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Global Entry Part 2 – What Happens After I Apply or Renew

Global Entry Renewal Part 2-Featured Image-PP

I’ll continue last week’s topic about Global Entry, with tips whether it’s your first time applying or if you’ll be renewing in the future…

Global Entry Part 2 – What Happens After I Apply or Renew

Last week I discussed the steps needed to apply for Global Entry. This allows expedited processing for pre-approved, low-risk travelers who are arriving in the United States.

After you apply or renew, you will need to wait until your application is reviewed.

You’ll want to check back on a regular basis, and then you will find you have been ‘conditionally approved’.

Conditionally Approved basically means your paperwork is in order, and you are ready for the last step, which is an interview.

An interview is required, and you won’t get your Global Entry card until the interview is completed.

My renewal application was conditionally approved within a day, but the real hurdle is the interview appointment.

Scheduling your Interview 

I logged into the system to make my appointment at the Atlanta Airport. The one and only available slot was 10 weeks away, and during a time I would be out of the country. No other appointments were available for the next 8 months!

What the heck?

Per US Customs and Border Protection:

“You need to complete an interview within 730 days of conditional approval. If your application is cancelled, you can reschedule as often as needed.

Due to delays, the applications for NEXUS, Global Entry, SENTRI, and FAST will remain active (not expire) for 24 months after receiving the notification of conditionally-approved.”

So, for those getting their first Global Entry card, you have to wait for that interview before you can use the benefits.

For those that are renewing, there is a little grace. If you submit your renewal application before your membership expires, you can still use your benefits even after your membership expiration date.

Interview upon arrival from an international trip

Airline Passengers at the AirportInstead of making an appointment – if you can actually get one – and then having to go to the airport for just the appointment, you can combine your return on an international trip with your Global Entry interview. This is available whether it’s your first time getting Global Entry or if you are renewing.

You may have to wait 20-30 minutes if there are other people also trying to get interviews, but it’s still an efficient process. Some airports may have different set-ups. When I arrived in Raleigh, I went through the regular Global Entry/customs process, and then the interview was in the same area as luggage. I’ve noticed the interview in Atlanta appears to be in the customs area, before the luggage area.

You can see more information about Enrollment on Arrival here.

Give yourself time

If you have a connecting flight, be aware of the time for waiting, interviewing, and checking back in for the next flight if you have a short connection time.

The interview itself is 5-10 minutes, and you will be answering basic questions. Whichever way you end up getting your interview, you will receive your new card in the mail 2-3 weeks after the interview. You will need to log into your TSA account to activate your card once you receive it.

Getting your TSA PreCheck Benefits

Your ability to use the TSA Precheck benefits are based on you entering your Trusted Travel number into your airline profile information.

For any airline you fly, you should create an account if don’t already have one, and then add your Trusted Traveler number to your profile.

Your Global Entry Card 

You need to carry your membership card only if you’ll be traveling by land between the United States and Canada or Mexico. You do not need the Global Entry card for travel by air.

There is really no reason to carry your Global Entry card with you – for TSA Precheck, the benefits are based on the airline printing TSA Precheck on your boarding pass, and Global Entry details are electronically loaded into your passport.

If your boarding pass does not have TSA PreCheck printed on it, the TSA folks are not going to let you get in that line, even if you show them your card. Make sure you add your Trusted Traveler number to your airline profiles.

To sum it up, Global Entry is definitely worth the process if you travel internationally. It can help you avoid those long wait lines when you arrive and save you a lot of time at the airport.