplied in December and was conditionally approved in January. The initial denial letter stated that because of my “criminal record” (reckless driving………DUI), I was ineligible.

    On the second application I made sure to go into detail when asked to describe the offense. I made it more than clear as to what I was actually convicted, then made sure to explain-in no uncertain terms-that I fulfilled the obligations set forth to me by the court in a timely manner. I paid every cent they asked and showed up god knows how many times at that courthouse in the center of hell (the Valley).

    Also, my international travel towards the end of the year was a little out of control. I re-entered the the country multiple times without issue. I don’t know how much that plays a role, but I know it didn’t hurt.

    Anyway…I’m happy.

  • curious

    Great article. Thank you. Two questions:
    1) Has anyone been denied for back taxes issues (i.e. not filing a couple times).
    2) Is anyone an American living and working overseas with success getting Global Entry?
    I got my fee waiver from United while I was still platinum, so I was going to apply before the deadline this year, but I have some concerns about the tax issue since I missed a couple years as an American overseas paying to my host government.

  • Bobby

    Yeah I got denied for Reckless as well. I sent an email and letter for appeal as I have an otherwise clean record and no history of anything else. I know they do ask/see if its over 10 years, then they will overlook. I still have yet to receive a response. I did not notice that the same conditions apply for the TSA Precheck. I have applied but lets see if I get denied for this.

  • better

    i am obtaining my class1 (AZ) license for commercial trucking,,,,,I broke the law when i was 18 (fraud under $500.00). i am now going on 50 with no other criminal offences. I have applied and working on getting a pardon. i know i will be working for a trucking company that will be sending me on a regular basis to the US. Will the border crossing know i have this old criminal record if i don’t tell them? It was under my maiden name which i don’t use.
    Also i’ve been told i should apply for a fast card, do i need to disclose this information from years ago?

  • kruz3d

    After being a lurker on the site, thought I will share my experience in case it helps people.

    I am not a US citizen and have a green card. I thought I would have no issues since my life is pretty boring.

    They asked me repeatedly if I had any agricultural violations, and I kept saying no. Then the officer said “what about them apples in the US Virgin Islands 2 years ago??” Then I remembered that my wife actually declared (and they confiscated) an apple when we passed through customs at USVI! She was planning on eating it at the airport.

    Anyway, I apologized and said that I didn’t know it was marked because we declared before passing through (and it’s all my wife’s fault). But the other officer was laughing saying the form had your name on it and was flagged. After leaving, I thought that it looked bad and was going to get rejected but they actually approved it.

    So long story short – your whole life is visible to these people, and they are pretty nice guys. But from the other comments it looks like they have specific rules on what they can approve.

  • MESQtraveler

    You can also do that online through the GOES website. It’s the same process as the new passport info.

  • MESQtraveler

    Yes, you can update it online through the online GOES system after you log on. Left hand column “Update Documents.”

  • MESQtraveler

    You can update your Global Entry information for a renewed passport online through the GOES system although #5 above says you have to go in person.

  • Susanna Windham

    Garrett, I was denied last August for “an arrest” 36 years ago. I was never convicted. I did not consider this incident as “an arrest”. So I honestly answered “no” to the question. I sent letter and documentation to have my application reviewed. I just got an email yesterday to reschedule interview. Not sure what to say when ask if I have ever been arrested. Is that an automatic denial? Did you get approved?

  • Garrett

    I was told by the CBP agent that if I wanted to apply without having my “record” being an issue, I would have to wait 10 years. She told me to write a letter explaining the situation, and how I have (or have not) learned from the experience, etc… and that it’s a 50/50 as to how they will respond. I did that last week, so I expect it may take a few weeks or even months. I’ll be sure to report back.

    As for how to answer, they have your records visible when you go in for the interview, so best not to “forget” to mention anything IMO. 36 years is a long time ago–if you get an agent like the one I had in DC, I don’t think it should be an issue.

  • TyLo

    So Global Entry also gives us the shortened lines of TSA Pre-Check? Just making sure before I try it.
    Also I was told that you don’t need the ID card for anything, that I could leave it at home, I just need my passport?

  • iRick

    You might want to look into getting your conviction “expunged”. While the process requires a lawyer, it was cheap for me. If you have a minor charge, from decades ago, and a clean record, if you can often get it expunged, it disappears forever from the databases, even the FBI NCIC.

  • EJ

    Note that if you get Nexus it is only $50 and covers you for the exact same benefits as Global Entry as well as fast entry into Canada and Mexico. I learned the hard way, I got Global Entry and since I was traveling to Canada often for work, I applied for Nexus to get the perk of bypassing customs lines and interrogation there too. My short interview, retina scan and $50 got me all that and it invalidated my Global Entry card. All I need is the Nexus card to do everything the GE card did. What a scam. I spent $150 when I really only needed to apply for the Nexus card to get all the GE benefits and more. Just go Nexus folks, trust me!

  • any2xml

    Is GE available for French citizens?

  • SanFranFerg

    Global Entry interviews are sometimes scheduled at large companies for the convenience of their employees. My employer is a large software company in downtown San Francisco. They schedule GE interviews onsite every 3-6 months.

