Is there anything more exciting than international travel? Exploring the world is such a treat, and with the advancement of technology, almost anyone has the chance to visit a new country at least once in their life.
One of the more negative things about international travel is the dreaded customs and border control whenever you are arriving at your destination. With the popularity of travel, Global Entry and Mobile Passport have become two of the most popular options to get through US Customs a lot quicker!
What Exactly is Global Entry?
Global Entry is actually part of the U.S Customs and Border Protection Program. To put it simply, it allows you to be pre-approved for arrival back to the United States from international destinations. After a long flight back home, there is nothing worse than waiting in a long customs line! FYI: Global Entry also gets you TSA PreCheck for free! Keep in mind that if you already have PreCheck you can’t pay the difference to upgrade, but you can pay the fee and join Global Entry.
Some Credit Cards Allow You to Join Global Entry!
Some credit cards actually offer Global Entry as one of the benefits for being a card holder. Cards such as the Capitol One Venture Rewards Credit Card, United Explorer Card, IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, Bank of America Premium Rewards Visa, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and American Express platinum all give you the Global Entry benefits. Keep in mind that each of these cards have their own annual rates and fees, so be sure to check out details of each. If you’re interested in finding out more about any of these cards, this website has a ton of details!
What You Should Know About the Interview!
Once you have paid the $100 fee for your five-year membership, you’ll schedule your interview next. When you are able to schedule your interview, make sure you bring a printed off version of your conditional approval, a valid passport, and a proof of residence. The interview is about 10-15 minute on average, and they will ask you about locations you have visited and your reason for your visit. They will then take your fingerprints as well as a photo to have on record.
Upon approval, you’ll receive your Global Entry card within a week to a week and a half, and make sure you register the card within the first thirty days!
A quick FYI, if you are unable to get an appointment or currently don’t live near an interview center, you can actually enroll upon arrival at 25 airports in the United States. Here is a list of airport that have Global Entry enrollment centers!
How Do You Use Global Entry?
If you fly into an airport with the Global Entry, then you can go ahead to the kiosks. You’ll slide in your passport or resident card, place your fingers on the reader, and complete your customs
declaration right there. Then, you can head straight to baggage claim and head on home!
You Don’t Have to Be a U.S. Citizen!
If you are a citizen of Argentina, Germany, Switzerland, Panama, South Korea, India, Colombia, Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom, or Mexico, you can still apply to be part of Global Entry! Canadians can also gain access through the NEXUS program!
What is Mobile Passport?
Unlike Global Entry, Mobile Passport Control is actually an app that citizens of the United States and Canadian visitors can use to expedite their way through customs. All that is needed is a smartphone or a tablet. It’s a free app, and does not require any sort of pre-approval or authorization to use either.
How Does Mobile Passport Work?
Once the app has been downloaded to your phone, you will simply create a profile with the information from your passport. Upon arrival, there is an option for “New Trip”, and you will fill out your arrival information such as airport and airline. You’ll then take a photo with your phone, and answer customs related questions. There will be a QR code as the receipt which you will show to the agent along with your passport for entry.
Important Tips You Should Know!
This does not work the same way as Global Entry, and there will still be some time that you will spend waiting. This is simply cutting down on some of the time it takes for an agent to review your information. At most locations there is still a designated line for Mobile Passport which could result in a quicker time through customs processing.