Have you started the application process for Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program, but had trouble scheduling the required personal interview? With longer lines for international travelers entering the U.S., CBP has launched a new program aimed at speeding up the enrollment process.
We’re constantly getting emails from readers who are shocked at the long CBP lines they encounter when flying into major airports like San Francisco International. The Global Entry trusted traveler program, which lets members use self-service kiosks and avoid inspection lines, is looking more attractive than ever as passenger numbers keep growing.
Customs and Border Protection actually has a website where you can track how long it’s been taking international arrivals to clear CBP inspections at major U.S. airports.
The travel industry had been expecting a “Trump slump” in international arrivals this year due to uncertainty about the new administration’s attitude toward foreign visitors, but so far it hasn’t happened – instead, international arrivals have been increasing. And low international air fares, especially to Europe, have sent more Americans packing for trips abroad as well.
So to facilitate Global Entry enrollments, CBP has just kicked off a program called Enrollment on Arrival. It’s in place now at San Francisco International, Houston Bush Intercontinental, Houston Hobby, Austin Bergstrom and Vancouver International, and will expand to more airports in the months to come, CBP said.
How does it work? The program is designed for individuals who have been conditionally approved for Global Entry pending a personal interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. Instead of scheduling an interview, the traveler arriving at an Enrollment on Arrival airport can now finish the interview requirement during a CBP primary inspection.
“Upon arrival, travelers will be directed to a primary booth designated specifically for Enrollment on Arrival,” CBP said. “A CBP officer will conduct both the primary processing and Global Entry interview and collect the traveler’s biometrics to complete the enrollment. The traveler will then be cleared for entry into the United States and will be a Global Entry member.”
The application fee for a five-year membership in Global Entry is $100, with applications submitted online. Applicants who pass the background check then must schedule an interview at any of 100 enrollment centers – or now via Enrollment on Arrival. You can find out more about Global Entry here. (Note that many high-end credit cards like American Express Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve reimburse cardholders for these $100 fees. See our credit card tab above!)
Global Entry kiosks are currently available at 53 U.S. airports and 15 Preclearance locations in other countries. The program, which has more than 4 million members, also includes TSA PreCheck privileges.