    The interview process involves the same sort of questions asked at regular enrollment centers, as well as gathering biometric data (fingerprints, and a good facial photo).

    Remember, you still need to be provisionally approved before any interview is scheduled.

  • davec

    We decided to apply for Global Entry. We got our Amex Platinum cards on 5/6. Applied to Global Entry on 5/7. Pre-qualified on 5/14. Found one cancelled interview on 5/15. Went to DIA, qualified. Found a second cancelled slot on 5/15 for my wife’s interview on 5/20. Thanks for the tips.

  • Sandie

    Got my conditional acceptance in one week and an an interview in two days. There are plenty of slots open in Miami.

  • Gretchen Liles

    You can update your passport number online when you get a renewal, you don’t have to return.

  • TrustNoGovt

    If you have a U.S. green card, can you apply? You can for TSA, but I’d rather do Global.

  • Telisha

    Will I be denied if I was convicted of criminal trespassing more than 20 years ago?

  • Allan Klein

    Hey Brian, #5 is not correct. I’ve had my passport replaced (reissued with a new number) and all I had to do was login to GOES to update the number.

  • Treavor Wagoner

    But that’s only if you travel among North America (Canada, US, Mexico), not intercontinentally. Right?

  • Global Entry Fan

    Actually, for point #5, you don’t need to go in person if you get a new passport. You can update your passport info through their web site. I did this when my passport was lost.

  • Daver

    I recently applied and was approved. I had an arrest (misdemeanor) that was expunged, but it showed up on my record in the interview when they fingerprinted me. I don’t even remember if they asked on the application about arrests, but I did not list it because frankly I forgot about it. He informed me that you’re allowed to have 1 misdemeanor and still be approved, but he needed to see the judgment.

  • Leslie

    I filled out all the application information online for Global Entry but at no time did it ask me to pay a fee. I went back through it all again to sign up my husband and we were not given a chance to pay the fee. Will I get a notice to pay the fee later?

  • Kevin Long

    Maybe 11 months ago you could do it, but it is impossible to add documents online (second passport or otherwise) once your global entry account is established and initial documents submitted. You must visit an officer at an enrollment center in person. No appointment necessary. I spent a few hours trying to add, and the help desk agent spoke with his team to confirm that they agreed with his advice.

  • Lane

    That’s strange, I just updated my new passport number on the GOES site, without any problem. I still plan on visiting an office next week, when I’m traveling through SFO, though (just to make sure!).

  • Kevin Long

    I’m not talking about updating the number for a passport that’s already in GOES. I’m talking about adding a second or third passport. You can be issued multiple simultaneously valid US passports for a variety of reasons. That’s why I responded to SeaBee3′s comment specifically.

  • GermanDude

    yes you can.

  • GermanDude

    If you renew make sure you do up to 1 year before the 5 year expiration online. They will add 5 years to the end of your current expiration. You may even get automatically approved within 5 days without another interview (but don’t count on it). The reason for at least 6 months is that is may take 3+ months if you DO need an appointment. Also make sure your Middle Name is exactly the same as on your DL and Green Card and Airline Profile – if not you will always be denied at the TSA-Pre. If you need to fix it in your GOES profile you must visit a center but do not need an appointment. Mine took 5 minutes to fix including a nice conversation with the friendly DFW officer…

  • SB

    If I get Global Entry, will this automatically make me eligible for Pre-TSA check?

  • Jonathan Y

    Yes, you will get tsa pre check.

  • Bobby Joe

    Initially, I could not update my DL info on the website. You can call any enrollment center though and they can update it for you (expiration date for me). Interestingly, after mine was updated this way, I can now update it online.

  • Kathie Schmiechen

    Looking for the best program for our family: me, twin two year olds, and husband who is a permanent resident with a wet reckless dating from 9/2012. Husband is next flying overseas in 1/2015, kids and I are next flying domestic in spring 2015. I understand that for international travelers, GE is a better deal than TSA pre check alone. When we fly in US the kids can go thru TSA pre check with me (total cost, $85), but they need their own GEs if we go abroad (total cost, $300). Not sure when the kids’ first trip abroad will be. So I’d like to know what is best for us, and can husband get GE? Most of what I’ve read indicates he won’t be approved, but some people say one misdemeanor, in their experience, was ok. Or should we all apply for Nexus? Thanks in advance.

  • liaisonsus

    It is worth it when you have a connection to catch once you arrive in the US.

  • VoR61

    I read that CBP will ask questions, but I would like to know if they give out information, specifically about duty-free purchases.

  • Teddy

    I am sending my boss to his global entry interiview next week and noticed his passport expires in 6 months wasn’t sure if I should try to get it renewed before his interview, but if what I’m hearing from you is that it doesn’t matter when passports expire, since that info can be updated by the member on the GOES website and that they access their membership via touchpad kiosks??

  • d

    thats hilarious

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  • Arturo Gomez

    do you need a specific amount of working time or work experience? I cannot submit my registration form because I don’t have 5 years of work experience.

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