A look at Global Entry Registration, by Chip Juedes
After hearing the horror stories of four plus hour waits at customs since the sequester, my wife Maggie and I decided to begin the process for Global Entry. For those of you that aren’t aware, Global Entry allows you to bypass the lines at Customs and Passport Control at most major airports by using a kiosk.
The first step in the application process is to go to https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/main/goes and create a username and password. From there, you have a twelve page online form to fill out. It asks for your addresses, places of employment and countries traveled in the last five years, in addition to your driver’s license number, passport number, if you have been convicted of a felony etc.
Once the form is complete, you must enter your form of payment for the $100.00 fee. If you are an American Express Platinum Cardholder, simply pay with your card and it will reimburse the fee on your statement. If you have status with United (Platinum and above) they will provide you a code to waive the $100 fee. https://www.united.com/web/en-us/apps/mileageplus/globalentry/default.aspx
After submitting the form, it took about a week before I received an email which stated that I was “Conditionally Approved.” The email instructed me to log on to the website and schedule my interview. Word from our customers is that Chicago O’Hare is currently booked until October and people were traveling as far as San Francisco just to get their interview complete sooner. The great news is that recently Milwaukee began offering interviews and I was able to schedule nearly any time the following week. You simply select your twenty minute time block on their schedule online.
The following week we drove down to the Customs office in Milwaukee, located near the old Sheraton Four Points on Howell. We were instructed via email to bring our passport, driver’s license and our acceptance letter. In typical fashion, we arrived almost an hour early and signed in. Almost immediately, an officer came out and escorted Maggie and I into his office for our interviews. He asked a few questions about our occupations, if we were traveling again soon and some pointed questions as to why we had traveled to select countries listed on our online forms. Within five minutes, he had taken our fingerprints, photos and placed a sticker on our passports which shows that we had been accepted into the Global Entry program. The next five minutes he spent explaining how the process works, how to use the kiosk, etc.
When you gain Global Entry approval, you also receive your SENTRI card, which is mailed up to one week after your interview. SENTRI cards allow entry into the United States by land or sea. Also, along with the Global Entry, you receive a Known Traveler number, which allows you to use the TSA Pre-Check lanes at select airports http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck/tsa-precheck-participation . With Pre-Check, you do not have to remove your coat, laptop, 3-1-1 liquid bag or shoes when going through security. If you have a Known Traveler number, it must be in the record/profile in order for them to receive the TSA Pre-Check logo on their boarding pass.
Since I haven’t traveled abroad with this new status yet, below you will find the instructions for the kiosks. One of the nice features of this system is that you don’t have to fill out the blue paper forms prior to entry back in the United States.
A few notes to add:
- Global Entry status is good for five years. If a passport expires prior to the five years, you simply log back on to your online account and update your information.
- The Global Entry Kiosks are only found when returning to the US from other countries. It will not work when arriving to any other country.
- More information can be found at http://www.globalentry.gov/index.html
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