Global Entry Guide (Application & Interviews) [2022]

Global Entry is one of the travel perks that I absolutely would not want to travel without. It has saved me tons of time and stress over the past decade and I think anybody who does even a small amount of traveling should consider it.

In this comprehensive article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about Global Entry. I’ll cover things like the benefits, eligibility, and how the entire process works, as well as answer a lot of common questions.

What is Global Entry?

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection service that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers expedited entry at select airports when passing through immigration and customs checkpoints.

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What are the Global Entry benefits?

  • Expedited entry through immigration and customs at airports
  • Expedited entry at other ports of entry including cruise terminals
  • Expedited entry in select other countries
  • TSA Pre-Check
  • Government-issued ID card

Expedited entry through immigration and customs at airports

Whenever you arrive back in the US, you will be able to skip the long lines at immigration via automated kiosk stations (I explain how that process works below).

This will save you lots of time in many cases.

In fact, the time savings can be doubled as many airports also have separate lines at customs. So when you are trying to exit the airport with your baggage, you often can skip the long lines there as well.

Expedited entry at other ports of entry including cruise terminals

It’s not just airports that offer expedited entry, you can also get through border checkpoints quicker when crossing back into the US at cruise terminals.

While rare, it’s possible you could come across an “express lane” when departing a cruise, such as the line that Port Everglades, FL had.

Expedited entry in select other countries

By getting approved for Global Entry, you’ll be able to access security clearance programs in other countries that offer expedited entry. I‘ll have the full breakdown of those below.

TSA Pre-Check

If you are approved for Global Entry, you will be given TSA Pre-Check automatically. TSA Pre-Check will allow you to bypass the main security screening line when arriving at airports and also provide you with some additional benefits that make the security screening process much quicker and less stressful.

These additional benefits include:

  • Shoes can stay on
  • Belt can stay on
  • Light jackets can stay on
  • Laptops allowed to stay in bag
  • Liquids (3-1-1 Rule) can stay in bag

Government-issued ID

Something that a lot of people don’t realize is that a Global Entry ID card is an official government recognized identification. So if you ever lose your license or your passport, often times this ID can help you in those situations.

It also can be used at certain ports of entry. The CBP states that they “accept Global Entry cards for lawful U.S. entry at land and sea ports of entry” and the cards can be used “for expedited entry into the United States via the SENTRI and NEXUS lanes.”

Picture of a global entry sign at an airport.
Benefits extend beyond US borders with Global Entry.

How much does Global Entry cost?

The Global Entry application fee is $100 and if you are approved your membership is good for five years. Note that if you are not approved, you will NOT get refunded the $100.

The good news is that there are many credit cards that offer Global Entry credits to completely cover your $100 application fee. A lot of these are travel credit cards that offer additional perks and benefits that make them well worth holding onto.

A few of the top cards for Global Entry credits include:

How does Global Entry work?

After you apply, attend an interview, and you get approved, you will be issued something known as a “PASSID” which is also called a “Known Traveler Number.” This number will be automatically attached to your passport.

When you arrive back in the US, you will be able to bypass the main immigration line and head over to a kiosk area where you can scan your passport and biometrics. After verifying your travel details and making any declarations, you will be issued a receipt and often you will show that to an immigration officer who will quickly wave you through immigration.

It’s a very efficient process that takes the pain out of international travel to a large degree.

Who is eligible for Global Entry?

To be eligible for Global Entry you need to be a citizen of the US or another recognized country and also be able to pass the background check.

Citizens eligible for Global Entry

U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, and citizens of the following countries are eligible for Global Entry membership:

  • Citizens of Argentina
  • Citizens of India
  • Citizens of Colombia
  • Citizens of United Kingdom
  • Citizens of Germany
  • Citizens of Panama
  • Citizens of Singapore
  • Citizens of South Korea
  • Citizens of Switzerland
  • Citizens of Taiwan
  • Mexican nationals

Something to note is that if you come from certain countries, there may be additional requirements that you have to meet in order to be eligible.

For example, if you were applying for Global Entry and you were from Taiwan, you would first need to obtain a Police Criminal Record Certificate from the local Taiwan Police Department.

Also, Global Entry members who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. lawful permanent residents must keep CBP updated regarding visas.

