How to Apply for Global Entry: A Step-by-Step Guide
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How to Apply for Global Entry: A Step-by-Step Guide

Navigating the world of international travel can be much smoother with Global Entry. If you've been considering this expedited program but aren't sure where to start, you're in the right place. Here's your step-by-step guide to applying for Global Entry.

1. Determine Your Eligibility

Before anything else, make sure you're eligible. Global Entry is open to:

- U.S. citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents.
- Citizens of certain other countries under reciprocal agreements.

However, remember that factors like previous violations of customs regulations or certain criminal convictions could make you ineligible.

2. Create a Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) Account

Head over to the Trusted Traveler Programs website and create an account. This is where you will do everything related to your Global Entry account.

3. Complete the Application

Once logged in:

A. Opt for the Global Entry program.

B. Carefully fill out the application, providing essential details including passport data, travel history, and employment.

C. Ensure accuracy before submission.

4. Pay the Application Fee

The Global Entry application comes with a non-refundable fee. As of my last update, it's $100, valid for five years. Always cross-check the latest fee on the TTP site.

5. Await Conditional Approval

After submitting, CBP will review your application. This review can span several weeks.

Once conditionally approved, you'll receive a notice in your TTP account indicating the next steps.

6. Sign up for Global Entry Spotter

Given the popularity of Global Entry, securing an interview slot can be a challenge. Sometimes, it can take 4-5 months for an available slot, depending on your location. This is where the Global Entry Spotter comes in handy. It's an alert system that notifies you when a new interview appointment opens up.

Email Alerts: These are free and will give you a heads-up when there's an opening.

SMS Alerts: For just $25, you get 31 days of instant SMS alerts. Given the urgency with which slots are booked, we strongly recommend the SMS option for quicker, more direct notifications.

7. Schedule and Attend the In-Person Interview

Once you receive an alert about an available slot, immediately book your appointment at the nearest Global Entry Enrollment Center (often situated at major U.S. airports).

Bring along:

- Valid passport and another form of identification like a driver's license.
- Conditional approval letter printout.
- Applicable visa or residency documents based on your nationality.

8. The Interview Experience

Expect the interview to last around 15-20 minutes. A CBP officer will:

- Confirm your documents.
- Capture your fingerprints.
- Pose questions related to your travel history and your interest in Global Entry.

9. Achieve Final Approval and Get Your Card

Upon successful completion of the interview:

- Instructions on how to operate the Global Entry kiosks will be shared.
- Your official Global Entry card will be mailed to you in a few weeks. Remember, for U.S. travelers, the card is mainly needed for land border crossings since kiosks identify you through fingerprints and your passport.


The path to Global Entry may have a few steps, but the benefits, particularly for those who often travel, are invaluable. With a successful application, you'll be on your way to more seamless international trips. Here's to swift and easy journeys!

If you sign up for Global Entry, be aware that many interview locations have a 4-5 month wait time. If you're struggling to find an interview appointment within a a week or two, we recommend signing up for Global Entry Spotter, which sends out immediate email and SMS alerts as new appointments become available. The majority of travelers who sign up get alerts have an appointment booked within hours.