Global Entry’s secret is no longer a secret. One of the most effective ways to get through airport security more quickly is to take advantage of TSA PreCheck, which allows you to bypass security and clear immigration quickly after traveling abroad.
However, it’s not always simple to enroll in Global Entry. Backlogs in application processing can cause the procedure to take months, even though federal officials claim that some passengers can finish the entire process in less than 30 days (which is exactly what happened to us recently.
For many travelers, the process of enrolling has become a months-long headache due to lengthy processing timeframes and the need to schedule a Global Entry interview. At one point, the situation became so dire that the federal government was virtually pleading with tourists to use PreCheck instead.
The most difficult element of the procedure may be setting up an in-person interview, even if there may be many obstacles to overcome. Finding an interview can be difficult and cause the process to take months or longer. It’s the final stage in setting up Global Entry.
But maintain your optimism. For a quicker Global Entry, here are some pointers.
What is Global Entry?
You can swiftly pass through U.S. immigration and customs with the help of the reliable traveler program Global Entry. It also gives you access to a special security lane through the TSA PreCheck perk. This program is a “two birds, one stone.”
The application process for this program is a little more stringent because it allows you to bypass high-security levels rapidly. Additionally, it is more costly—$100 as opposed to $78 for TSA PreCheck. Both programs have a five-year enrollment period.
It’s not too difficult to sign up for Global Entry. An online application must be completed, and it is very lengthy. You will respond to inquiries regarding jobs held both now and in the past, addresses, and other details. We will submit this application for a comprehensive background investigation.
You must receive conditional approval after submitting your application. Once you have that, the last step in the registration process is an in-person interview. Once you’ve cleared immigration, you may easily proceed to the designated Global Entry queue and enter the country in a matter of minutes or less. It’s important to remember that you won’t receive TSA PreCheck advantages until your Global Entry enrollment is confirmed.
Are you awaiting conditional approval?
Applying for and receiving Global Entry is quick and easy on paper. It may only require a week or so. In actuality, though, it’s not always that easy.
Getting conditionally authorized is the next step after completing your application, after which you can proceed to the interview stage. It’s a lottery, but sometimes that procedure takes months. Neither did the pandemic help, either.
Throughout the country, enrollment centers closed in the early months of 2020, which made the backlog of applications that Customs and Border Protection employees had trouble clearing. A spokesperson for the government stated that in the meanwhile, applications for Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs had risen to all-time highs, with over 12,000 being submitted daily in April 2022.
Over the years, CBP has taken a few different steps to try to ease the burden on employees, expedite the processing of applications, and increase the number of interview opportunities. In case passengers renewing their Global Entry even need an interview, they have started providing remote interviews and extended the grace period for pending renewals to a full 24 months.
Travelers have nevertheless reported waiting three, six, or even nine months or longer for conditional certification. However, some candidates are still receiving conditional approval in a matter of days, despite the horrifying tales of applications being held up for months. It appears to be arbitrary.
Regretfully, you are limited in your ability to expedite this conditional approval procedure. There’s no guarantee, but you can attempt to escalate your approval process by phoning the Global Entry information line at (877) 227-5511. In addition, recent traveler reports indicate that CBP may not forward an application beyond nine months, which is an increase from the four months that was the typical waiting period.
How long does it take to schedule an appointment for global entry?
obtain approval at last? The time has come to arrange an interview. Depending on your location, that can be difficult. In-person interview slots are frequently booked months in advance if they are available at all.
With any hope, after receiving provisional approval, you should be able to schedule an appointment at your neighborhood airport in a matter of days or weeks. Particularly near the Canadian border, several Global Entry registration locations outside of large airports consistently have a large number of open slots.
However, it can take weeks or even months to locate a single Global Entry interview slot at major airports. The average processing period for new applicants, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, was 208 days from start to finish. I hurt.
What is the fastest way to obtain Global Entry and gain entry? We have some suggestions.
