5 Reasons You Might Be Denied Global Entry (and What to Do About It)

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INSIDER SECRET: It’s easy to get a statement credit for application fees associated with these Trusted Traveler Programs with any of the top credit cards for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck.

Waiting in long security and customs lines is one of the least enjoyable parts of traveling. That’s why many savvy travelers opt for Trusted Traveler Programs like TSA PreCheck and Global Entry — to move quickly through security and customs.

If you’re considering either program I always suggest Global Entry. When you’re approved for Global Entry, you’ll also be approved on many of your flights for TSA PreCheck, which makes Global Entry the more valuable of the two programs. Luckily, a number of credit cards offer a statement credit for the Global Entry application fee (up to $100), including:

Applying for Global Entry is more involved than TSA PreCheck. There are numerous stories of people being denied Global Entry for a variety of reasons.

I’ll share some interesting examples and tips for what to do if your application is denied.

(Photo courtesy of Arne Beruldsen/Shutterstock)

Reasons for Being Denied Global Entry

  • Infractions involving prohibited or undeclared items (Think you can bring that mango into the country without telling anyone? Think again.)
  • DUI conviction (Yes, even if it was 20+ years ago.)
  • Unfavorable information from another government (Kicked out of Canada for rowdy behavior as a young adult? It’s probably still on your record.)
  • Being disrespectful to the agent during the Global Entry interview (Honestly, you should know better than to mess with authority.)
  • Failing to disclose pertinent information on your application

Unfortunately, your approval or denial can be a bit subjective on the interviewer’s part. Regardless, tell the truth on your Global Entry application and during the interview.

If you’re denied for any reason, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has a process for appeals. Here’s what they say:

In the event you are denied or revoked from the Trusted Traveler Programs, then you may provide additional documentation to the CBP Trusted Traveler Ombudsman and request reconsideration.

You can read more about the reconsideration process here. You’ll have to do a good job of explaining your situation, arguing for your approval along, and providing your supporting documentation. I’ve read reports of people retrieving copies of records as far back as high school.

It may be a pain, but, in my opinion, Global Entry is well worth the hassle. I’ve had Global Entry for more than two years and I’ll never go back.

Looking to make your time in the airport less stressful? Check out our list of the top credit cards for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck. And if you want to learn more about Trusted Traveler Programs like Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, be sure to check out these posts:

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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