• Speeding up the customs process with Global Entry

    Nick "Brainy Traveler"
    How many of you U.S. residents are frequent travelers outside the United States? Those of you with your hands raised may be interested in a relatively new system that has been implemented in several key airports around the United States to help facilitate the process of clearing customs back home. It’s called the Global Entry program and allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. It was designed for frequent travelers, but there is no trip minimum. Basically, upon entry into the United States you clear customs via a kiosk that will match you by fingerprint or retinal scan and can be the difference between a few minutes and a “healthy wait.”

    Here is a link for more information: http://www.globalentry.gov/index.html

    Not every airport is equipped with the kiosks (currently 20 cities around the U.S. & Puerto Rico have the kiosks) so please make sure you check out the website before you sign up. If you are interested, you can enroll online: https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/main/goes. I’ve done it myself and I can tell you it is an absolute dream. The site is a little clunky and the application process takes up to 45 minutes as you need to input a lot of personal information. It also requires a $100 non-refundable application fee. Once your application is approved you’ll be notified to schedule an in-person interview at a Global Entry enrollment center.

    As a side note, if you already participate in a program like NEXUS or SENTRI you are already eligible.

    Are you already a Global Entry member? What do you think of the program? Do you have any other time-saving tips for frequent border-crossers?

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