I’m now approved for Global Entry

I’ve always wanted to apply for the Global Entry program that allows you to shortcut the passport control line. It wasn’t until American Express Platinum card offered to refund the $100 application fee that I actually decided to do it.

You first must apply online and pay the $100 application fee. My $100 statement credit from American Express showed up in 2 days. After you’ve applied online, you then need to submit an interview time. I didn’t realize at the time of my application that you can’t interview at every airport. Luckily, I was able to schedule an interview in Detroit during my five hour layover.

When you arrive in person for your interview, you must provide them with your passport and driver’s license. The interview itself took about 30 minutes. They asked a lot of questions about what company I was working for and where I had traveled to previous. They were also curious as to how I heard about the program. I know that the Global Entry kiosks were completely empty during our landing from Frankfurt.

They then take all of your fingerprints and have you watch a six minute instructional video and then have you use a sample machine as an example of what you will do in the future.

It’s worth noting that the five year approval for the Global Entry program is passport specific. My passport expires next year and therefore I will have to come back into a Global Entry application center and have them certify my new passport (but not go through the whole application again).

Overall it was a pretty painless process. Thanks American Express for the freebie!

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  1. You’ll love it! Just back from our Visions of Venice tour a couple of days ago and what a pleasure it was to avoid that long line at passport control! Well worth the $100 for frequent travelers.

  2. I’m waiting for my application status to switch from “pending review”. I signed up on May 5th, Amex credited my account within 2 days. I’m in DC this weekend and hope it clears by the end of the week so I can set up an interview. Site suggests it might take upward of eight weeks to move from pending to ready for interview. Here’s hoping.

  3. I did this about 2 years ago and have enjoyed getting through passport control quickly. I especially like when the agent in the lounge or the gate agent looks at me confused and says, “passengers are still getting of that plane.”

    Keep in mind that you won’t be able to use Global Entry for travel between US & Cananda — there’s a separate program for that. I was planning to look into it.

  4. Did you get an approval e-mail or only notice when you logged in to check your application status?

  5. @Jason – thanks, just got an e-mail 20 mins ago 🙂 Conditionally approved – schedule interview. BOOM!

  6. Actually you don’t have to go back to the office when you get a new passport. You can use the same system you used for the application process (GOES) to update your passport information online.

  7. @Stephen – I hope that’s the true! The lady at the interview said you had to come back in because they put in a sticker in the back of your passport and if you don’t have it, you’ll have problems.

  8. Ah, that sticker is the source of some controversy. I was told it was unnecessary though others have reported that they were asked to show it. I haven’t heard of anyone actually being denied use of the kiosks, however. Which makes sense as the Global Entry registration information is online–nothing to do with your physical passport.

  9. I registered my new passport online at the website and used it without the little CBP sticker. (Carried my old passport with the sticker just in case.) Plan to drop by and get a sticker someday when it’s convenient, but not sure it’s necessary.

  10. My application for Global Entry has been pending review for 10 days already. I hope I am able to schedule an interview soon. Also, what is the backlog for scheduling interviews? How far in advance can a person schedule an interview?

  11. @arun – i scheduled my interview two months in advance – they seemed to be pretty quick in approving as well

  12. is it passport specific?? i was trying to find information on that since i need to renew next year. I saw an area on the GE website where you can make upates to your passport information, including a space where you can update your passport number…

  13. @jenjenk – just like you, I have seen when you logon that you can change your passport number. Therefore it isn’t passport specific and the agent who was instructing me was wrong.

  14. Global entry program just like anything else started out as a quick favor to expedite business travellers. But now they simply care about only collecting the $100 from you for the non-refundable processing. They do not have much interest in making sure the people who applied get it and or able to use it without isues. The global entry application approval appoinment schedule is always booked back to back for more than a month in advance. The reasonable question to ask is, has anyone seen that many people in the global entry lines in the airport? The answer is “No”. Not because they’re privileged . It’s because most of them don’t get approved and the remaining get blacklisted and their global entry revoked sooner or later. Only very few remain taking their chances of using it.

    There are major nightmare stories on the web posted by people who used global entry. Some feel it’s a nice route to turn good law abiding citizens into criminals.

    Some of our friends/colleagues also had problems (even getting approved for global entry). Even if 10,000 years ago you had commited a minor thing when you were young and stupid and even if you’re not convicted for it, they will still deny you. But not to worry. But many of them say that not to feel too bad, if you’re denied. Being denied is only a blessing not a curse. Because even if one gets approved just making a very small mistake in counting or thinking (in midst of your travels where some things usually you take for granted very easily) can get you blacklisted and turn you into a criminal in their customs records.

    See this article here: http://onyoursi.de/2011/10/whats-your-pr…

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/practical…

    http://www.travelunderground.org/index.p…

    Nightmare stories how how one person who used it and due to glitch /problem in their system get blacklisted for life.
    Now one has to understand that if you ever make a tiny mistake as some of these people mentioned in the links above (mistakes like failing to declare even a single count of things such as 6 sweaters instead of 8 sweaters , missing a minor minor thing you got like a chocholate box and such ) and if the customs pull you over to random check you after you used the kiosk, and find this tiny discrepancy, it’s not a easy go, like you had without global entry anymore. They will immediately consider that you’re evading the customs and black list you , revoke your global entry for ever. To make it worse, from then on even if you don’t have global entry, even on regular customs lines you will be forced to go through a seconday check (which would take upto 45 minutes every time) every single time in or out the state or country.

    Now this scenario and experience of several people who were law abiding citizens now simply for reasons turned into criminals , really make one think about if it is worth it or not. In my books, and from our and other experiences we heard being in a vast company group, absolutely not.

    Global entry is heavily marketed (even my American express Cards) all over by customs mainly for financial purposes. Do you really think they will have it approved for everyone without any issues as much as money they collect from all people? Not at all. If so, your global entry lines will be much much longer. There are so many people who apply get rejected and you’ve no legal way of appeal (they’re simply above the law just like the patriot act and using any lawyers to infrom them of your situation will simply won’t help)

    We had several friends/colleagues who had issues and decided to not use it anymore.

    There’s way too much risk than reward. And it is not worth getting black listed , if you forget one minor thing in your luggage or if their system had some issues or there was a minor communication or misunderstanding of things that most people take for granted.

    So we believe the global entry motto should be “Welcome to global entry. Turning good law abiding citizens into criminals”

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