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If you travel to or through the US on a regular basis, you’re probably already familiar with Global Entry, an expedited and automated method for passing through immigration whenever you enter the United States. With wait times at immigration sometimes reaching an hour or more, Global Entry can be a tremendous time saver — if you’re traveling with carry-on luggage, you can get from the plane to the arrivals area in just a few minutes. The service has been available to US citizens and permanent residents, along with citizens of Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama and South Korea. As of today, however, UK citizens can sign up to join as well.
Whereas US citizens and permanent residents can sign up directly through US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the process is a bit different (and more expensive) for citizens of the UK. Rather than applying directly through GOES, British citizens first need to register through their government website, at which point you’ll also have to pay a 42 GBP (about $64) fee. Once you’re approved by the UK government, you can then apply through GOES and pay a $100 fee to the US government. (This fee can be reimbursed if you have certain credit cards, including The Platinum Card from American Express and Citi Prestige.)
Once your application is approved, you’ll need to schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center — there are many facilities available in the US, but currently none in the UK (though that could always change). The most time-efficient option is generally to schedule an appointment for when you’ll be traveling through an airport that has an Enrollment Center — if you’re passing through customs and immigration, you may even walk right past the interview room. Walk-ins are sometimes accepted, so it might be worth checking in even if you don’t have an appointment. Overall, while it sounds like a lot of work, Global Entry is totally worth the effort, especially since it’s valid for five years.
Do you use Global Entry?
Know before you go.
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