Global Entry Q&A

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Is it worth the cost?

Yes, Global Entry is worth the $100 cost for two main reasons. First, it includes TSA Precheck which is $85 on it’s own so for $15 more dollars you can get TSA Precheck and Global Entry for 5 years. Even if you only travel twice a year for 5 years,  you’re only spending $10 on each trip for membership in these programs. Second, when you are getting off a long international flight and you still have to get your bags and possibly check in for a connecting flight the last thing you want to do is stand in a long line. With Global Entry you literally breeze through. I’ve never had to wait for a kiosk and I always save time using Global Entry. 

How was the interview process?

The interview process for me was challenging because there was not an office in the city that I resided in. My parents live in Maryland so I had to schedule my interview around when I was going to be home visiting which was Thanksgiving. It was particularly stressful because if I forgot any documentation I couldn’t just schedule another appointment the following week. I had to do a second interview when I got married because I needed my name changed and that also required coordination with when I would be in D.C. The interview itself was very straightforward and fairly fast. You are asked about countries that you traveled to, why you went there, and if you have any upcoming travel and then your finger prints and photo are taken. Now there are are interview centers in many more cities but if your city doesn’t have one you may have to coordinate it around a trip to a larger city or a long layover.  

Are there any tricks you can share about Global Entry?

I advise all of my clients to get Global Entry because it tends to make even the end of a trip positive. Yes, you’re back from vacation which can sometimes be a bit depressing but at least you don’t lose your vacation euphoria because you are standing in line for 30 minutes to get back into the U.S. Another advantage of Global Entry is that you never have to fill out the customs form when you return to the States because you answer the form electronically at the kiosk, and it doesn’t matter where you sit on the plane because even if you’re in the back or go to the bathroom after you deplane you won’t have to wait in a long line. Finally, don’t wait for your membership to expire. It will expire on your birthday of the fifth year but can you renew at anytime without changing the expiration date. I renewed mine last month and it doesn’t expire until September 2019. 

Amina Dearmon