I was recently approved for the Global Entry program, and felt obligated to share how painless the process was. For the uninitiated, Global Entry is a program that allows travelers to “expedite” the immigrations/customs process whenever they arrive to the US from a foreign country. The cost is $100 for 5 years, and there are some credit cards that offer a reimbursement on the application fee.
Even if someone may only go out of the country once a year, it’s still a program that is worth it. One hectic experience during international arrivals can make anyone hand over that $100 with quickness. Also, it comes with TSA Precheck, which is normally $85. Might as well just spend an additional 15 and get Global Entry!
I applied on Sunday, December 20, 2015. The application was pretty simple. I had to provide my passport and driver’s license information, 5-year employment history, 5-year residence history, and 5-year travel history for any countries beyond US, Canada, and Mexico. The application also asked those random questions about being convicted of a felony, being in violation of laws, etc. In total, it probably took me an hour to complete the application, but that was just because I’ve had multiple employers and multiple addresses in the last 5 years, so I had to spend time recalling and researching phone numbers and addresses. A “normal” person who has lived at the same address and worked for the sample employer long term will probably only need about 15 minutes.