Complete Guide to Global Entry

Application Process and Usage

Are you looking for ways to stream line your travel? One of the easiest is to cut down on time needed at the airport, which is the promise of emerging programs like TSA pre-check and Global Entry.

Today we’ll dive in to the details of Global Entry to help answer the questions you might have about this program. Here’s your Global Entry Guide from the benefits to the usage:

What are the benefits of Global Entry?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection provides this description:

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. Members enter the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports.

At airports, program members proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingerprints on the scanner for fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration. The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction receipt and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit.

Travelers must be pre-approved for the Global Entry program. All applicants undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment.”

Breaking down the legal talk, Global Entry allows US citizens to more quickly enter the country.

  • Avoid lines at border control
  • Answer a few questions at a kiosk, scan your fingerprints, show your receipt and exit the passport control area
  • Includes TSA pre-check to speed up moving through security (no need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids)
  • Global Entry might be open at times when Customs & Immigration is not

How do you apply for Global Entry?

The process is long due to wait times for an interview, but very easy:

  1. Register on GOES and complete your online application — You will pay a $100 non-refundable fee at the time of application. TSA Pre-Check is $85 and does not include the customs features.
  2. Schedule a time for your in person interview
  3. Complete your in person interview with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at an enrollment center — interviews take no more than 20 minutes and you must bring a printed copy of the conditional approval you receive via email.
  4. An approved Global Entry is valid for 5 years, then you will follow the same application process to reapply.

Due to the current demand on this system, many are finding that the first available appointment for an interview is 3-6 months from the date of application. You can complete the interview at any eligible location, which means there is a possibility of scheduling during a flight or using your existing travel schedule to find interviews sooner in different cities.

After receiving an email that you are conditionally approved, log back in to your GOES account and check for any new openings. Many travelers have reported finding earlier slots due to cancellations by checking once a week. You will have the ability to reschedule your interview through the GOES platform.


According to the US Customs and Border Patrol the following are eligible to apply:

  • U.S. citizens
  • U.S. lawful permanent residents
  • Citizens of United Kingdom
  • Citizens of Germany
  • Citizens of the Netherlands
  • Citizens of Panama
  • Citizens of South Korea
  • Mexican nationals


What to bring to your interview:


  • A copy of the Conditional Approval Notification (which the officer did not ask to see)
  • Passport
  • A document to establish residency (such as driver’s license, utility bill, rental or mortgage statement)

Interview Questions

The interview will include a quick photo, digital finger prints and then a conversation with an agent, who will verify your information and ask some basic questions:

  • Have you ever been arrested?
  • Have you ever transported something where the contents were unknown?
  • Have you ever repudiated American citizenship?
  • Do you have a second passport or claim to citizenship in another country?
  • Have you ever broken customs or immigration laws?
  • Are you a US resident?

At the end of the interview if you are approved, you will be provided with your new Trusted Traveler ID. Enter this on all of your new reservations and update old ones (there is a field just like Frequent Flyer). At this point all of your boarding passes will include a note for TSA pre-check when available and Global entry.