Have you ever heard of Global Entry, TSA-Pre, NEXUS, or Sentri? These are all names for programs that can simplify entry into the United States significantly. Learn about the Trusted Traveler Programs and how to become a member.
Trusted Traveler Programs are risk-based US government selection processes that allow frequent travelers to qualify for eased security screening at airports or other entry points.
Ever-increasing security checks and extended border clearance times are the new reality for US travelers. Many tourists have missed their flights because the waiting times at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints were too long.
If you've been in one of these queues, you may have noticed travelers going through security without waiting. These were likely members of a Trusted Traveler Program. The most famous Trusted Traveler Program is Global Entry.
Membership in a Trusted Traveler Program does not entitle you to travel to the United States. You will also need the electronic entry permit ESTA or a US visa to be allowed across the border.
Currently, as a regular US traveler, you can qualify for the following Trusted Traveler Programs and thereby massively reduce security checks at the border:
|Trusted Traveler Programs of the USA||Eligible travelers||Trip type|
|TSA Pre||US citizens and Green Card holders||Departure from US airports|
|Global Entry||US citizens, Green Card holders, select foreign travelers||Entering the US from other countries|
|NEXUS||US citizens, Green Card holders, Canadian citizens, Canadian permanent residents, Mexican citizens||Entering the United States from Canada|
|Sentri||US citizens, Green Card holders, foreign travelers||Entering the US from Canada and Mexico|
|FAST||Truck drivers who are US citizens, Green Card holders, Canadian citizens, Canadian permanent residents, or Mexican citizens||Truck trips to the USA from Canada or Mexico|
So if you come to the US from abroad for regular business trips and are neither a US citizen nor a Green Card holder, the Global Entry program is probably the right choice.
Per the "Best Match" recommendation on the Department of Homeland Security’s website, you will get a proposal for the best Trusted Traveler Program based on your nationality and travel habits.
After your online application, you must make an appointment for an interview in one of the so-called “enrollment centers.” Depending on the program, you will also give your fingerprints there.
DHS announced that waiting times might be longer. In the case of Global Entry, an application can take up to 6 months, with NEXUS and Sentri even up to 14 months. Only the FAST trucker program lives up to its name: here, you will have your application approved after about 2 weeks.
The various Trusted Traveler Programs call for membership fees ranging from $ 50 to $ 122. In the case of Global Entry, you pay $ 100 for a five-year membership.
If you are a member of a Trusted Traveler Program for trips to the USA, you will benefit from greatly reduced security checks at entry into the United States.
This can look like:
Even when leaving the country, the security checks are shortened as a Trusted Traveler. Children up to 12 also benefit from faster processing. All in all, the Trusted Traveler Programs for the United States offer you a better travel experience and increase the efficiency of regular United States trips.