Both my husband and I recently renewed our Global Entry, and Johnny will be doing his interview as we return to Atlanta from this trip, so our experience and the frequent questions I get about Global Entry inspires this week’s article…
Global Entry vs TSA PreCheck – Application and Renewal
I get a lot of questions about Global Entry versus TSA PreCheck, along with questions about the renewal process once you have a card.
I just went through my Global Entry renewal so I have the latest view of the procedure, so I thought I would talk about how it all works.
Global Entry versus TSA PreCheck
Global Entry allows expedited processing for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Participants may enter the United States by using automated kiosks located at select airports.
The great thing about Global Entry is that it includes TSA PreCheck.
TSA PreCheck is an expedited screening program that makes risk assessments about passengers prior to their arrival at an airport checkpoint – basically, it gets you through security a lot faster. Plus you don’t have to take off your shoes or jacket, and you can leave your laptop in your bag.
Global Entry is a five year program that costs $100, while TSA PreCheck is a five year program that costs $78.
Since Global Entry includes the benefits of TSA PreCheck for domestic flights, plus the benefits of a quicker process through customs when arriving into the United States from an international destination, the extra $22 is absolutely worth it. Global Entry is the superior program and the one you should get.
What is Nexus?
If you have heard of Nexus and wonder what it is, you probably don’t need it.
NEXUS provides expedited processing for pre-approved low-risk travelers when crossing between the United States and Canada at designated lanes at land border ports of entry, self service kiosks at designated airports, or at marine reporting locations along the shared United States and Canadian border.
It’s only $50 for five years and includes TSA PreCheck BUT – it only works for Canada. Global Entry is better.
There is a similar program called SENTRI that words for Mexico and costs $122.25, so it’s definitely for more specialized situations
Applying for your Global Entry Card
Make sure you are on the real government website to apply for Global Entry. There are many copycat website that will charge you an extra fee, just to send you the government site anyway.
The government website about the application process for Global Entry is:
Per that chart, first you create your Trusted Traveler account, and then you complete the application.
The real government website you need to get started is: https://ttp.dhs.gov/
You would also use this same website to renew if you already have Global Entry.
Click on the Global Entry ‘Get Started’ Button, create an account or log into one if you already have it, and it leads you through pretty well.
For new applicants, these are the types of documents you want to have on hand to apply or later when you have an interview:
The documents may include:
• Proof of citizenship
• Passport (required for Global Entry)
• Proof that you are allowed to enter the United States
• Permanent Resident Card (if you are a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States). Note: This card must have a machine-readable zone if you are applying for Global Entry.
• Valid driver’s license
• Proof that you live at the address you provide for your current address
You will also need this information:
• An email address (to create a http://Login.gov account)
• Address history for the past five years
• Employment history for the past five years
• International Travel history for the past five years Court documents (if you have ever been convicted of a crime other than a traffic violation)
• Vehicle information (if you plan on driving across the border from Mexico into the United States Phone number(s)
• Documentation to prove any other citizenships (if any)
How to get your Global Entry Free
There are specific credit cards that offer a statement credit for your Global Entry fee, so check if you have a credit card that offers that benefit before making your payment. I didn’t even think of that when I renewed my Global Entry, and later found that my American Express Reserve card would give me a credit to offset the $100 charge. Bummer – I didn’t use that card. But then I checked out the Capital One Spark card I used and found they also will give me a credit. I lucked out, but better to review the benefits of all your credit cards and make an informed decision of which card to use to make payment.
Renewal of your Global Entry Card
You can renew your card 1 year prior to expiration. Because of the long lead time for interviews, the most convenient plan is to renew 6-9 months prior to expiration, and then do the interview as you arrive back from an international trip.
Your renewal will be dated to five years after the planned expiration date, so renewing ahead does not shorten the window of time that your card is valid.
What Happens After I Apply or Renew
I’ll discuss the rest of the process next week. Stay tuned!