It’s about time: CBP resumes Global Entry interviews next week

Sep 4, 2020

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Great news: You’ll finally get to sit for your Global Entry interview, starting next week.

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After a six-month hiatus, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will begin seeing conditionally approved Global Entry applicants starting Sept. 8

Most enrollment centers in the United States will reopen the day after Labor Day. Appointments must be scheduled in advance online through the Trusted Traveler Programs website. Availability will vary by location.

Related: A 2020 challenge: I just applied for my Global Entry renewal

However, the U.S. land borders between Canada and Mexico remain closed for non-essential travel at this time. As a result, sister Trusted Traveler programs NEXUS and U.S.-Canada FAST are still suspending interviews, while SENTRI and FAST-South enrollments on the southern border may also be limited, CBP said in a press release.

To minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure for both travelers and employees, all applicants entering CBP facilities must wear face masks or similar cloth coverings. CBP also warns that applicants may experience staggered or reduced appointment availability; limited seating in waiting areas; enhanced sanitation measures including service counter disinfecting, Plexiglass barriers and face shields; and social distancing protocols.

Applicants should still expect to be fingerprinted as part of the final interview process.

Related: My Global Entry application was approved overnight. Many others aren’t so lucky

(Photo illustration is by The Points Guy staff)

 

The past six months have been tough on everyone. The coronavirus pandemic brought normal life to a screeching halt back in March, including most domestic and international travel plans. Multiple branches of the U.S. government, including CBP, were impacted by closures designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19, and many have postponed or delayed reopening more than once.

Related: Where Americans can go

U.S. travelers have faced steep hurdles getting back on the road between border closures worldwide, a massive backlog of passport applications and a complete halt on Trusted Traveler interviews — amidst, of course, the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Unfortunately, it won’t be as easy as breezing into an enrollment center for your interview. Numerous TPG readers have told us that they have been waiting on conditional approval for months now, even before the coronavirus pandemic, with one traveler calling the delay “pending review purgatory.”

This $15 service can help you “skip the line” for Global Entry appointments, but scheduling an interview is still dependent on your application having been approved for final review.

And even if you do have conditional approval, CBP’s schedule is still booked up for months to come.

Coming back from a trip abroad? If you’ve already been conditionally approved for membership or renewal, you don’t have to worry about scheduling an appointment. Just stop in at a Global Entry Enrollment on Arrival office on your return to the U.S. for a quick interview.

Featured photo by Shutterstock.

 

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