US Global Entry – A Complete Guide

Global Entry USA
Global Entry USA

Can the US Global Entry program help you save time and energy? Want to skip the long airport lines returning to the United States from your trip abroad?

Yes. it will help you to avoid long airport lines.

Global entry is an excellent way to skip the lines as you re-enter the U.S. after your trip abroad. It is a trusted traveler program for low-risk travelers from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are must-have toolkits if you are a frequent flyer, saving you precious time at the airport.

Getting a membership is easy and convenient! Read on to find out how.

In this blog, you can find out if you are eligible for global entry, how to apply, and how to use it at airports.

What Is Global Entry?

It is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that enables expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers to the United States upon arriving from abroad.

It is one of the several programs, the other trusted traveler programs are TSA PreCheck, NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST.

The programs five-year membership includes Global Entry and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Precheck (expedited security checks at select airports in the U.S.)

The program aims to verify travelers’ identification and enroll them in faster security screenings. There are over 10 million TTP members.

Who is Eligible For This Program?

You must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. lawful permanent resident.

Citizens of the following countries are also eligible for Global Entry membership:

Understanding Global Entry USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Bahrain
  • India
  • Colombia
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • The Netherlands
  • Panama
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Mexican Nationals
  • Canadian citizens and residents (through membership in the NEXUS program)

Note: Depending on your country of citizenship, there can be additional requirements you need to fulfill. For additional information on the travel arrangements, you can click on your country of citizenship on this CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) website.

Citizens of India holding a valid US visa like a B1-B2 visa are eligible to apply. It takes 4-6 months to approve as per Customs and Border Protection (CBP), can take much longer as per the information provided on their website.

This implies that if your parents are flying from India to the USA on a B2 visa, it will be convenient for them to apply for one.

On arrival, they can choose the Enrollment on Arrival (EoA) option to save time by skipping the hassle of waiting in the immigration lines at the airports.

Note: Members of Global Entry who are not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents must keep their visa information up to date with CBP.  A Global Entry member must inform CBP in person at an enrollment center if they get a new visa or file a new petition for a work visa. To add or change visa information, a member must go to an enrollment center.

Why You Might Not Qualify For The Global Entry Program?

You may not qualify for the Global Entry program if any of this applies:

  • Apply with incorrect or missing information;
  • Have an outstanding warrant, are under investigation for a crime
  • Have convictions for any crime, including driving under the influence
  • Found in violation of any country’s customs, immigration, or agriculture rules
  • Are under investigation by a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency
  • Have been denied the purchase of a firearm
  • Prohibited from entering the country by immigration law, including applicants with parole documentation or approved waivers of inadmissibility or
  • Cannot convince CBP that you are a low-risk person.

How To Apply For Global Entry?

If you want to return to the U.S. from your first international trip, it is a great time to apply for global entry.

Applicants need to submit a Global Entry application and pay a non-refundable application fee of $100. Applications undergo a rigorous background check and an in-person interview.

Submit the application via CBP’s TTP website.

After the approval of an application, a CBP officer schedules an interview with the applicant. The interview is to make a final eligibility determination.

Application Process

  1. Create a TTP account
  2. Long on your TTP account, complete the application and pay the $100 fee
  3. Once your application is reviewed, and conditionally approved, you’ll receive a message in your TTP account instructing you to schedule an interview at one of the Global Entry Enrollment Centers
  4. If an in-person interview is not possible, you can opt for Enrollment on Arrival (EoA) which is available immediately upon arrival from an international country. No appointment is needed
  5. CBP Officer asks questions during the interview, takes a photo, and collects fingerprints
  6. Bring your valid passport(s) and one other form of identification, like a driver’s license or ID card to the interview
  7. If you are a lawful permanent resident, you must present your machine-readable permanent resident card

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) does not give a specific timeline for how long the entire application process takes but says it may take up to several months.

Requirements For Children

Global Entry does not have a minimum age limit. However, for Global Entry applicants who are under the age of 18, a parent or legal guardian’s consent is required to enroll in the program.

How Does Global Entry Work?

At select airports, you can simply proceed to Global Entry kiosks.

Understanding Global Entry USA

Scan your machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card. Place your fingerprints on the scanner for fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration.

The kiosk will issue you a transaction receipt and you’ll be directed to baggage claim and the exit, giving you expedited entry into the USA. You must be pre-approved for the Global Entry program for this to work.

Note: Global Entry’s goal is to speed the process & expedite clearance. Members can be selected for additional screening by a border protection officer when entering the US. Any breach program’s terms will result in the traveler’s membership privileges being terminated and the relevant enforcement action being taken.

