The Immigration line joins the trend of self-checkout with the Global Entry program.
Have you ever found yourself impatiently waiting in line at Immigration after a long international flight, desperate to be home? And then some random travelers whisk by, scan their passports at an empty self-service Global Entry kiosk, and in 60 seconds, they’re gone. You might think they have special diplomatic status, but more likely they’re just ordinary members of the public who have applied for Global Entry, the government’s expedited immigration program for travelers. The easy-to-use and underutilized program for low-risk travelers is a jetsetter’s dream, making international travel far more efficient, not to mention way more enjoyable.
Go to Global Entry’s homepage, globalentry.gov, and start your online application by registering with the Global Online Enrollment System. You’ll get a GOES user ID and enter all the necessary personal information. Submit an application and pay the non-refundable $100 fee. Once your application is reviewed, you’ll receive a message in your GOES account to schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center, currently located at or near 20 major U.S. airports.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer conducts a short in-person interview, takes your photo, and scans your fingerprints. If your background check and interview identify you as a legal, low-security-risk traveler, you’ll receive a Global Entry sticker on your passport or a Global Entry card valid for five years, allowing use of the self-service kiosks at Immigration in select U.S. airports.
Being part of the Global Entry network means no processing lines, almost no wait times, and no paperwork at 20 major U.S. airports. Upon arrival, go directly to the Global Entry kiosk. Scan your passport, match your fingerprints, and smile for the camera. You’ll fill out your Customs information electronically here, so don’t bother with the blue form on board. The kiosk will print a receipt, which you’ll flash to an Immigration officer, and then to Customs after collecting your bags. Note that you’ll still need to do the regular Immigration and Customs routine when arriving in a foreign country or any U.S. airport that’s not part of the program.
Several airports with Global Entry kiosks also have designated lines at Customs for faster service. For your departures, select airlines at seven of the Global Entry-approved airports that offer TSA’s Pre-Check Expedited Screening Pilot Program, with special screening lanes for approved Global Entry members. Finally, American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders are eligible for reimbursement of the $100 application fee when paying with their card.