1. Keep a Hawk’s Eye on the Schedule
Pulling up the available interview schedule in your area and seeing, well, nothing, is not unusual. The most challenging aspect of applying for Global Entry may be scheduling an in-person interview. This is particularly true these days since large U.S. cities have virtually no open appointments. This is an example of the appointment availability at the Seattle (SEA) airport, where there are now no openings until June. Waiting that long is not good.
At the time of publishing, there were no appointments available at any of the other sites, including Los Angeles (LAX), Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), and others. Note that this does not imply that there won’t be interviews tomorrow, just that none are accessible at this time. Or even later on in the day.
Enrollment centers add and remove slots, while other applicants reschedule or cancel, thus the available interview schedule is always changing. In light of this, it’s worthwhile to check frequently if you’re looking for an appointment.
It pays to be on the lookout and return often. Don’t force yourself to wait that long if your interview is scheduled for weeks or even months from now. Make that appointment, but remember to periodically check the calendar. You can enter even early, and you probably will.
2. Pay a Service to Make an Appointment for You to Enter Global Entry
Services like Appointment Scanner and Global Entry Spotter can find you a last-minute appointment at your home airport more efficiently than you could. These services scrape the whole Global Entry interview schedule and send you notifications anytime an appointment is found at the enrollment centers you have chosen. They operate around the clock.
3. Verify every month on the first Monday
The organization in charge of overseeing Global Entry has reorganized how it allows interview slots as applicants vie for a restricted number of slots. U.S. Customs and Border Protection declared in February 2023 that it will start expanding the number of interview slots available on the first Monday of each month. At precisely nine in the morning, local time for your enrollment center, interviews are added to the calendar.
Director of Trusted Traveler Programs at CBP, Michael Millich, said in a statement that the agency is at a turning point in response to the extraordinary demand and ongoing interest in TTP. “We must provide consistent, efficient, and accessible processing methods for applicants to select an appropriate enrollment option.”
Thus, schedule an alarm for Monday, February 5 at 9 a.m. on your calendar. or March 4th, Monday. or perhaps April 1st, Monday. If you want to make an appointment before other travelers do, this could be your best chance.
4. Go on a road trip to interview for Global Entry
Major international airports serve as the majority of the enrollment locations for Global Entry. You’re not alone, though.
Approximately 100 enrollment centers can be found across the country, including one in Guam! Both large and small towns, the country’s center, the borders with Canada and Mexico, as well as Hawaii and Alaska, are home to them. Therefore, depending on where you live, you might want to consider taking a weekend road trip to complete your Global Entry.
For instance, our hometown airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), is not currently available for scheduling interviews. However, you could travel to Minnesota’s stunning North Shore, spend the weekend hiking or skiing, and then stop by Grand Portage for an interview where there is considerably more flexibility in terms of scheduling.
5. Incorporate it into a domestic journey
See what might fit into your travels if you have any upcoming domestic travels by looking at the list of enrollment centers across the country. Arrive at the interview site right away upon your arrival, or arrange it well in advance of your flight home. or even slip in while you’re on a layover!
Assume for the moment that you are traveling to Miami but your local enrollment center has no interviews available for months. The Miami (MIA) airport interview schedule might be completely open, you never know.
6. Utilize Arrival Enrollment
Customs and Border Protection (CPB) is constantly promoting Enrollment on Arrival, one of its newest features, while enrollment centers continue to face tremendous pressure.
The Process of Arrival Enrollment
You can just complete your enrollment process upon returning from an overseas trip, instead of setting up an interview. In addition to a few international airports like Dublin (DUB) that have pre-clearance through US customs, it is accessible at almost 70 airports, including twelve airports in Canada. Usually, there is a special line where you can complete your immigration clearance and enrollment with CPB officials.
This process’s greatest disadvantage is that you won’t be able to take advantage of TSA PreCheck until after you’ve finished enrolling, which means you’ll be stuck when you head out on your foreign trip. However, if scheduling an interview proves to be challenging, this is a simple method to ace it.