How to fill out the Global Entry application

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With the recent news that New York residents are no longer able to apply for (or renew) a Global Entry membership, a lot of questions have come up regarding this and other trusted traveler programs.

Signing up for Global Entry can save you a lot of time in airports if you travel frequently because it’s designed to help you speed through international customs when you return home. It also often helps domestically by clearing you to use the PreCheck lane.

Here’s a quick refresher on how to apply for Global Entry, for those of you who still qualify, along with a reminder of which cards come with a credit for free Global Entry.

Note that the application will ask you for where you have lived, worked and traveled over the past five years. You’ll want to pull that information together before diving in.

Applying for Global Entry

To get started, pull up the Global Entry application page. Near the bottom right, find and click the “Apply Now!” button.

After that, you’ll be asked which of the trusted traveler programs you’re applying for. Select Global Entry and you’ll be on your way.

You’ll be asked to set up an account with the login.gov system and you’ll need to enter your email address and create a password.

Once you confirm your email address by clicking on a secure link sent to your email, you’ll be directed to establish a password.

 

Then, you’ll have to set up two-factor authentication in order to protect your account. You can do so using two phone numbers, an authentication app, a security key, etc. You’ll be asked a few questions in order to confirm your selection.

For example, if you chose to authenticate your account with a telephone number, you’ll get a security code either via text or a phone call that you’ll then enter into the system.

 

After authenticating your account you’ll be ready to apply for Global Entry.

From there you’ll have to enter the typical personal information required on almost any application, including your name, date of birth, address etc.

You’ll also have to answer if you’ve ever applied for the following programs:

  • Global Entry
  • Nexus
  • Sentri
  • Fast

Tick “Yes” or “No” to proceed. For most new users, you’ll click “No” and then hit the “Save” button.

From there you’ll be able to continue filling out the Global Entry application. You’ll have to confirm you’re willing to visit an enrollment center before you can continue the application.

Once you agree to appear for an in-person interview (here’s a list of all the centers and whether or not they will accept walk-in appointments) you’ll continue on through the rest of the application.

Plan to spend at least 30 minutes filling out the application. As previously mentioned, you’ll be asked for the past five years of your:

  • Address history
  • Employment history
  • Travel history

(Depending on your situation, the application can be quite the walk down memory lane!)

Be as honest as possible. If you’ve had the same address and job for the last five years, and haven’t traveled much, this part will be easy. But if not, take some time to find the necessary information and list of countries you’ve visited. Use old IDs, letters, emails, tax returns, or whatever else you can find to patch this information together.

Once it’s complete, submit your application for initial enrollment.

Make an in-person appointment at an enrollment center

Once your application is conditionally approved you’ll be invited to make an appointment at an enrollment center to complete your application and finalize your application.

If there are no appointments available, you can book at a different center and change your appointment date later.

Your Global Entry, if approved, will be valid for up to five years and will expire on your birthday of the fifth year.

The time you’ll save is well worth it to apply and complete the in-person appointment because you’ll have five years of less-stressful travel ahead.

Cards that offer a credit for the Global Entry fee

Global Entry costs $100 and is valid for five years, but the fee is refunded (in the form of a statement credit) if you pay with one of these cards:

(The American Express® Green Card offers a $100 annual credit for Clear membership, but not Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.)

The information for the Amex Green Card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.          

Here’s an in-depth guide to the top cards for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck.

Bottom line

It’s worth it to sign up for Global Entry membership, especially if you have a card that comes with a statement credit for free enrollment.

Has Global Entry changed the way you travel?  Did you find the application process was easy?

Featured photo by tigristiara/Shutterstock.

Meghan Hunter is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, she covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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