A couple years ago, while waiting in a long line to go through customs after arriving from London Heathrow at O’Hare International Airport, I glanced up at a neon sign. I read the simple statement, “No need to wait in line for US Customs: Apply at GlobalEntry.gov today!”.
Needless to say, I researched Global Entry the very next day. What is Global Entry? As defined on the website, Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.
Though intended for frequent international travelers, there is no minimum number of trips necessary to qualify for the program. Participants may enter the United States by using automated kiosks located at select airports.
I then applied on-line and paid the $100 non-refundable fee. After processing my application, I received an email stating that I needed to schedule an interview with US CBP officer. Once the interview was conducted and I was approved, the officer collected biometric information which included taking my fingerprints and photo for facial recognition.
Global Entry is definitely my favorite program that the US government has implemented for travelers. It has saved me hours of time and even provided me the opportunity to catch earlier connecting flights at times as well.
For eligibility requirements, approval process and a listing of international airports with Global Entry kiosks, visit www.globalentry.gov.
Hope you love this as much as I do – share with us your experiences with Global Entry!