You just got off the plane after a 15-hour flight from Asia, waited another hour for your luggage to finally pop out, and walked seemlingly a mile to get to the exit. Then you see the all-too-familiar scene: hundreds of people lined up to go through customs and immigration inspection. But you are probably too tired to be mad at that point, especially if Corporate sent out a coach-only memo just before your trip.
Now there is good news. Next time you might be able to bypass the long lines and get out of the airport a bit more quickly.
The Global Entry Program from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been expanded to now include 20 international airports across the United States. Participants in the program may use self-service kiosks, much like ATM or self-checkout machines, to complete customs and passport control. According to CBP, “Global Entry is a traveler’s ticket to get out of line.”
Not everyone is eligible for Global Entry though. Only U.S. citizens, permanent residents and foreign nationals from certain countries may apply to enroll in this program. After $100, a thorough background check, and an in-person interview with a CBP officer, you will be granted a 5-year membership if your application is approved.
If you are accepted, here is what you will do when you arrive at the airport:
- Bypass passport control lines and proceed to the Global Entry Kiosk
- Scan your passport and fingerprints
- Answer Declaration questions
- Take receipt to expedited exit point
Designated airports include LAX, JFK, SFO, BOS, among others. Check out the CBP brochure for complete list of participating airports and detailed instructions on how to apply.