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Anyone in the process of renewing their Global Entry membership can breathe a sigh of relief. As originally reported by USA Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has extended the length of time you can use your benefits after your membership expires from six months to a year.

The CBP website still references a six-month grace period but TPG confirmed with a representative from CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs support desk that your membership will, in fact, work for up to a full year after its expiration date. That said, you’ll still have to submit your application for renewal before the expiration date.

What does this news mean for travelers? In all reality, not much, aside from the fact that you can stress less if CBP is slow to process your renewal.

Renewing your Global Entry membership can take time, mostly due to increasing enrollment numbers, last year’s government shut down and the reassignment of officials to the southern border earlier this summer. A number of TPG readers have reported waiting months for their Global Entry renewal to process. So, it’s nice to see CBP doing something to address this issue.

Related: Renewing Global Entry too late – Reader mistake story

If you have yet to apply for Global Entry (you’re missing out!), be sure to read about the 10 key things to know about getting Global Entry. It includes information about who qualifies for the program, what families need to know about Global Entry, what to expect during your interview and more.

While applying can be a bit of a hassle, Global Entry is definitely worth it. It includes TSA Precheck and the $100 cost to apply is effectively zero when using a credit card that offers a Global Entry credit equivalent to the application fee.

Featured image by Chris Hondros/Getty Images

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