If an individual obtains a new visa or a new petition for a work visa they must go in person to an enrollment center so that the CBP can update their information. You can find out more about those requirements here.

Background check eligibility for Global Entry

In order to get approved for Global Entry, you must pass a background check.

Criminal history

This background check will require your history to be squeaky clean when it comes to criminal activity.

If you have been convicted of any criminal offense or have pending criminal charges or outstanding warrants, you may not get approved. Past offenses include driving under the influence.

Luckily, there is a time component to these criminal offenses.

Online sources state that if your conviction is 10 years or older, you can still pass a background check. Your conviction might still be brought up in the interview, but at least you can get past the conditional approval stage.

Customs and immigration violations

If you have been found in violation of any customs, immigration or agriculture regulations or laws in any country, you could lose your membership status.

So let’s say you were caught transporting banned plants from a country like Australia, that infraction could cost you your eligibility for Global Entry.

So be smart and always think about the consequences!

Ongoing investigations

Even if you have not been convicted, if there is an ongoing investigation by any federal, state, or local law enforcement agency, you might not be able to pass a background check.

Not allowed in the US

This one is a no brainer but if you are not admissible into the US under immigration regulations, including applicants with approved waivers of inadmissibility or parole documentation, you will likely not get approved.

Cannot satisfy CBP of your low-risk status

Basically, if CBP cannot deem you a low risk traveler you will be out of luck. However, it is possible to appeal the decision for your Global Entry eligibility.

Age requirements

There are no age requirements for Global Entry.

However, if you are under the age of 18, you must have your parent or legal guardian’s consent to participate in the program.  But note that the parent or guardian does not have to be a Global Entry member.

Also, regardless of your age you will have to have your own TTP account and each applicant must schedule a separate interview.

How do you sign up for Global Entry?

To sign up for Global Entry follow these steps:

  1. Create a Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) account
  2. Complete the online application and pay the $100 fee
  3. Get conditionally approved
  4. Schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center.
  5. Get approved!

Create a Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) account

In order to sign up for Global Entry you will need to create a trusted traveler program account. You can do this online in a matter of minutes.

Complete the online application and pay the $100 fee

In order for your application to be reviewed, you will have to pay the $100 nonrefundable application fee.

The good thing about Global Entry is that you don’t have to use a card in your name to pay the fee. So if somebody else has a credit card with a $100 Global Entry credit, they can use it on your application.

Get conditionally approved

After submitting your application for review, the next thing you need to do is get the conditional approval letter. This should come within a couple of weeks although mine have always come in a few days.

You should get an email and/or notification leading you to a letter you can access online that begins something like:

We are pleased to inform you that your U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Global Entry membership application has been processed and you are now invited to visit an enrollment center to complete the enrollment process.

This letter is important because it will have your Global Entry membership number aka PassID aka Known Traveler Number. Be sure to print out this letter because you will need to bring it with you to the interview; also be sure notate your membership number just in case you end up losing your letter.

You will need to complete enrollment within 365 days of the date of conditional approval.

Schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center

The toughest part about this process might be scheduling an interview. Keep reading below for more details on how to schedule an interview.

Get approved!

Sometimes you’ll get approved right on the spot at the conclusion of your interview.

Other times you might have to wait around a little bit for your confirmation email. When I was initially approved for Global Entry, my confirmation email came about one hour after my interview was over.

If you do not hear back after a couple of days, something might be wrong and you might want to follow up.

Once you are approved, your PASSID (that is also your Known Traveler Number) is live.

This is the number that you will need to plug into your frequent flyer profiles for different airlines in order to ensure that you receive TSA Pre-Check. 

Membership will be good for five years beginning from the date of your next birthday.

This is one reason why I recommend for people to apply right after their birthday because they can essentially get six years of membership.

How do you complete an interview for Global Entry?

There are three ways to knock out the interview requirement for Global Entry:

  • Schedule an interview
  • Walk-in appointment
  • Enrollment on Arrival

Scheduling an interview

To schedule an interview simply log into your account and you should see a blue call to action button allowing you to schedule an interview.

One of the most challenging aspects of signing up for Global Entry is getting an interview.

Getting an interview is somewhat problematic for some people because there are not many interview locations and the wait time for an interview opening could be several months depending on where you live.

