How Much Does Global Entry Cost?
Global Entry applications cost $100 and membership in the program is valid for up to five years (expiration date is set to a member’s birthday). The Global Entry status, part of the U.S. government’s Trusted Traveler Program, aims to reduce delays at U.S. passport control and in security lines for eligible travelers willing to undergo a pre-approval process and pay a fee. The program has several requirements and though application is fairly straightforward, it does take some time to complete.
What Is Global Entry?
Global Entry allows expedited passage through customs and passport control upon entry into the U.S. at select airports.
Global Entry Basics
The Global Entry program is managed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and takes the place of a more lengthy entry check, which normally requires an in-person “inspection” from a kiosk officer to ensure all entry regulations are followed.
Global Entry is not used for domestic flights nor for customs checks when traveling to a foreign country from the U.S. However, membership includes TSA PreCheck, so benefits can still extend to traveling within the US. The automatic Global Entry kiosks are present at a growing list of locations, including several airports abroad where U.S.-bound travelers can complete customs check-in before departure. U.S. Customs and Border Protection maintains a list of all airports with Global Entry kiosks.
How To Apply for Global Entry
Travelers can apply for Global Entry through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) website, which encompasses other CBP programs such as TSA PreCheck, Nexus and Sentri. The processing time for an application can exceed 90 days, though as of October, 2022, a DHS notice indicates recent delays may require six to 18 months for completion.
If the applicant passes the program’s rigorous background check and their application is conditionally approved, they must then complete the enrollment process through an in-person interview. This can be done by appointment at an Enrollment Center or through Enrollment on Arrival (EoA) at customs when the applicant is next entering the U.S. Entry on Arrival is typically faster and is recommended by CBP. It typically takes only a day or two for Global Entry membership to be granted after a successful enrollment interview.
How Does Global Entry Work?
Upon arrival in the U.S., approved members scan their passports or U.S. permanent resident cards at a Global Entry kiosk. At the program’s newest kiosks, or “E-Gates,” they’ll instead undergo biometric identity verification through facial recognition. Wait times for either of these automated checkpoints are typically much shorter than for a typical customs kiosk. There’s no need to answer detailed questions or complete paperwork, though participants in the program could still be subject to further examination.
How Long Does Global Entry Last?
Global Entry membership lasts for up to five years before it must be renewed, but renewal doesn’t necessarily require another interview. Global Entry is set to expire on a member’s birthday. Members should log into their Trusted Traveler Program account to see updates on what an upcoming renewal will require, as well as how much time remains before expiration.
Membership remains valid even if your passport expires within the five year period, though you’ll need to update your passport number in the online portal. TSA PreCheck access from a Global Entry membership, however, is paused until the passport is renewed.
How Much Does Global Entry Cost?
Membership itself does not require any sort of annual fee, but $100 is charged per Trusted Traveler Program application. This is non-refundable, even if the application is ultimately denied. The program accepts credit cards from Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and Diner’s Club International, as well as electronic bank transfers and electronic debit from a checking or savings account with a U.S. bank. A number of credit cards offer reimbursement for the Global Entry application fee as a perk.
How Much Does It Cost To Renew Global Entry?
Each renewal costs $100, which covers another five year membership. This means the program costs its members $20 per year—or less than $2 per trip for travelers who reenter the U.S. roughly every month.
Members are eligible to begin the application renewal process one year prior to expiration.
Global Entry can certainly save time and hassle, and it’s a bargain compared to popular, for-profit “special treatment” programs like CLEAR Plus or PriorityPlus that look for ways to ease the common nuisances of air travel. That said, Global Entry is designed specifically for travelers who make frequent international trips. To those who don’t have plans to travel internationally within the next six months, the Trusted Traveler Program recommends exploring TSA PreCheck.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who is eligible for Global Entry?
Eligibility includes U.S. citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents, but it also includes citizens of select other countries, including the UK, Germany and India. The DHS maintains a complete list of eligible travelers.
Why was my Global Entry application rejected?
The CBP may reject an application for a number of reasons. Possible reasons include:
- Criminal offense convictions
- Pending criminal charges or outstanding warrants
- Violations of another country’s customs or immigration laws
- Being the subject of an ongoing law enforcement investigation
- Having been denied the purchase of a firearm
- Providing false or incomplete information on the application
Is Global Entry better than TSA PreCheck?
Both Global Entry and TSA PreCheck can lead to shorter lines at airports, but each serves a different purpose. TSA PreCheck expedites the preflight airport security process while Global Entry helps speed up the reentry process when coming back to the U.S. from abroad. Global Entry is better for frequent international travelers, in part because it includes PreCheck membership, while the slightly-cheaper PreCheck program is sufficient for those who tend to fly domestically.