The Best $100 I’ve spent- Global Entry- Everything You Need to Know
Let me just explain why I titled this article, the best $100 I’ve invested, and let me tell you why you need to invest in this if you fly even 3 times in a year.
If you’ve ever traveled internationally, coming back to the United States you’ve seen and have been in those long lines for customs, but I bet you’ve also seen those passengers breezing by you with touch screens labeled “Global Entry.” Are these diplomats? A service for first class passengers? Something that’s selected at random? The answer is NO. They are people just like you and me, and it gets better, these passengers are TSA PreCheck cleared on ALL of their flights domestically as well!
At first I was skeptical of this “Global Entry” and what benefits it would bring me, often asking myself, “What good is it going to bring me?” Well with this title of this article I think you get what I’ve concluded.
Why YOU need it
Close your eyes and just picture yourself skipping majority of the long security lines, KEEPING your shoes and belt on, on and your laptop and liquids…. Keep them in your bag. This is the TSA PreCheck program that comes along with the Global Entry membership, if you’re not a frequent international traveler you can opt out and just pay for this membership ($85), but in my opinion even if you’re not a big international traveler spending the extra $14 is well worth it for the one time you do travel to another country. When you travel back to the USA no more need to fill out those blue customs forms, and over all cuts a lot of stress out of your travel, allowing more time to focus on those important business projects, or simple R&R.
How to get it
As you would have guessed it, Global Entry will cost you $100 however this $100 will last you 5 years, which if you break it down $20 a year, not a bad investment. There are requirements and some hoops to go through to get into this inclusive club, again, in my opinion worth your time.
The first step is applying for it online and here are some of the requirements: You must have a U.S. Passport or a permanent resident card. Cannot have previously violated any customs or immigrations laws.
Have your passport ready because it will ask you several detailed questions including all of the counties you’ve visited in the past. Now make sure you meet all of the requirements before submitting your application online because if you don’t and you’re denied, you will not get your $100 back. Once submitted you will here back within a couple days if you passed the application and at that point you will need to go a Global Entry office for an actual one-on-one interview, so make sure there’s an office near you or you’re willing to travel to one (most major airports have one).
The interview process is painless and takes about 15 minutes, make sure to bring your required ID, and a print out of the approval email. Questions you’ll get are basically to confirm your identity. Afterwards they will fingerprint you and take your photo. BOOM you’re done! You will receive a special card in the mail within 2 weeks. NEXT PAGE >