The hardest part of international travel can be waiting at U.S. Customs after a long, exhausting journey when you just want to grab your bags and go. Official status as a “trusted traveler” through the Global Entry program removes that pain when entering the country at major airports.
Once approved, a traveler with Global Entry status can skip the line and use a Global Entry kiosk. The kiosk requires a passport or U.S. permanent resident card plus fingerprint identification, and then issues a receipt. Take the receipt, grab your bags and head straight for the exit. Easy. Another bonus of Global Entry status is that it also qualifies the holder for TSA Pre-check, which can be used when traveling domestically.
How to apply for Global Entry status
First, you must create a Trusted Traveler Program account at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website. Once you’ve done that:
- Log in to your account, and fill out the application.
- Submit a $100 non-refundable fee with the application.
- If the application is conditionally approved, you will be contacted via your website account to schedule an in-person appointment.
- Bring a valid passport and one other form of identification to the interview.
- You will be finger-printed during the interview.
Within a few weeks, if everything checks out, you should be armed with your new Global Entry card.
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