Global Entry is a trusted traveler program that allows travelers to bypass the traditional immigration and customs lines to enter the United States through self-check-in. We’re huge fans of this program here at CreditCardPro, especially since membership is free with most premium credit cards and because it’s a major time-saver when traveling.
Global Entry has grown leaps and bounds since its inception in June 2008. Here are some things you should know about the program on the heels of its 10th anniversary.
Global Entry kiosks have arrived at most major airports
At press time, Global Entry locations can be found at a whopping 60 US airports and 15 Pre-clearance locations (these are CBP locations in airports abroad where clearance into the United States takes place pre-flight). This number is expected to grow in the coming months and years. (Click here for the most up-to-date list.)
The process is also streamlined across locations. Follow the signs to the Global Entry kiosks where you’ll scan your passport, match your fingerprints, and smile for the camera. You’ll fill out your customs information electronically here, so don’t bother with the blue customs form onboard. The kiosk will print a receipt, which you’ll flash to an immigration officer and then present to a customs official after collecting your bags (in most US airports) or identifying your bags on a screen to a customs officer (at pre-clearance centers).
Membership in Global Entry continues to rise
Earlier in 2018, the program reached a milestone with 5 million members. Between 2015 and 2018, enrollment grew more than 100 percent—from 2.4 million to 5.1 million members. And that number rose to 5.4 million as of June 2018.
Global Entry is now available to foreign nationals of a dozen-plus countries
US citizens, US nationals, and US Lawful Permanent Residents aren’t the only ones eligible for Global Entry nowadays. Citizens of the following countries can also apply: Argentina, India, Colombia, United Kingdom, Germany, Panama, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, and Taiwan as well as Mexican nationals.
Global Entry has launched a facial recognition pilot
For its 10-year anniversary in June 2018, CBP launched a facial recognition pilot at Orlando International Airport (MCO). These special Global Entry kiosks are able to identify travelers based on facial recognition. “CBP is moving towards Global Entry 2.0—making Trusted Travelers entry into the United States even faster and more secure by utilizing facial recognition technology,” said CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. Soon after, facial biometrics were integrated into the international arrival process at San Jose International Airport (SJC) in Silicon Valley.
Enrollment on Arrival continues to grow
It used to be the case that after applying online and obtaining conditional approval for Global Entry, wait times for a requisite in-person interview could be months long. Plus, a limited number of enrollment centers (where interviews take place) often meant very long drives for those who don’t live in or near major cities. Thankfully CBP launched Enrollment on Arrival to alleviate this problem.
Conditionally approved applicants can now complete their interviews at 41 airports across the United States and Canada after landing from an international flight. All that’s required is a passport and following the sometimes hard-to-find signage leading you to CBP officers who can conduct the interview.
Enrollment Centers continue to improve
CBP is working hard to keep up with demand for Global Entry. Case in point: In November 2018, it expanded and relocated the Global Entry Enrollment Center to a new spot at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). This move is expected to double the number of applicants processed. Since opening in October 2008, this location alone has enrolled over 350,000 applicants.
Global Entry remains an easy application and free with most premium credit cards
Applying is simple. Start your online application by registering as a new user with the Global Online Enrollment System. You’ll then get a GOES user ID (every applicant needs a separate ID). Log in, enter all the necessary personal information, and submit a completed application. Pay the nonrefundable $100 fee. Use the right elite credit card to pay this fee, and Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check—you also get automatic enrollment in TSA Pre-Check so no need for a separate application or application fee—won’t cost you a cent. You’ll get an automatic statement credit once the charge posts.
The following luxury credit cards offer the $100 Global Entry statement credit every four to five years (as you must renew your PASS ID every five years): Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Citi Prestige® Card, Mastercard® Black Card™, Mastercard® Gold Card™, The Platinum Card® from American Express, and U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card.