Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Global Entry

tl;dr Global Entry speeds you through U.S. Immigration and Customs really fast.

On the return from our recent trip to Canada, we cleared Immigration and Customs in Chicago in less than 5 minutes.

Here's how...

A couple of years ago when we traveled to Ireland we joined the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Global Entry program.

At the time we had to travel to Nashville for the CBP interview. The interview took less than 5 minutes and we received e-mail notification that we had been approved before we left the parking lot.

According to Customs and Border Protection's page the benefits are:
  • No processing lines
  • No paperwork
  • Access to expedited entry benefits in other countries
  • Available at major U.S. airports
  • Reduced wait times
  • TSA Pre✓ Eligibility
You also get Global Entry cards (like a Passport Card) that are good for U.S. entry at land and sea ports of entry. We used these when visiting Campobello Island.

Global Entry costs $100 compared to TSA Pre✓'s $85 and includes TSA Pre✓. Global Entry also includes the equivalent of a Passport Card ($30). Both Global Entry TSA Pre✓and  are good for 5 years.

How this works is that when the flight attendant passes out the Form 6059B politely take it, put it in the seatback pocket, and go back to watching the movie. You don't have to complete it.

Then when you deplane and go to the Immigration area, watch for the Global Entry kiosks.

Place your passport on the reader, smile for the camera, put your hand on the sensor and answer the few questions. Take the receipt that the kiosk prints and head for the exit.

Wave the receipt politely to the Immigration agents and keep going.

Now you're in Customs. Again look for the Global Entry line. It's the Customs agent without a line. Wave the receipt politely to the Customs agent and keep going.

Head to Starbucks and wait for your friends that didn't have Global Entry.

By the way there's also Mobile Passport Control that is similar.
Mobile Passport Control enables travelers to submit their passport and customs declaration information via their smartphone instead of the traditional paper form. 
Follow the Mobile Passport Control signs to the designated Mobile Passport Control line. Show your passport to the CBP officer and scan the barcode on the CBP receipt. And that’s it!
It's free but doesn't include TSA Pre✓ or the Global Entry Card. Mobile Passport Control requires some pre-work on your smartphone before you land. Once you're on the ground you have to connect to the Internet and complete some information. Then you are shown a barcode that you have to present to the CBP agents at Immigration and Customs.

Not all international arrival airports have Global Entry and fewer support Mobile Passport Control. We actually cleared Global Entry in Dublin on our return from Ireland.

Cross-post from here.

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