24 Jul 2015

A U.S. government program that grants pre-approved travellers access to a faster Customs and Border Protection (CBP) process through automated kiosks at select U.S. airports and at land and sea border crossings into the United States.Global Entry requires travellers to be fingerprinted, photographed, pass an extensive background check and complete a personal interview with CBP.

Global Entry is one of the Trusted Traveller Programs of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Travellers who want to use Global Entry must apply for the program. Applicants may be disqualified for a number of reasons, including lying or omitting information on their application, having a criminal history, being the subject of a current law enforcement investigation, or having a prior customs or immigration violation. Applicants must convince CBP that they are low-risk travellers to be approved for Global Entry. The program has a $100 application fee.

Machine-readable passports or U.S. permanent resident cards combined with fingertip scans verify Global Entry participants’ identities at airport Global Entry kiosks and speed up the process of legally entering the country. Instead of filling out a paper customs declaration form, Global Entry members make an electronic declaration at the kiosk. Program membership does not exclude travellers from having to declare items they are bringing into the country or from being selected for additional screening. Further screening may be random, may occur because the traveller has items to declare or agricultural products to be inspected, or may be necessary because the traveller’s fingerprint scan did not match the fingerprints in the traveller’s database entry. Global Entry members also have access to expedited border crossings at certain international airports.

Global Entry is not limited to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent U.S. residents. Canadian NEXUS members receive Global Entry benefits. Dutch Privium members and Korean Smart Entry Service members are also eligible to apply for Global Entry, as are citizens of Germany, Panama and Mexico. However, only U.S. Citizens, legal permanent U.S. residents and Mexican nationals receive Global Entry cards, which contain radio frequency identification (RFID) that facilitates land and sea border crossings into the United States from Canada and Mexico. A global entry card functions in lieu of a NEXUS or SENTRI ID card for these border checkpoints. However, Global Entry only allows members to cross from Canada into the United States; to cross from the United States into Canada requires a separate NEXUS membership.

Each family member who wants to use Global Entry must apply and be approved separately. Individuals younger than 18 may apply with a parent or legal guardian’s permission. Global Entry members also have access to TSA PreCheck benefits, which include dedicated airport screening lanes in which travellers don’t have to remove their shoes, belts or light outerwear and can keep their laptops and 3-1-1 compliant bag of liquids in their carry-on bags.

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