Certain travelers arriving in U.S. airports from abroad can avoid lines by using the Global Entry Program. Administered by the Department of Homeland Security agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection ("CBP"), Global Entry is a "trusted traveler" program designed to provide expedited clearance process for low-risk travelers, allowing CBP officers to focus on processing and inspecting other arriving passengers.
Global Entry is not available for domestic travel or for departures, only for entry into the United States from abroad.
Who is eligible for the Global Entry Program?
The program is available to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States. The minimum age for participation is 14 years, but applicants 14 through 17 years of age must have the consent of a parent or legal guardian. Each family member must apply separately.
Travelers are not eligible if they:
- Have ever been convicted of a criminal offense in any country;
- Have ever been found in violation of the customs, immigration or agriculture laws, or of any serious criminal offense;
- Provide false or incomplete information on their applications; or
- Fail to meet Global Entry program requirements.
What is the application process?
The nonrefundable application fee is $100. Application is made online through the CBP Global Online Enrollment System ("GOES"). The online application process may take about 20 minutes. Each applicant will be scheduled for an in-person interview, to submit fingerprints and have a photograph taken for identity purposes, and for a multi layered security threat assessment. Questions at the interview may include being asked to name all countries visited in the past several years. Enrollment lasts for five years and no membership card is issued. The program enrollment information is embedded in the machine-readable passport or permanent residence card ("green card").
Where is Global Entry available?
Designated airports where the Global Entry process is currently available are:
- Boston–Logan International Airport (BOS)
- Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)
- Dallas/Ft Worth International Airport (DFW)
- Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport (DTW)
- Ft. Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston (IAH)
- Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
- Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
- John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York (JFK)
- McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas (LAS)
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Miami International Airport (MIA)
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
- Orlando International Airport (MCO)
- Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- San Juan Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU)
- Orlando–Sanford International Airport (SFB)
- Seattle–Tacoma International Airport-SeaTac (SEA)
- Washington–Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Global Entry members also may be eligible for Fast Low Risk Universal Crossing ("FLUX")alliance membership in other countries. FLUX is a multilateral governmental partnership to expedite and secure international travel by establishing an automated border passage program for registered travelers. A pilot test is in place in the Netherlands through the Dutch Privium program for frequent travelers arriving at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
How do you use the Global Entry Program?
Once accepted into the program, participants can use self-serve kiosks located in the U.S. Arrivals area of designated airports. All participants must be in possession of a machine-readable passport or permanent resident card to use the program.
After disembarking the aircraft and arriving at the kiosk, the participant activates the system by inserting into the document reader either a machine-readable passport or a machine-readable permanent resident card. On-screen instructions guide the participant to provide fingerprints electronically and to have a digital photograph taken at the kiosk. Fingerprints and photographs are compared with biometrics on file to validate identity and confirm that the individual is a member of the program. The biometrics are also compared to applicable "watchlists" each day. In addition, participants are prompted to respond to several customs declaration questions by use of a touch screen.
Upon successful completion of the process at the kiosk, the traveler is issued a receipt, and then is directed to baggage claim and the exit, unless chosen for a selective or random secondary inspection.
Are there any risks to enrolling in the program?
Persons with criminal convictions or who are otherwise ineligible should not apply. Errors can occur in government systems. If a person appears on a watchlist or otherwise does not successfully complete the process at the kiosk, CBP will undertake further examination before the person departs the airport.
Additional information on the Global Entry program is available on the CBP website.