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Do you ever travel overseas?
Global Entry is a program that allows travelers to skip US immigration lines. It’s useful for folks who travel internationally because it can save time at customs when returning to the US.
Global Entry can speed up your airport experience in a few other countries, too! But there are also some countries that do NOT participate in this program.
But you can minimize your time in immigration when you travel internationally with similar programs. I’ll explain!
Why Global Entry?
Link: Global Entry
Link: Apply for Global Entry
Link: Global Entry Locations
Global Entry is a trusted traveler program that US Customs and Border Protection use to identify low-risk travelers. When you’re approved, you can avoid the immigration lines by using a Global Entry kiosk after you arrive in the US from another country.
You enter your flight information, including declarations (so you don’t have to fill out a customs form on the plane!). Then hand your receipt to a Global Entry agent as you exit customs!
There are several international airports that have Global Entry kiosks for US citizens. This allows folks to skip immigration when they arrive back home!
Global Entry charges a $100 application fee which is NOT refunded if you aren’t approved. But some credit cards will cover your application fee, including:
- AMEX Platinum cards (The Platinum Card from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, and Amex Mercedes-Benz card)
- Citi Prestige
- Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards
Don’t want to wait for a Global Entry appointment? Here are the Global Entry centers that accept walk-ins!
Folks with Global Entry are also eligible for TSA PreCheck, which helps you get through the security lines at TSA must faster!
Your Global Entry status is valid for 5 years. And you can easily renew it online!
NEXUS is another program that can help speed up your immigration experience.
With a membership to NEXUS, you will have accelerated screening at land borders between the US and Canada. You will also get all the benefits of Global Entry, including eligibility for TSA PreCheck. And it’s $50 cheaper!
But taking the interview might be difficult. You will have to travel to a NEXUS enrollment center, with locations in only 8 states (and more in Canada) before you can get your membership. They are:
- New York
- North Dakota
A membership to NEXUS lasts 5 years.
SENTRI members are also eligible to participate in TSA PreCheck. A 5 year membership costs ~$123.
Similar Programs in Other Countries
The above 3 trusted traveler programs are mainly designed for folks going back to the US.
But other countries have similar programs. Signing-up for these programs can decrease your time spent in their immigration lines too – especially if you travel to them often!
CANPASS Air will give you expedited entry into Canada at 9 of the country’s airports, including:
- Toronto (Pearson International Airport and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport)
You qualify for the program if you have been a citizen of either Canada or the US for at least 3 years (there are a couple of exceptions).
CANPASS Air costs 50 Canadian Dollars (~$39). You will need to renew your membership every year.
Mexico’s Programa Viajero Confiable lets you slide through immigration in less than 3 minutes! Travelers skip the lines by using kiosks similar to Global Entry.
You can use Programa Viajero Confiable if you are a Mexican citizen or a US citizen with Global Entry. It is available at the airports in Mexico City, San Jose, and Cancun.
A 5 year membership costs 1461 Mexican Pesos (~$80).
Global Pass from the Republic of Panama is open to US citizens or permanent residents with a US passport. Unlike Global Entry, you will still need to fill out the customs declaration form you receive before landing.
The application fee is $100 and your membership is valid for 5 years.
Germany’s EasyPASS can be used at 6 German airports, including:
You can apply for Privium the same as you would Korea’s Smart Entry Service, by logging into your Global Entry account. You will be charged 135 Euros (~$154) at your interview. And it costs 121 Euros (~$138) per year!
Smart Entry Service is available to Korean citizens and US citizens with Global Entry. You can request an interview by logging into your Global Entry account. Just click “Manage Membership” and find it under “International Programs.”
You will need to travel to Korea for your interview. And it costs $100.
Registered Traveller is the United Kingdom’s solution for expedited immigration. You will get to use dedicated lanes at 10 of the country’s airports:
- East Midlands
- London City
And you will have access to faster lanes in Eurostar locations within Paris, Lille, and Brussels.
You must have a passport issued from 1 of 9 countries, including the US, Australia, and New Zealand. You also need either a visa, or proof that you have visited the United Kingdom at least 4 times in the past 2 years.
Applying for Registered Traveller costs 70 British Pounds (~$100) for a one year membership. If your application is denied, you will be reimbursed 50 Pounds (~$72).
US citizens traveling to Australia can take advantage of their Global Entry equivalent, SmartGate. There is no fee to enroll, and membership is free! You must be age 16 or older, and traveling on an e-Passport.
New Zealand honors US Global Entry. You will have dedicated lanes to speed through customs when you fly into Auckland, Christchurch, or Wellington.
There is no extra charge to use these express lanes. As long as you have Global Entry, you’re through!
US passport holders who are Global Entry members can now sign-up to use Singapore’s Trusted Traveler Program.
Under this agreement, eligible members can use Singapore’s enhanced-Immigration Automated Clearance System (eIACS). To qualify, you must:
- Have a passport valid for more than 6 months
- Haved visited Singapore at least 3 times in last 12 months
- Be aged 6 or above (parents of children under age 18 must be present during enrollment and provide the original copy of the applicant’s birth certificate and the passport of the accompanying parent or legal guardian should also be provided for verification of identity)
You can apply online. But you’ll have to appear in person in Singapore for final approval. So this is only useful if you travel to Singapore often!
US APEC Business Travel Card Program
The US APEC Business Travel Program is made for folks who travel for business in Pacific Rim countries. If you sign-up for this program, you will get expedited entry into the APEC region:
- Brunei Darussalam
- Hong Kong China
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Chinese Taipei
This program is more restrictive than others. You need to be:
- A US citizen
- Enrolled in 1 of the 3 US trusted traveler programs (Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI)
- A “verified business person” or government official
A verified business person means you are trading goods, services, or are an investor within the APEC region. This is NOT for everybody!
The $70 application fee is NOT refundable. You will need to pay this fee every 3 years to renew.
Global Entry can save you time at the airport coming back to the US, especially if you travel internationally. But there are many countries outside the US where it won’t work.
Signing-up for other countries’ trusted travel programs can be a huge time saver. Just make sure you will get your money’s worth before you enroll!
Will you sign-up for any of these programs?