Global Entry

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Global Entry is a program of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited clearance upon arrival into the United States. As of December 2014, Global Entry was available at 42 US airports and 12 preclearance locations. More than 1.8 million people are enrolled in Global Entry and approximately 50,000 new applications for the program are filed monthly.[1]


To enroll in Global Entry, applicants must first file an application with Customs and Border Protection, and then submit to an interview and background check. The wait for an interview may be months.[2] There is a $100 non-refundable fee for the application.[3] During the interview, the applicant's fingerprints are captured and a digital photo is taken. Applicants are also given instructions on how to use the automated kiosk. Once an application is approved, the applicant may use the Global Entry kiosk at any participating airport for a duration of five years. Renewal requires an additional fee.[4]

Entry procedure[edit]

Global Entry Kiosks

Enrolled users must present their machine-readable passport or permanent residency card, and submit their fingerprints to establish identity. Users then complete a computerized Customs Declaration, and are issued a receipt instructing them to either proceed to baggage claim, or to a normal inspection booth for an interview.[5]

Enrollment eligibility[edit]

Countries participating in Global Entry include the following:

  •  Brazil (Brazilian citizens are eligible for the Global Entry and expected to join the program in the first half of 2016)[6]
  •  Canada (Canadian citizens who are members of the NEXUS Frequent Traveler Program receive Global Entry benefits)
  •  Germany (On 29 December 2014, US Customs and Border Protection announced a reciprocal arrangement with Germany for each nation's trusted traveler program--the US Global Entry program and the German EasyPASS, respectively.)[1]
  •  Mexico
  •  Netherlands
  •  Panama
  •  Peru
  •  South Korea
  •  United Kingdom[7]
  •  United States (U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents)

On 28 September 2013, India accepted an offer of membership to the U.S. Global Entry Trusted Traveler Network Program. However, despite India's acceptance, the US government continues to deem Indian citizens ineligible for application to the program.[citation needed]

Disqualification and revocation[edit]

It is possible for any type of criminal conviction to disqualify a traveler from the Global Entry program. Three to five percent of travelers who sign up for the program are rejected; in such cases, they are generally told the reason for the rejection. For example, paying a fine for having a prohibited or undeclared item at a port of entry generally will disqualify a traveler.

Those whose Global Entry applications are denied have three ways to appeal: making an appointment to speak with a supervisor at a trusted traveler enrollment center, e-mailing the agency’s ombudsman, or filing a complaint through the Department of Homeland Security's Traveler Redress Inquiry Program.[8]

CBP claims that in less than one percent of cases in which Global Entry was granted, it will be revoked. In these situations, an explanation for the revocation is not necessarily supplied.[9]

TSA PreCheck[edit]

Members of Global Entry (along with members of NEXUS and SENTRI), may use TSA PreCheck on all participating airlines by entering their Customs and Border Protection ID number from their Global Entry card into their flight reservation information or into their frequent flyer account under "Known Traveler Number" (KTN). Global Entry qualifications do not guarantee TSA PreCheck on all flights, but "greatly increases" the odds.[10]

Program history[edit]

During the 1990s and early 2000s, the US Immigration and Naturalization Service operated INSPASS, a trusted traveler program designed to integrate with Canadian and European programs, at JFK and Newark Airports. INSPASS operated with a similar system, identifying travelers with their handprint. The program was discontinued in 2002 when the INS was merged with U.S. Customs to form U.S. Customs and Border Protection.[11]

The Global Entry program was initially deployed at a small number of airports, including New York-JFK (Terminal 4), Washington-Dulles and Houston-Intercontinental. Following a good reception by travelers, the program was expanded to include Los Angeles International, Atlanta-Hartsfield, Chicago-O'Hare and Miami International Airport.

In May 2009, Global Entry membership was expanded to include Netherlands citizens who are also members of The Netherlands Privium trusted traveler program under the FLUX (Fast Low-risk Universal Crossing) alliance. Present members of Global Entry are now permitted to apply to join the Privium program at Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport allowing entry into the Schengen area. Members of NEXUS and SENTRI are also entitled to use Global Entry.[3]

Participants may enter the United States (or the United States pre-clearance area in select international airports) by utilizing automated kiosks located at the following airports:[12]

The * indicate that there are no enrollment centers at these sites.

Analogous systems in other countries[edit]

The Australian and New Zealand SmartGate system is available to all holders of biometric passports of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, and the USA aged 16 or over. Citizens of Switzerland over 16 years of age can use SmartGate facilities at Sydney airport. It requires no pre-registration and is similar to its US counterpart, although in addition, it uses facial recognition technology to process passengers.

Germany's federal police also offers Easypass automated border control at major airports, such as Frankfurt. It recently started a pilot called ABG+ with GlobalEntry.[13]

In Hong Kong, the e-Channel is situated at all border crossing points. A person who holds a Hong Kong Identity Card (HKID) inserts the card into a slot to enter the first gate and then has their thumbprint scanned to pass through the second gate.[14]

The Japanese equivalent to the US program, Automated gate, has free registration. It is similar in that a passport and fingerprint are scanned at a kiosk to pass.[15]

Mexico's Viajero Confiable program is open to Mexican citizens and US citizens who are members of Global Entry. Prospective members must pass a background check, interview with a Mexican immigration officer, and have fingerprints and retina scans taken. Kiosks are currently available at the Cancun, Los Cabos, and Mexico City international airports, but the Mexican government hopes to expand it to other cities in the near future.[16]

Taiwan's e-Gate is a free automated entry system for citizens and certain classes of residents and frequent visitors. Users simply scan their travel documents at the gate and are passed through for facial recognition. Electronic fingerprinting is used when facial recognition fails. Registration is available at the immigration counter right at the port of entry.[17]


See also[edit]

  • CANPASS (The Canadian trusted traveler program)
  • INSPASS (The predecessor to Global Entry)
  • NEXUS (US-Canada trusted traveler program)
  • SENTRI (US-Mexico trusted traveler program)

External links[edit]