One of the ways that you can make this process less painful is by checking the available interview slots on a regular basis.

Many times people will change their appointments or cancel them and slots will open up allowing you to reschedule your interview.

When I initially signed up for Global Entry many years ago, I was able to reschedule my appointment and get it done within a week.

To do this, simply click on “reschedule appointment” and search for open slots.

Doing a Global Entry walk-in interview

Many people simply show up unannounced to an enrollment center at an airport and try to get an interview done on the spot. It’s a bit aggressive but hey it sometimes works despite the fact that many (if not most) enrollment centers explicitly state they do not accept walk-in appointments.

Typically, if you were doing something quick like a name change it seems like they are more accepting of those types of requests.

Global Entry Enrollment on Arrival (EOA)

If you are struggling to find an interview slot, one of the best things that you can do is simply do “Enrollment on Arrival.”

If you are flying back from an international flight, at some airports you will see a designated area that you can get your interview conducted at on the spot. Simply look for a sign that indicates Global Entry “Enrollment on Arrival.”

Check the FAQ below for a list of all of the airports where you can do Enrollment on Arrival.

If you do decide to go this route, make sure you have all your documents. You will need your passport and proof of residence (such as a drivers license), mortgage statement, rental payment statement, utility bill, etc.

Picture of a global entry enrollment on arrival sign.
Enrollment on arrival is one of the easiest ways to get the interview done.

What is the Global Entry interview like?

A typical Global Entry interview is very quick and not nearly as thorough or invasive as you might think.

Generally, they will be asking you straightforward questions such as: What type of travel do you do, business or leisure? What countries have you visited?, etc. They are very much softball questions.

If there is something questionable on your application, that will probably come up in the interview so be prepared to address certain things.

But after answering a few questions and allowing them to take your biometrics (fingerprints) and a photo, you will be off to the races!

(I have heard some locations asked applicants to watch a short video in the past.)

If you want more details about the interview process, you can read about my interview experience at Houston Intercontinental Airport.

What do I need to bring to a Global Entry interview?

Most applicants will only need to bring:

  • The conditional letter of approval
  • A valid passport
  • A document showing proof of residency such as a drivers license

But note that depending on your circumstances, you might need to bring in additional documents. I’ll explain more below. 

Conditional letter of approval

You should bring your conditional letter of approval to the interview. If for some reason you do not have your letter, at the very least be sure to have your PASSID number found on the application.

The CPB states:

You will need to bring a copy of your conditional approval letter. To print the letter, log into your TTP account and you will see it under Notifications. If you do not have it, then please write down the PASSID number issued to your application and print out a copy of your interview confirmation.

So the key is to have a way to bring the PASSID number with you (though I think they can still access your number if you don’t have it).

Valid passport or permanent resident card

You’ll need to bring a valid passport or permanent resident card.

If you travel using more than one passport, bring them all to the interview so that the information can be added to your file. This provides you with the ability to use either passport at the Global Entry kiosk.

Proof of residency

For many people the proof of residency will be a drivers license assuming that the address on the license is current. In other cases though you could bring something like a mortgage statement, rental payment statement, utility bill etc. Note that minors do not need a proof of residency.

ACRO Disclosure Certificate

If you are a UK citizen and applied for Global Entry, and you are not a U.S. lawful permanent resident (green card holder) you must bring an original copy of your ACRO Disclosure Certificate (police certificate) to the interview.

Court disposition papers

If you had any prior arrests or convictions, you will need to bring court disposition papers that explain what happened with your case. Read more about what to bring with you here.

How do you renew Global Entry?

In order to renew your Global Entry, you will need to go online and go through the renewal process. You won’t be able to renew your membership until one year prior to it expiring.

Renewing your membership will require you to input additional details that have changed since the last time you were approved. For example, if you have moved to different addresses or travelled to different countries, you will need to update the application with that information.

You will not always have to go in for a second interview whenever you renew your Global Entry membership. But if you are unlucky like myself, you will have to go in for an additional interview.

Typically, there will be a six-month grace period after your membership expires. During this time, you should have access to your for Global Entry benefits although I’ve heard some people have issues getting TSA Pre-Check.

Because of the coronavirus outbreak in 2020, the CBP allowed for a temporary one year grace period.