Understanding Global Entry USA

How To Renew Global Entry Account?

Apply for renewal early.

Global Entry membership lasts for 5 years, you are allowed to renew your account within one year of your membership’s expiration date.

You can renew your Global Admission membership by:

  • Logging into your TTP Account (Trusted Traveler Program account).
  • Select Manage Membership
  • Choose the Trusted Traveler Program Enrollment page will appear.
  • Click on the blue Renew Application button, and follow the instructions on the screen.
  • The Personal Information page will appear, and you’ll be asked to update information like
    • the countries visited
    • change contact details
    • pay the fees
  • Take your time to complete and edit all details

What Is A Global Entry Card?


  • U.S. citizens
  • U.S. lawful permanent residents, and
  • Mexican nationals

Use Global Entry cards for lawful U.S. entry:

  • Land ports of entry
  • Sea ports of entry

The Global Entry cards are unusable at kiosks. You can use your passport or lawful permanent resident at the kiosks.

How To Get Global Entry For Free By Using A Credit Card?

The membership costs $100, many good TSA PreCheck or Global Entry card programs reimburse the full membership costs.

Some credit cards offer application fee reimbursement. The best cards that offer a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit are premium travel cards that reward you for travel-related expenses like dining, airline, and hotel bookings.

Submit your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application, pay the application fee using your credit card, and get the reimbursement within the timeline specified by your card.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find my Trusted Traveler Membership number?

The membership number (or your PASS ID) is available on the back of the Trusted Traveler card or you can log into your Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) account. The membership number is available on the login page.

What’s better TSA PreCheck or Global Entry?

If you travel internationally four or more times a year, consider enrolling.  TSA PreCheck is an excellent choice for domestic travelers.

Most TSA PreCheck applicants can schedule an appointment within 2 weeks. If your application is approved, you will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) in about 3 to 5 days after the appointment.

A KTN is issued to all individuals approved to receive TSA PreCheck expedited screening.

Provide your KTN number in the air ticket reservation. This ensures the TSA PreCheck indicator shows up on your boarding pass.

What is the difference between TSA PreCheck and Global Entry?

TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are both Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Trusted Traveler Programs. TSA PreCheck provides expedited security screening benefits for flights departing from U.S. Airports.

Global Entry members get these benefits:

  • expedited U.S. customs screening for international air travelers entering the U.S.
  • members receive TSA PreCheck benefits

It is recommended you review all DHS trusted traveler programs:

  • TSA PreCheck
  • Global Entry

ensure you meet the eligibility requirements and determine the best program for you. 

Can I add Global Entry to my TSA PreCheck?

It is not possible to get an automatic upgrade from TSA PreCheck to Global Entry.

You will need to apply first and get the benefits of TSA PreCheck included. If you already have a TSA PreCheck, you must apply separately.

You must complete the application documents and make an interview appointment.

Not all applications get approved. The reason for rejection can be past infractions or criminal records. This is why some people only apply for TSA PreCheck.

What documents do I need for Global Entry?

It’s essential to bring everything you used on the forms. It is usually your valid passport(s), driver’s license or ID card, or your permanent resident card if you are a lawful permanent resident.

How do I check my status for Global Entry?

You can check the status of your application from your TTP Dashboard, displayed after you log in. If the status of your application is “Pending Review”, it means your application is under process. The processing times will vary by applicant.

How long is Global Entry taking right now?

The CBP doesn’t provide an exact time frame for how long the whole application process takes and states it can take up to several months. Many times, there is a quick review of applications.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, wait times for the interviews are currently ranging between 6 and 18 months in some cases.

According to the CBP, Global Entry, SENTRI, NEXUS, and FAST are experiencing application processing delays and have limited interview availability. Check for interview appointment availability at a preferred Enrollment Center.

Is Global Entry worth it?

Your situation will determine if it is worthwhile. Travel is only domestic within the USA? Not very useful for you. It will help you save time at the airport for an international flight. Get it if you intend on taking a trip abroad within the next five years. 

Given the inclusion of TSA PreCheck and that many travel credit cards reimburse the membership fee, it could be worthwhile.

How do I make sure Global Entry is active?

You can find your expiration date by logging into your Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) account. You can renew your card within 1 year from the date of expiry. Select the blue “Renew Application” button under “Program Membership” and proceed with renewal.


If you make multiple international trips in a year and you are eligible for the program, you should consider it as it will help you save time.

Happy Travels! Always travel with insurance coverage, read the top 10 reasons to buy travel insurance.