If you’re a frequent traveler, you know the drill when it comes to getting through security at the airport. It can be time consuming and tedious. But now there are two programs—Global Entry and TSA PreCheck—that can help streamline that process for you. So, which one is right for your needs? Let’s look into the differences between these two programs so you can make an informed decision.
What is Global Entry?
Global Entry is a program run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It allows travelers who have been pre-approved to skip past long lines at customs after international trips and instead use automated kiosks where they can scan their passport and answer a few questions about their trip. This speeds up the customs process, allowing travelers to get through quickly without waiting in line. In addition, members of Global Entry also get TSA PreCheck automatically included as part of their membership, which offers additional benefits like expedited security screening.
What Is TSA Precheck?
TSA PreCheck is a separate program from Global Entry that allows travelers to bypass regular security lines at airports in the United States and use dedicated lanes that offer expedited screening procedures. This means that travelers don’t have to remove their shoes, laptops or liquids from their bags during security checks or wait in long lines with everyone else.
All they need to do is present their boarding pass and identification at special checkpoints and they’re good to go! So, which one is right for you? Now that we know what each program offers, let’s take a look at how they stack up against each other when it comes to deciding which one is right for you as a traveler. While both programs offer expedited processing benefits, Apply for Global Entry goes one step further by allowing travelers access to automated kiosks for faster entry into the country after an international flight.
On the other hand, TSA PreCheck only offers expedited security screening procedures within the United States for domestic flights. So if you’re looking for additional benefits when traveling internationally or want more streamlined processing domestically within the United States then Global Entry might be your best bet!
What is the application process for Global Entry?
If you’re looking to speed up your time at the airport, Global Entry is a great option. It offers expedited customs and immigration clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers, as well as access to dedicated self-service kiosks at select airports. In addition, Global Entry members can also skip a line at the security checkpoint thanks to TSA PreCheck.
To get started, create a Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) account and log on to Global Entry’s website to fill out an application. Once you’ve submitted the application and paid the non-refundable $100 fee, your TTP account will automatically update your status to conditionally approved and send you a notification to schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center.
There’s a bit of waiting involved in this process, but it shouldn’t take long once you’ve received conditional approval and scheduled your interview. Once your interview is complete, you’ll be officially enrolled in Global Entry and receive a Known Traveler Number, or KTN. This number is what you’ll use when booking airline tickets to the U.S.
You can renew your Global Entry membership online if it’s about to expire. You’ll need to fill out an application that requires you to review all of the information that was previously submitted to CBP during your initial application. This includes your personal details, documents, driver’s license, employment info, travel history, and more.
The renewal process isn’t as lengthy as the original application process, but it will still ask for your citizenship or residency documents, whether you have a driver’s license EDL conforming, any changes to your aliases or “AKAs” since your last application, and all countries that you’ve visited in the past five years. You’ll also need to pay a $100 renewal fee for the five-year membership.
If you don’t want to pay the $100 renewal fee out of pocket, many credit cards are eligible to reimburse your Global Entry membership fee. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, for example, offers a statement credit of up to $100 toward the cost every four years.
What is the renewal process for Global Entry?
If you are a current Global Entry member and your membership is set to expire within the next year, you can renew your Global Entry membership online. This will require you to log in to your Trusted Traveler account, update your information for renewal, and pay a non-refundable $100 fee.
CBP reviews all renewals and will contact you by mail or email if they approve your application. However, you should be aware that renewal applications may take longer to review than new ones.
You should be able to check the status of your Global Entry renewal application online, but it may take up to 90 days. Once your application is conditionally approved, you will need to schedule an interview. During this process, you will be asked to provide evidence of any changes in your identity, such as an updated passport or a change of address.
In addition to the online application and the application fee, you will need to submit proof of your citizenship or residency, as well as a valid driver’s license with EDL conformance. You will also need to disclose any immigration violations or criminal convictions that could be grounds for denial of your application.
Upon receipt of conditional approval, your TTP account will instruct you to schedule an interview with a Global Entry enrollment center near you. Alternatively, you can complete your interview on arrival at many major U.S. airports, known as Enrollment on Arrival.
The Global Entry enrollment and renewal process can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it for the benefits that come with it. In addition to faster security lines at the United States’ international airports, Global Entry members enjoy priority boarding and free rechecking of their luggage if they are traveling on an international flight.
Applicants must undergo an interview with CBP officers at an enrollment center in the United States before being approved for Global Entry, although there are some exceptions to this rule. For a list of available interview dates and locations, visit the CBP Global Entry website. Fueled by high demand and related capacity reductions at CBP’s enrollment centers, wait times for enrollment and renewal interviews have remained a problem.
Both Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are great programs for frequent travelers looking to streamline their airport processes but deciding which one is right for you will largely depend on your individual travel needs.
For travelers who want an easier way through the airport, both Global Entry and TSA Precheck offer great benefits. While both programs provide expedited screenings, one key difference between them is that Global Entry includes access to TSA Precheck while TSA Precheck does not include access to Global Entry.
Ultimately, if you travel frequently outside of the country or often find yourself stuck in long lines at domestic airports, either program can help make your next trip less stressful – so choose wisely!