Global Entry is a program that allows for expedited clearance for low-risk, pre-approved travelers. It lets travelers re-enter the United States faster and with fewer hassles. When entering by air, those who are in the Global Entry program can either head directly to a kiosk, where available, or go through the special, faster lines. Global Entry members can enjoy TSA PreCheck benefits, too.
By being a member of Global Entry, travelers can save a lot of time when re-entering the country. Global Entry has a reasonably low fee of $100 that covers you for five years, which is a great deal for those who travel internationally often. When applying for Global Entry, you will have to go through a background check, fingerprint scan and in-person interview.
Currently, some travelers who are looking to sign up for the program are hitting roadblocks and long delays and even having their interview appointments canceled. According the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the delays are thanks in part to the government shutdown at the beginning of the year and a surge in immigration at the southern border.
Many U.S. Customs and Border Protection staff have been sent to the southern border, and as a result, there are fewer employees available at Global Entry enrollment centers. In fact, many scheduled interviews have been canceled. At LAX, the third busiest airport in the United States, the enrollment center has been closed indefinitely.
If you are applying for Global Entry, you should expect significant delays in the processing of your application. You should also expect limited appointment availability. It could take up to 100 days for your application to be processed.
While applicants can expect significant delays when they apply for Global Entry, there are other ways to speed up the arrival process. One way to speed up the arrival process is to download the free Mobile Passport app. It works at most major U.S. airports and cruise ports in the country. All you have to do is open the app and fill in the usual answers, take a selfie and submit the form.