Tuesday, March 5, 2013

GOES Global Entry- Thank you Amex

Just recently I was approved for Global Entry after applying online and completing the in-person interview.  Global Entry is Customs and Border Protections "trusted traveler" program that provides "expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States."  In essence it allows pre-screened travelers to bypass long lines by using an electronic kiosk to clear customs and immigration.  Global Entry applications cost $100 and are valid for 5 years.

You start by opening a GOES account at the link above.  The site guides you through the process and at the end you select Global Entry as the program you're signing up for.  At that point you are prompted to pay the $100 fee that covers your application and membership for five years.  There is no refund if you are not approved for some reason.  Amex Platinum will reimburse you for one Global Entry application a year.  In my case the statement credit showed up 2 or 3 days after the payment posted.

After submitting the initial application you'll be notified by e-mail if you are "conditionally approved."  At this point you'll have to schedule an in-person interview at one of their enrollment centers.  Interviews are held during business hours on weekdays.  The interview covered my criminal history (happily old and extremely trivial) and included having a photograph taken for the Global Entry card and being fingerprinted.  From what I understand, even a misdemeanor arrest could result in disqualification if it occurred in the last ten years.

I was pleased with the efficiency of the CBP officer who conducted the interview.  After arriving early, I was called in before the scheduled time for my interview and didn't have to wait around.   The e-mail notification of my final approval arrived shortly after leaving the interview.

The first use of my newest "status" card will come during an upcoming trip to Ireland.  I'm really looking forward to dodging the long queue for immigration!

No comments:

Post a Comment