Is Global Entry worth it?

The value in Global Entry is that it is a huge timesaver. The amount of time that you will save will depend on how much international travel that you do.

Basically, you need to ask yourself how often are you going to be going through immigration and customs?

At some airports during peak hours, the long wait time for immigration can be over 90 minutes! (You can look up waiting times here.) That is a very long time to be waiting and just imagine if you had to endure that long wait time after crossing the Atlantic. It’d be no fun, I assure you.

But with Global Entry, you can usually skip those long lines.

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Global Entry benefits in other countries

As mentioned above, Global Entry will get you expedited entry in select other countries.


When traveling in Australia, you can access SmartGate courtesy of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. This will allow you to self-process through passport control and may be faster than waiting for a Customs and Border Protection officer.

There is no registration process for SmartGate but in order to use it U.S. citizens must be:

  • Traveling on a valid U.S. electronic passport, and
  • At least 16 years old


When traveling in Germany, you can access EasyPASS-RTP Which allows you to partially self process at passport control. This automated control system does not fully replace manual border checks but it does help to speed up the lines at airports that handle the highest volumes of passengers.


If you are approved for Global Entry, you can apply for Viajero Confiable. You’ll need to meet some additional requirements which include:

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age
  • Applicants must hold a valid machine-readable passport
  • An interview at one of the Viajero Confiable enrollment centers is required
  • Biometric information will be collected at time of interview
  • Application fee

Once approved, your membership will be good for five years.

New Zealand

In New Zealand you will have access to a dedicated screening lane when arriving at Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch International Airports. The lanes should be clearly marked with signs that say US Global Entry and in order to access the lines, Global Entry members simply present their Global Entry card, U.S. passport, and arrival documentation.


When touching down in Panama, you can take it vantage of Panama Global Pass.

Republic of Korea

In Korea, Global Entry members can use Smart Entry Service (SES) — a trusted traveler program operated by the Republic of Korea for expedited processing. These can be used at three popular airports: Incheon, Gimpo, and Gimpae.

US citizens must first become a Global Entry member, and may then apply for the Korean SES program. You can learn more about SES at Smart Entry Service for U.S. Citizens.

Other trusted traveler programs

Global Entry is just one of a handful of Trusted Traveler Programs that make security screening and traveling through borders easier. These other programs include:

  • TSA Pre-Check
  • FAST

TSA Pre-Check

As already mentioned, if you are approved for Global Entry you will get TSA Pre-Check. Because Global Entry is only a little more expensive than Pre-Check, I recommend most people to consider Global Entry. The only reason why you would not get Global Entry is it for some reason you have absolutely no plans to travel internationally.


NEXUS is pretty much the Global Entry for getting into Canada on an expedited basis. It’s cheaper than Global Entry but credit cards do not offer credits for this program. If you live near the Canadian border you should seriously consider Nexus.


SENTRI is for expedited entry into the U.S. from Canada and Mexico. This can be a great way to expedite your land crossings. Though this is the most expensive program at $122.50.


FAST is for truck drivers entering and exiting the U.S. from Canada and Mexico. So if you’re not a commercial truck driver, this program is not of much interest.

In addition to those programs, there are a couple of non-Trusted Traveler Programs that can be very handy when traveling.

Mobile Passport

Mobile Passport is a free app you can use to get expedited entry through immigration. It doesn’t come with all of the perks that Global Entry comes with like TSA Pre-Check, expedited customs lines, and perks in other countries. But it is great for using for groups when some individuals don’t have Global Entry and it can also be used at some cruise terminals.


Finally, there is also the program CLEAR. This is the ultimate way to expedite your airport experience because you can jump to the front of the line. If you combine TSA Pre-Check with CLEAR then you have the ultimate streamlined screening process and it’s great for frequent fliers. Just note that CLEAR is expensive.

LGA Terminal C CLEAR TSA Pre-Check

Global Entry FAQ

What does conditional approval mean?

Conditional approval means that you have met the minimum threshold for advancing to the interview process. You will likely get approved but there is still no guarantee.

How do I find a Global Entry enrollment center?

To find an enrollment center where you can get an interview done, click here. You’ll be able to search by state or country. Many of these are located at airports but not all of them are.

