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Since we first were approved and received shiny new Trusted Traveler numbers years ago, Global Entry and PreCheck have literally changed how my family travels. We don’t spend nearly as much time at the airport as we used to and we often wait longer in the airport Starbucks line than we do to clear security or reenter the country. While waiting in a non-expedited line at the airport is never a fun task, it feels especially torturous after years of not having to deal with that particular annoyance of travel.

But, time flies, and this is the year that basically my whole family has to renew our Global Entry memberships. The exact renewal date is tied to birth month, so my husband drew the short stick of being first up in our crew for this round of renewals. He applied for his renewal a month or two in advance of the expiration, and now roughly five months later, he still doesn’t have his Global Entry or PreCheck renewed.

It took 100 days for his application to be processed and now the next step in the renewal process, the in-person interview, is making that 100-day wait look like a blink of an eye. Not everyone has to undergo an interview at the time of renewal, but if the system says you have to, there’s no getting around it.

Related: 10 Things to Know About Global Entry

(Photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

How Long Does It Take to Schedule a Global Entry Interview?

The next available Global Entry interview where we live in the Houston area is currently … never. There are literally zero Global Entry interview appointments available at any Houston location for as far out as the schedule goes into 2020.

This inability to schedule an interview anywhere at all remotely local got me curious, and I went on the hunt for how long it takes to get a Global Entry interview appointment in locations across the country. The length of time it takes to get a Global Entry interview currently ranges from almost immediately to not being able to schedule one at all.

Here are some specific time frames for scheduling a Global Entry interview:

Location Next Global Entry Interview Date
Atlanta Feb. 4
Austin Aug. 26
Blaine Aug. 15
Boston None available
Chicago Oct. 15
Dallas – Fort Worth None available
El Paso Sept. 12
Honolulu None available
Houston None available
Indianapolis None available
Miami Aug. 19
Orlando Nov. 11
Las Vegas Oct. 23
London None available
Los Angeles International Airport None available
Los Angeles – Long Beach Dec. 2
Newark None available
Philadelphia None available
Salt Lake City Dec. 10
San Francisco Dec. 9
Seattle Dec. 23
US Custom House (Lower Manhattan) Oct. 15
Washington Reagan National Sept. 16

Why Is It Taking So Long for a Global Entry Interview?

We know that some Customs and Border Patrol offices have had their staff redirected to the Texas/Mexico border, which is likely contributing to the shortage of available Global Entry interview appointments. But regardless of cause, the reality is that residents of some pretty major swathes of the country, including Houston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Hawaii and more, simply cannot make a Global Entry appointment right now.

In some cases, there is a reasonable alternative Global Entry interview location that is at least available for scheduling, but that’s not true everywhere. There are entire states that do not have any Global Entry interview appointments available on the calendar.

Related: Have Your Credit Card Pay for Global Entry

Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy

Tips When You Can’t Get an Interview

If you have an international trip on the books before you can complete a scheduled interview, you might be able to get an unscheduled interview upon arrival back into the United States.

Outside of that situation, consider alternate interview locations. This may be an alternate location in your same general area, or it may be a location you will pass through on your upcoming travel.

In our case, my husband is making the six-hour round-trip drive to Austin for his Global Entry appointment. This will obviously take up almost an entire day, which is ironic given that Global Entry is designed to save time, but he wants the issue resolved as soon as possible.

Additionally, keep checking back if you don’t see something that works for you as interview appointments can become available as staffing improves or someone cancels.

Bottom Line

Global Entry and the subsequent TSA PreCheck approval lasts five years, but you can apply for renewal up to a year before the expiration date. Given the current issues both with delays in handling some applications and in getting an interview appointment, it is advisable to renew as soon as possible under that time frame. When you do apply or renew Global Entry, keep in mind you can get a statement credit for the application, up to $100, via a number of different credit cards.

Know before you go.

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