How to Apply for Global Entry

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Global Entry is a program offered by US Customs that allows you to get through security quicker once you’ve passed a background check and submitted to an interview in person at a designated location.  We all hate waiting in lines, especially when traveling for vacation, so the biggest question is how to apply for Global Entry?

  1. How to apply for Global Entry
  2. Global Entry – Easy To Get Approved, Difficult to Schedule Interview
  3. If My 2 Year Old Son Can Get Global Entry, So Can You


How to Apply for Global Entry

Before we get started, this whole process took me less than an hour.  It’s not forever, but it’s also not 10 minutes, so make sure you have enough time to complete your application.  You can start and finish where you left off, but the whole point of this is to quit waiting, so it’s best to finish in one session so you can get the go-ahead to schedule your interview.

Global Entry How to Apply

First, go to and click on Apply Today.Global Entry Apply Today

Then click on “New GOES User” to register a username and password.

Global Entry New User


Register your username and password.

Global Entry Registration

Then come back to the “Existing GOES User” screen and enter them here to complete the questionnaire.

Global Entry Enroll

Click on “Enroll in a New Program”

Global Entry Trusted Traveler application

Then, click on “Start Application for Trusted Traveler Program,” which asks for such information as passport number, place of birth, which countries you’ve visited in the last 5 years, etc.

In a couple of weeks, you’ll receive an email telling you that your application status has changed.  You’ll log in and receive conditional approval, which allows you to schedule your in-person interview.  Click “Schedule Interview” and find a location and time that best suits your needs.

Global Entry Conditional Approval

Think proactively when scheduling.  There weren’t any close times available in Los Angeles, which is near where I live, but I was going on a trip to New York, Paris, and Madrid, with a stopover in New York, so I booked mine a couple of hours before my flight from New York to Paris.  With an appointment at JFK, the process took only a few minutes, and we were in and out of the office in less than 20 minutes.  My wife’s application hadn’t been approved by that time (because I only submitted it a few days prior), and they were kind enough to double-check the system to see if there was an opportunity for her to do her interview.  So, on our return layover at JFK, we stopped by the office without an appointment.  We waited about 40 minutes, because there were a lot of people with appointments, but they finally took her in.  Her interview also was less than 20 minutes.

At the end of the interview, I had my fingers scanned and they placed a sticker on my passport.  They provided me with a number to get my TSA PreCheck Expedited Screening.  When I returned home from vacation, my Global Entry card was waiting for me in the mail.  Woohoo!  And, I checked my online GOES Account and saw that I was official.

Global Entry Approved

Now, my status shows as approved.  Since my passport will expire before my Trusted Traveler designation does, they said all I need to do is log-in and input my new passport number and everything will be good.  Same thing goes for my wife, who needs to update her passport to reflect her new married name.

Uses with Partner Programs

If you have Global Entry, you can also use SmartGate at no charge.  This is Australia’s version of the trusted traveler program.

Global Entry SmartGate Australia

So, applying isn’t that difficult of a process, and coordinating your schedule with interview locations and availability can be a little tricky, but overall, applying for Global Entry is something very worthwhile if you’re going to be traveling outside of the United States (even to Canada or Mexico).  More and more airports and airlines are coming on board with Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, so the value of approval will only increase.  The $100 application fee is good for 5 years.  So, assuming you leave the country once per year, skipping the lines has got to be worth more than $20 a year!

All in all, the value and the process were 5 Razor worthy!



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