Round 3: Answering more questions about TSA PreCheck and Global Entry

Dec 3, 2021

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TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are very popular topics among TPG readers, as evidenced by my flooded inbox this past week asking even more questions about the “trusted traveler” programs that help U.S. citizens move through airport security (and passport control) more quickly and seamlessly.

This week’s column continues the conversation. Be sure to check out my first column discussing both options — in addition to Clear — here. And if you missed last week’s column delving further into the differences, you can read that here.

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Here are this week’s top five questions:

In This Post

1. Are there delays for Global Entry renewals?

While TSA PreCheck applicants can be approved in as little as a week thanks to more than 400 enrollment centers across the country, U.S. Customs and Border Protection only has about 100 locations, which has resulted in wait times for appointments — both for renewals and new applicants.

You can check the status of your application by logging into the Trusted Traveler Program website specific to the program to which you’re applying. If your application says it’s “pending review,” that means it has been received and is currently being processed. After your application has been reviewed, the status will change to read “Conditionally Approved” or “Denied.”

Once you’ve been conditionally approved for a TTP, you must schedule an appointment online via the TTP website, which will prompt the status of your application to change to “Interview Scheduled.”

Travelers wait at a security checkpoint at Orlando International Airport the day before the Thanksgiving holiday. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

2. If I already have TSA PreCheck, can I add Global Entry?

For a one-time fee of $100, TSA PreCheck holders can upgrade to Global Entry to get all the benefits of TSA PreCheck plus easier entry to the U.S. upon coming back from abroad with Global Entry. Since you already have TSA PreCheck, log in to your TTP account and complete the application, along with submitting the application fee.

“If your application is conditionally approved, then your TTP account will instruct you to schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center,” says CBP. “Each applicant must schedule a separate interview.”

(Screenshot courtesy of U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

3. Is it possible to roll over TSA PreCheck to a Global Entry membership?

Unfortunately, no. Although Global Entry also includes access to TSAPrecheck, it does not work reciprocally.

Current TSA PreCheck members must pay to upgrade to Global Entry and go through the same application process as any other applicant would. Because you have already been approved as a Trusted Traveler though, your application is likely to be conditionally approved, which may speed up the process.

(Screenshot courtesy of U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

4. Does Global Entry work for children?

There is no minimum age requirement for Global Entry, meaning it’s suitable for use by families.

In order to do so, each family member must create a separate TTP login account and complete their own application. Those under 18 should indicate their legal guardian information on their application, who must accompany them to their interview.

“At this time, there is no option to schedule a group or family interview,” says DHS. “Each applicant will need to schedule a separate interview.”

(Screenshot courtesy of U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

5. Does TSA PreCheck work internationally?

TSA PreCheck helps you speed through Transportation and Security Administration security at more than 200 U.S. airports by circumventing the oftentimes arduous tasks of removing your shoes, laptop, quart-sized bag of liquids, etc. — and relying on the promptness of your fellow travelers to do so in tandem. However, it does not help you with security lines at international airports, as it is a program administered by the U.S. government.

For international travelers, try Global Entry, which is a customs screening program that helps expedite your entry to the U.S. when you return from an international destination by verifying your identity biometrically, before printing out a receipt to be verified by a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer.

(Screenshot courtesy of U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

Have a question for next week? Email me at caroline.tanner@thepointsguy.com or tips@thepointsguy.com.

Featured photo of travelers at security at San Francisco International Airport on Nov. 24, 2021 by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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