I just finished getting my approval for Global Entry, the government’s program to allow travelers to skip the passport control line and use a kiosk when returning from international trips. You can complain all you want about the government, but this is an absolutely fantastic program for anyone who travels out of the country even once a year.
After a long flight home there is nothing more annoying than having to stand in the passport control line for 30 minutes. This program eliminates that a most major airports in the US (a list is available here). Here’s how you get access to Global Entry:
– Fill out an application here. It’ll take you 10-15 minutes. Pretty basic stuff about you and your job and your travels. Be ready to remember every country you’ve been to in the past 5 years.
– Pay $100, which gives you 5 years of access to the program (apparently if you don’t commit – or aren’t caught committing – any crimes during those 5 years, you can auto-renew).
– Wait 2 weeks or so for them to review your application.
– Schedule a 15-20 minute interview at your local airport, which you should probably just do when you have a flight coming up and will be at the airport anyway (as I did yesterday).
That’s it. I was shocked by how it easy it was.
(I know that reads like an advertisement, but having to stand in the passport line after a 9 hour flight is really, really annoying, and any way to get around that it quite welcome).