Faster entry with Global Entry

CBP Global Entry Program participants can enter the U.S. more easily and quickly because they can perform identity checks at the airport themselves and avoid long waiting lines. To find out more about the benefits of the program and how you can become a member, click here!

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CBP Global Entry Program: What is that?

The Global Entry Program is managed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and is one of four Trusted Traveler Programs designed to facilitate entry into the United States for low-risk individuals.

This allows members of the Global Entry Program to enter the USA more quickly and easily, as they can carry out the usual identity checks at the airport independently at a self-service terminal. The voluntary program enables them to enter the USA within a few minutes.

The simplified check is now available at most major US airports and is therefore a great relief, especially for people who frequently visit the USA.

A faster entry into the USA is actually only possible with the US GreenCard.

Key Facts about the Global Entry Program:
Fees 100 USD
Application time 4-6 weeks processing time + waiting time until interview date
Validity  5 years
Participating US Airports 53 (Status August 2018)

What are the benefits of the Global Entry Program?

Once you are a member of the Global Entry Program, you can enjoy a whole range of benefits:

  • Separate check at the airport in the USA
  • No more long lines at the border official's counter 
  • Independent identity check at the terminal
  • Significantly faster entry compared to non-global entry members
  • Authorization to TSA PreCheck® for additional facilitation of security checks

The TSA PreCheck® still checks travellers at the airport of departure, but you enjoy more exceptions. For example, shoes, liquids and laptops no longer have to be tested separately. Participants can line up at a separate TSA line and shorten the time of the security check before departure to just a few minutes. 

What are the requirements for Global Entry Membership?

To be eligible for the CBP Global Entry Program, applicants must meet two requirements.

  1. Applicants must be of one of the eligible nationalities. The following countries are eligible: 

    Region

    Country

    Asia

    India

     

    Singapore

     

    South Korea

     

    Taiwan

    Europe

    Germany

     

    Great Britain

     

    Switzerland

    Central and South America

    Argentinia

     

    Colombia

     

    Mexico

     

    Panama

    North America

    Canada (Prerequisite is the participation in the NEXUS program)

     

    USA

     

    US Immigrants (= GreenCard holder)

  2. The applicant must undergo and pass a security screening. How exactly this verification is conducted varies depending on the country of origin.

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How do I apply for Global Entry Membership?

To be accepted into the Global Entry Program, the applicant must go through an application process that may vary by country of origin. Here are the steps to register for German citizens:

  1. The first step is to pass the security check with the German Federal Police.
  2. Then you can create an account on the Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) page. If the application is filled out online, the processing fee of 100 USD has to be paid.
  3. Now the CBP staff check the application, which can take about four to six weeks. The applicant then receives a temporary confirmation of participation. A personal interview in one of the U.S. Global Entry Enrollment Centers must be arranged.
  4. At the Global Entry interview, a biometric photo and fingerprints are taken again, the passport is checked and the applicant is asked questions, e.g. about the reasons for frequent entry to the USA.
  5. If this appointment goes without problems, the application for membership in the Global Entry Program is approved.

Need help applying for Global Entry Membership? The experts of the US Visa Service will be happy to assist you! Get your personal quote now!

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Is a Global Entry membership the right thing for me?

If you plan on entering the USA several times in the next five years, whether for private or professional reasons, then it is definitely worth participating in the Global Entry Program. This way you will be able to skip the long lines and save a lot of time and nerves on your travels during security checks as well as identity checks.

If you want to fly to the USA just once or not at all in the next few years, it makes less sense to apply for a Global Entry membership.

Can children participate in the Global Entry Program?

Minors under the age of 18 may also participate in the Global Entry process. However, they require the consent of their parents or guardians. They must also be present when the child attends the interview at one of the Enrollment Centers. It does not matter whether the parents also participate in the program or not.

Global Entry for children
Children must complete the same registration process as adults and, for example, have their fingerprints stored. 

How do I enter the USA with the Global Entry Program?

Global Entry Program participants go through a different entry process than non-participants at their destination airport in the USA. This process looks as follows:

  1. Upon arrival at the airport, Global Entry members do not go to the border officials' counters as usual, but can go directly to the so-called Global Entry Kiosks.
  2. They now scan their passports independently at these machines.
  3. The fingerprints are then checked by placing the fingertips on the appropriate scanner.
  4. Finally, the customs declaration is filled out at the terminal as well.

Based on the information in the customs declaration, the kiosk prints out a receipt explaining to the traveller whether he still has to go to a customs check at a border official or is allowed to go directly to the baggage claim.

What is a Global Entry Kiosk?

The Global Entry Kiosk is a self-service terminal that enables program participants to perform an independent identity check upon arrival at the airport.

This kiosk should not be confused with the passport control terminals available to all holders of electronic passports. Those cannot perform many functions, such as checking fingerprints.

Picture of a Global Entry Kiosk

At the Global Entry Kiosk you perform the security check on your own when entering the USA.

 

How does the safety check work in Germany?

In order to participate in the Global Entry Program, each applicant must pass a security check.

In Germany, a free security check must be carried out at the Federal Police. This check can only be made in one of the following five registration offices in Germany:

Airport

Building

Location

Hamburg

Terminal 2

Level 1

Berlin Tegel

Terminal A

Main hall

Dusseldorf

Main building

Departure level

Frankfurt/Main

Terminal 1

Hall B, level 3, near the skyline entrance

Munich

Terminal 2

Level 04, room 4479

This is where the police information systems are scanned so that the applicant's credibility can be proven. Personal data is also transferred to and stored in the EasyPASS-RTP database (a border control system in the Schengen area).

The Federal Police then use the data to decide whether the security check has been passed.

Do I need a visa or ESTA despite Global Entry?

Yes, despite Global Entry Membership, every USA traveler requires a valid visa or ESTA permit.

Background: Global Entry participation does not serve as entry or residence permit. It only simplifies and accelerates the entry procedure at the airport.

Therefore, an ESTA permit or a US visa must always be applied for.

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How long is the Global Entry Membership valid for?

The validity of the Global Entry Membership is limited in time. Participants can use the simplified entry to the USA within the following five years.

For German participants, the additional rule applies that a new security check with the Federal Police is required after two years in order to continue participating. As a reminder, CBP sends an e-mail request to the respective members before the deadline to comply with the inspection.

At the end of the five-year period, Global Entry membership can be renewed very easily. All the participant has to do is log into his account on the Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) website and renew the application there. As soon as the fees have been paid, the participation is automatically extended.

Why was my Global Entry application rejected?

Although it is not difficult to apply for Global Entry Membership, the following reasons may lead to the rejection of an application:

  • Incorrect or incomplete information was provided in the application
  • Nationality is not eligible for the programme
  • Previous or current criminal offences, arrest warrants or allegations of crimes

In principle, the US Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) must be convinced that the applicant does not pose a risk to the USA and therefore does not require any personal checks upon entry, but can participate in the simpler Global Entry Process.

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