How To Get A Global Entry Appointment: The Best Way Possible

Do you want to gain speed through the airport? Then you should look at how to get a Global Entry appointment. Some frequent international flyers believe it’s something they can’t live without.

It’s a great tool you shouldn’t miss, especially if you often travel in/out of America. Applying or renewing your Global Entry may seem daunting, but it’s easier than you think.

In this article, our team at CabinZero will walk you through the process, what to know, things you should do, and what to expect. Stop queuing and spend more time with your family and friends now.

1. Everything About Global Entry

Global Entry is a great way to save precious time. Photo from U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Wikimedia Commons.

As a seasoned traveller, you may have heard or seen the terms in your time at U.S. airports. Administered by United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Global Entry is designed to speed you through the imagination and border process.

Once you have it, you will have an easier time in 77 airports around the U.S. Instead of waiting in a long queue, all you have to do is interact with designated kiosks.

Pre-approved travellers can bypass the customs and immigration check-in, skip speaking with an officer and input passports and fingerprints into the kiosks. You can save about 35-45 minutes with this method.

The produce is now even more painless than ever before. Instead of pushing a button, travellers can now use touchless portals with built-in facial recognition available at select airports.

The process goes down from less than a minute to about 10 seconds. This helps passengers go faster and is crucial when a pandemic is still looming over our heads.

How Much Does Global Entry Cost?

Say goodbye to the tedious checking in and hello to a smoother experience with Global Entry benefits. 


Photo from U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Wikimedia Commons.

The application fee is $100. Everyone must pay this amount via credit card or electronic bank transfer when applying. Note that you can’t get this money back if your application is denied.

But did you know that you can get Global Entry for free? Many credit cards have statement credits for the Global Entry fee.

You still have to spend your money. But still, it helps when you don’t have to pay what you don’t have to, right?

For your reference, here are some premium travel cards that include Global Entry as part of their perks:

  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
  • Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
  • United℠ Explorer Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

Who Is Eligible For The Global Entry Program?

Although U.S. citizens often use the programme, you don’t have to be one to be able to apply. Asides from U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents and Mexican nationals, citizens in the following countries are eligible:

  • Argentina
  • Bahrain
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Germany
  • India
  • Netherlands
  • Panama
  • Singapore
  • South Korea.
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • The United Kingdom.

Generally, if you are without a criminal record or previous immigration issues, you’ll be fine. The factors that lower your eligibility include:

  • Provide false or incomplete information in the application
  • Have a criminal history or outstanding warrants (driving under the influence included)
  • Have been found in violation of customs or laws in any country
  • Being the subject of an ongoing investigation by any agency
  • Have been denied the purchase of a firearm
  • Being inadmissible to the U.S. under immigration regulations
  • Unable to satisfy CBP of your low-risk status.

2. How To Get A Global Entry Appointment: A Step-By-Step Guide

Do you see that short queue at the airport? If you want to join them, take a look at the Global Entry program.

 Photo from U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Wikimedia Commons.

Applying for the U.S. government’s Trusted Traveler Program is not as daunting as you might believe. The steps are simple and accessible to everyone eligible.

Global Entry Application: What To Expect

To sum it up, everything can be broken down into four steps:

  1. Fill out an application form
  2. Pay a one-time fee of $100 (non-refundable)
  3. Wait for conditional approval
  4. Book your interviews.

You first need to access Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) and create an account. Then you have to pay a one-time fee of $100 upon submission. Note that this is non-refundable (even if your application fails).

After that, you just have to wait for conditional approval. If there are any changes to your application status, either denied or approved, you will receive an email.

When you have the good news, it’s time to do the next step: scheduling an appointment. You have to do this within 730 days of application. After this period, your application will be cancelled, and no money will be refunded.

Most people agree that this is the hardest part. The estimated waiting time for a Global Entry appointment is about 4-6 months (as of writing). However, keep in mind that the availability is constantly changing.

For the longest time, you keep checking and see nothing. But one day, you might see several available slots as people cancel or reschedule their bookings. Don’t be discouraged, and keep checking back.

However, there’s another way to get an appointment without all that waiting. And this is known as Enrollment On Arrival.

What Is Enrollment On Arrival?

With appointments booked months in advance, there is another excellent option. Once conditionally approved, you can opt for an airport interview instead of going to enrollment centres.

When you arrive on international flights into the U.S. at specific airports, just walk into the Enrollment On Arrival booth and have your interview. The best part? You don’t have to schedule beforehand!

Similar to the in-person interview at centres, an officer will ask you a few questions, request the documents, and scan your fingerprints. Before long, you will be on your way again.

The Interview Process

Come to the nearest Global Entry Enrollment Centre to have your interview conducted.

Photo from U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Wikimedia Commons.

Before coming to the interview in person, you will receive an email detailing the documents you must bring. But we will just put them here, just in case you need it:

  • A letter of conditional approval in print form
  • Valid passport(s) and/or permanent resident card
  • Evidence of residency (i.e. your driver’s licence or utility bill).

Remember, everything is about trust. The CBP puts you on a low-risk list, which means they trust you. Therefore, you should answer everything as honestly as possible.

While the actual interview doesn’t take long, about 15 minutes, things may take a while to get there. Others come to the centres with the same purpose. Expect to spend about 45 minutes or even half-day of waiting.

The officers will likely ask about your record, past travels and personal information. Be prepared, take your interview seriously (no joke or lying around), and you will be fine.

