Want Global Entry Before Your Next Trip? Here’s How to Get it

Going on a trip soon and want to ensure a quicker, document-free entry back into the United States? Consider applying for Global Entry.

The Trusted Traveler Program’s Global Entry (often referred to as solely Global Entry) is a program that offers expedited customs clearance for enrolled travelers. The program, operated by the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program, allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to quickly process through customs. Global Entry status offers reduced wait times, no required paperwork, and a shorter processing experience altogether.

Lots of frequent international travelers consider enrollment in the program a staple in their travel tool bank because of its benefits. Global Entry costs $100 for a five-year membership, making the cost is worth it to many. Global Entry members also get TSA PreCheck, expedited security at U.S. airports.

Here are three ways to enroll in Global Entry, including one new method that just launched this year.

1. Standard Application

Create an account online through the Trusted Traveler Program and pay the required $100 non-refundable fee, along with the application. The application will require you to list previous addresses, and answer questions about your criminal history, employment and previous travel.

Next, the U.S Customs & Border Protection will review the application and determine if you’re eligible for an interview; this is considered a “conditional” approval.

After that, you’ll be able to schedule an in-person-interview at a Global Entry enrollment center. Interview availability in some states can be scarce at certain times of the year. Some people have reported waiting several months for an interview time.

2. Enrollment on Arrival

Enrollment on Arrival allows conditionally approved Global Entry applicants to complete their interviews following travel, upon return to the United States.

This option is available at 51 airports across 29 states, and requires travelers to have their passport and another form of identification, like a driver’s license or utility bill.

Once you’ve arrived in the United States, follow the signs in the international terminal for Global Entry Entry on Arrival.

3. Enrollment on Departure

In February 2024, Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Washington, D.C. became the first U.S. airport to offer Global Entry’s Enrollment on Departure option.

Like Enrollment on Arrival, this option bypasses the need for a scheduled interview. The departure interviews happen inside IAD’s B concourse at gate B41 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day. Conditionally approved Global Entry applicants can utilize the option before traveling, provided they have a passport and a document proving residency, like a driver’s license.