Does Global Entry really save you time?

Yes, Global Entry can save you lots of time whenever you are entering back into the US. In some cases, it could save you 30 minutes to an hour of waiting time.

How much does Global Entry cost?


How can I get Global Entry for free?

Several credit cards such as the Platinum Card offer credits that allow you to sign up for free.

What airports have Global Entry?

The following airports have Global Entry kiosks. But note that the airports with “*” do not have enrollment centers.

Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)*
Anchorage – Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC)
Aruba – Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA)*
Austin – Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
Bermuda International Airport (BDA)*
Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS)
Burlington International Airport (BTV)*
Calgary International Airport (YYC)
Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT)
Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)*
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)
Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW)
Denver International Airport (DEN)
Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
Dublin Airport (DUB)*
Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
Fairbanks International Airport (FAI)
Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston (IAH)
Grand Bahamas International Airport (FPO)*
Guam International Airport (GUM)
Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)
Hartford – Bradley International Airport (BDL)
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
Houston – Hobby International Airport (HOU)
Indianapolis International Airport (IND)*
John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York (JFK)
John Wayne Airport (SNA)*
Kansas City International Airport (MCI)
Lambert – St. Louis International Airport (STL)
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas (LAS)
Miami International Airport (MIA)
Milwaukee – General Mitchell International Airport (MKE)
Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
Nashville International Airport (BNA)
Nassau – Sir Lynden Pindling International Airport, Bahamas (NAS)*
New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
New York – Stewart International Airport (SWF)*
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
Oakland International Airport (OAK)*
Ontario International Airport (ONT)*
Orlando International Airport (MCO)
Orlando-Melbourne International Airport (MLB)*
Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB)
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
Portland International Airport (PDX)
Providence – T.F. Green International Airport (PVD)
Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)*
Sacramento International Airport (SMF)*
Saipan International Airport (SPN)*
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
San Antonio International Airport (SAT)
San Diego International Airport (SAN)
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
San Jose International Airport (SJC)*
San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU)
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport-SeaTac (SEA)
Shannon Airport (SNN)*
South Bend International Airport (SBN)*
Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)*
Tampa International Airport (TPA)
Toledo Express Airport (TOL)*
Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG)

What airports have Enrollment on Arrival?

Enrollment on Arrival is available at the following locations:

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
Abu Dhabi international Airport (AUH)
Aeropuerto Internacional Reina Beatrix in Oranjestad, Aruba (AUA)
Baltimore/Washington International Airport (MWI)
Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF)
Calgary International Airport (YYC)
Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
Chicago Midway Airport (MDW)
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
Denver International Airport (DEN)
Detroit Metropolitan International Airport (DTW)
Dublin Airport (DUB)
Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT)
Grand Bahamas International Airport in Freeport (FPO)
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston
Halifax International Airport (YHZ)
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York (JFK)
John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)
John Wayne International Airport (SNA) in Orange County, CA
Kansas City International Airport (MCI)
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
Metropolitan Oakland International Airport (OAK)
McCarren International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas
Miami International Airport (MIA)
Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
Luis Munoz Marin International Airport San Juan (SJU)
Lynden Pindling Nassau International Airport (NAS)
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport(SJC)
O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in Chicago
Orlando International Airport (MCO)
OrlandoSanford International Airport (SFB)
Ottawa International Airport (YOW)
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
Portland International Airport (PDX)
Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO)
Sacramento International Airport (SMF) /li>
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
San Antonio International Airport (SAT)
San Diego International Airport (SAN)
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Shannon Airport (SNN)
St. Georgeâs Bermuda International Airport (BDA)
St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
Tampa International Airport (TPA)
Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) in Houston
Winnipeg James Armstrong international Airport(YWG)

Can my spouse use my Global Entry?

Global Entry can only be used by individuals who have their own membership. If you are interested in expedited entry for individuals without Global Entry, look into Mobile Passport.

How long will it take me to get approved for Global Entry?

The amount of time it takes from the time of applying to the time of approval will vary based on how long it takes you to get an interview. This could range from a few weeks to a few months. In some cases, there are delays that last for several months.

Final word

Global Entry is one of the best ways to spend $100 assuming you even have to come out of pocket for the fee. It will upgrade your airport experience allowing you to save a lot of time and stress when entering back into the US.

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