5 reasons your Global Entry can be revoked

Jun 20, 2020

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Years ago, upon returning from a trip to Spain, I decided to try Global Entry enrollment on arrival. After a brief interview, the border patrol agent approved me for the trusted traveler program, and immediately launched into a litany of ways my newly-earned status could be revoked.

Among them? Improperly declaring produce — even accidentally.

“If you say you’re not declaring anything, and they find an apple in your bag, you can lose your Global Entry,” he explained by way of example.

Before moving through customs, I promptly searched my carry-on for any rogue produce I had forgotten about.

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“Global Entry members are low-risk international travelers who have met all of the eligibility requirements for membership,” a spokesperson from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told The Points Guy. “If at any time they no longer meet the eligibility requirements, their membership will be revoked.”

In addition to violating customs regulations by mistakenly smuggling snacks across the United States border (which can land you with a hefty fine, as well as jeopardizing your Global Entry membership), Global Entry members can become ineligible for becoming the subject of an investigation or being convicted of any criminal offense, such as driving under the influence, among others.

According to the border patrol agent who deemed me eligible, membership status can also be revoked for improperly using Global Entry at the airport.

Bringing non-Global Entry travel companions — be they friends, spouses or children — to use the designated Global Entry kiosk and lanes, for example, can have you booted from the trusted traveler program.

You can also lose your privileges by abusing land crossings. If you’re using your Global Entry card to enter the U.S. by way of an expedited travel lane, the other people in the vehicle better have Global Entry status, too.

What happens if you lose your Global Entry?

Of course, it’s always best to stay firmly on the good side of Customs and Border Protection agents. But sometimes, things happen and mistakes are made.

“In the event an applicant … has his or her membership revoked, that person will receive a written response detailing the reason for the action,” the spokesperson added. Still, TPG has heard of travelers having their Global Entry revoked with no explanation or even notice. One reader said she only found out when she went online to check her expiration date.

Fortunately, you can always argue your case with the designated CBP Trusted Traveler Ombudsman for reconsideration, and “a member who has had their membership revoked can reapply,” the CBP representative confirmed.

To apply for the five-year Global Entry program, you need to complete an online application, pass an in-person interview and pay a $100 fee. You may be able to get the Global Entry fee reimbursed with a credit card you already have in your wallet — even some with annual fees under $100. Typically, this credit is available once every four years. Examples include the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card ($95 annual fee), the Chase Sapphire Reserve ($550 annual fee) and The Platinum Card® from American Express ($695 annual fee, see rates and fees).

Feature photo by Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images.

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