After verifying your information, they will take your picture and process your fingerprints. The whole thing, from start to finish, takes at most 30 minutes. 

The hard part is over, and you can now pat yourself on the back. You will get your official Global Entry within 30 days when all is said and done.

Updating Your Information

Here’s one thing to note: You must update the information yourself. Mostly, it’s easy to do so through the main website.

For instance, if you get a new passport or driver’s licence, you have to go to your TTP account and make necessary changes to reflect the status of the new documents.

However, some documents or changes (e.g. name change) require you to meet and speak to the CBP officers in person. And a fee of $25 may be induced. For detailed information, you should consult the agency.

If the Global Entry member is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. lawful permanent resident, they must visit an enrollment centre in-person to add or update visa information.

Renewing Your Membership

Global entry access lasts for five years. So remember to renew it when the time comes (the fee is $100 - same as applying for the first time). You can begin the renewal process one year before the expiration date.

You may not need to have another interview when renewing your membership. But if there are significant changes to your profile, such as a name change, you may be subject to an in-person interview.

There’s a grace period of 24 months. If you begin the renewal process before your existing membership expires, you can continue to use your Global Entry benefits for up to 24 months.

Historically, it has been six months, but due to increasing demands and backlog, the period has been extended to two years. 

3. How To Apply If You Are A U.K. Citizen

There are specific additional requirements for non-U.S. Global Entry applicants.

 Photo from U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Wikimedia Commons.

The steps for U.K. citizens are similar to other countries; the only difference is doing a background check to get a code. This code is required to work with the U.S. authorities, and it’s impossible to proceed without it.

First, you need to apply for the programme through the GOV.UK. You have to pay a fee of £42 (via debit or credit card only) and fill in the passport details to complete the background check.

Within ten working days, the result will be in. Then you will get a U.K. Access Code. Afterwards, you will need to do a U.S. Custom check with a fee of $100. The results are announced after two weeks.

Lastly, you will have an interview at one of the enrolment centres in the U.S., just like everyone else. This should be done within six months after you pass the previous U.S. check.

4. TSA Precheck Vs Global Entry: Which Is Better?

Trusted Traveler Programs offers various options to help you fly through the airports.

Image from

This is one of the big questions if you travel frequently. First, let’s look at what they are and how they differ from each other:

TSA precheck:

  • For flights departing from U.S. Airports
  • Cost $85 for applying; $70 for renewal
  • Catered to domestic use
  • Enrollment centres located throughout the country
  • Available at more than 200 select airports 
  • Allow you to fast-track security screening
  • Only open to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and lawful permanent residents
  • Eligible for accompanying children 12 and under.

Global Entry:

  • For international air travellers entering the U.S.
  • Cost $100
  • Mainly for international use
  • Enrollment centres located at international airports and land border crossings
  • Available at more than 60 airports
  • Include TSA precheck benefits
  • Let you fly through the customs checks
  • U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents or residents of select countries can apply
  • Not shareable with family members.

Which one should you get? The Transportation Security Administration advises that you should get Global Entry if you travel more than four times a year internationally. Otherwise, stick with TSA precheck.

Although the price is a bit more, Global Entry members also have access to TSA precheck benefits. This means they can pass through the specific checkpoints like any TSA security member.

As of writing, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends signing up for the latter if you don’t travel frequently.

The TSA precheck applicants can get an appointment within two weeks. After that, they will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) within three to five days.

5. FAQ

Still have some questions about Global Entry? Read below to get your answers.

Photo from U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Wikimedia Commons.

Why Is It So Hard To Get An Appointment For Global Entry?

Due to the impact of the pandemic and its aftereffects, things have slowed down significantly. Due to the worsening backlog and centre closures, what takes weeks now may take several months longer than usual.

It’s the current state of the world, and everyone is going through the same thing. Be patient and keep trying; you will get one eventually. On the other hand, you can take advantage of the Enrollment On Arrival option.

Can I Do My Global Entry Interview Online?

You can also conduct the interview remotely. But this is not for first-time enrollees, only certain people who are renewing their TTP status are eligible. Aside from being conditionally approved for a renewal, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age;
  • Have a photo in the CBP database;
  • Have already submitted fingerprints to the agency.

The remote interview will be conducted via Zoom. The virtual waiting room opens about 15 minutes before the scheduled time, and the remote interview will take about 15 minutes.

How Do I Get An Early Appointment For A Global Entry Interview?

You can opt for the Enrollment On Arrival option. Instead of coming to a local Enrolment Centre, you can wrap up the enrollment process at certain airports when you land from international flights.

There is also a pilot program where selected applicants can have an interview via video teleconferencing. Note that this only applies to selected renewing candidates.

Are Children Eligible For Global Entry?

Yes, they are. Regardless of the applicant’s age, they must go through the process like everyone else (register the account, pay a fee, and have an interview).

However, children under 18 must come with their parents or legal guardians. The accompanying adults don’t have to be Global Entry members.

6. How To Get A Global Entry Appointment: Well Worth It

Applying for a Global Entry card is easy. Even Santa Claus can get one!

Photo from U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Wikimedia Commons.

That’s all we have to say about how to get a Global Entry appointment. Make an account, pay the required fee, wait for conditionally approval, and get through the interview. That seems straightforward to get through, right? 

If you have any experience or tips on applying for a Global Entry card, please share them with us. Other readers and we are more than happy to hear your stories. Moreover, don’t forget to follow us for more insightful articles like this.

Bao Tieu

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