*UPDATE - June 10, 2016 - Global Entry interview spaces at Travel Design Lounge in July ARE NOW FULL. Please click here for a list of Global Entry interview locations throughout the U.S.
If you’re a traveler, you have certainly seen and heard a lot about the TSA’s Pre-Check program, which allows travelers to get through airport security within the United States with ease. Unless you’ve traveled internationally, however, you may not be aware of Pre-Check’s more worldly and sophisticated cousin, Global Entry. Travelers with Global Entry can bypass the long lines at customs and immigration when entering the US by simply presenting their valid passport at a Global Entry kiosk, scanning their fingerprint and providing a customs declaration. That’s it! Then you can be on your way to your home or your connecting flight. A benefit for Global Entry is that it also includes TSA’s Pre-Check, so you’ll be able to breeze through airport security within the United States as well.
Do I need Global Entry?
You’ll have to answer that question for yourself, however, if you’ve ever considered Pre-Check, consider this: Global Entry costs $100 for five years. That’s just $15 more than the Pre-Check fee and it includes Pre-Check! See this comparison chart for more information. Unless you’ve got your travel itinerary mapped out for the next five years and know you won’t need to leave or return to the US, Global Entry may be the smart choice.
How do I enroll in Global Entry?
You start by applying online here: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry/how-apply
There is a $100 enrollment fee that you’ll have to pay. Once you’ve applied, it will take a few days for your application to be processed and approved. When I did it, I had a response back in 6 business days. The next step is to return to the site, log in with the information you created during the application process and schedule a place and time for an in-person interview. There’s a list of enrollment centers here – most are in major US airports. You’ll notice that does not include Omaha, Lincoln, Des Moines or any other nearby cities.
To conduct your required in-person interview, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) representatives are being hosted at Travel and Transport’s Travel Design Lounge location at the Shops of Legacy in Omaha on Tuesday and Wednesday July 26th and 27th. THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT! Interviews are taking place between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on both days and space is limited, so don’t wait to get the process started!
You will need to bring your valid passport(s) and one other form of identification, such as a driver’s license or ID card, and proof of address to the interview. If you are a lawful permanent resident, you must present your permanent resident card.
Airport security lines are getting very long, and it isn’t expected to let up anytime soon. Getting enrolled in Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check will help ensure that you get where you need to go on time, and with as little hassle as possible. We hope to see you at Travel Design Lounge!