Global Entry: The Best Travel Investment I’ve Made!

If you travel internationally you may have been stuck at a customs line a time or two. What if I told you there is a way to skip those lines? Having Global Entry aka Known Traveler Number is one of the best investments I have ever made!

Has this ever happened to you? Your international flight is a bit delayed and you are nervous that you’ll miss your connecting flight. Your flight lands and you deplane but now, you have to go through customs along with another 200+ passengers and will probably miss your connection. I know, you should definitely give yourself ample time between flights ( I make sure I give my clients plenty of time) however, things happen. This is where having Global Entry comes in.

A few fellow travel agent friends spoke about Global Entry and before my FAM trip to Mexico I started the process of applying. I have not spent more than 5 minutes in line and that is because my local airport only has a handful of kiosks. These little guys are the best!

What is Global Entry?

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Members enter the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports. But, wait, there’s more… Once approved you will be cleared for TSA PreCheck every time you enter your Known Traveler Number when purchasing tickets ( if booking with an agent, make sure to let them know you have a KTN so they can add the information to the flights portion). In my previous post Keep Your Shoes On you can learn about TSA PreCheck.

How Much Does Global Entry Cost?

The application fee $100 for a 5 year membership. You can’t beat that price!

How Do I Apply For Global Entry?

The application is online and everyone applying, no matter the age is required to create a Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) account to register. You will be able to use this account to renew your membership in the future.

You will need a valid Passport.( This link will take you to apply for a U.S. Passport should you need one) and another form of I.D. with proof of residency such as valid driver’s license.

*Tip: Everyone, regardless of age, in your traveling party must have their own membership.

Will I Need to Interview?

Yes. Once your application is conditionally approved, you will be prompted to schedule an appointment for your interview. You can either do it prior to your departure or this interview can take place upon arrival from an international destination at certain airports.

(Take note, getting an appointment can take months, unless you are willing to travel to other airports).

You will need to bring a print out of your application, a valid passport and a poof of residency. You will also need to your address and employment history for the past 5 years.

The interview itself takes less than 10 minutes, you will be asked straightforward questions regarding your residency as well as your travel history and your occupation. Then you will get fingerprinted, your photo taken and you are on your way.

I was told to wait for an email with my KTN and that would take 7 days. I received the email as I was walking out of my interview. YES! A few days later, I received my actual card in the mail. The card is not needed to travel by air. It will be needed if crossing the boarder by land.

Tip: If you don’t want to wait for months for an interview, get Appointment Scanner. My husband works from home and he was able to snatch a much much earlier appointment.

How Do I Renew My Membership?

You are eligible to renew your membership one year prior to program expiration.

Log into your TTP account, click on manage membership > Renew Application. Update any information that needs updating. Then select Certify at age bottom of the page. Answer Yes or No to the certification.

Select the box next to Fees and pay the renewal fee of X. You may or may not need a renewal interview.

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