Ker & Downey is committed to giving you the journey of a lifetime each and every time you travel with us. But long customs and immigration lines can really sour the end of an amazing journey. With Global Entry, you can avoid those lines in the United States altogether.
If you’ve traveled abroad just once, you know the frustration waiting in the customs and immigration line can bring. You’ve just arrived from an overseas journey; you’re tired, and ready for a warm shower and your own bed. You’re excited at the prospect of home as you exit the plane and rush to the customs line. And then you see it – the long line, snaking back and forth, disgruntled travelers standing on their tiptoes to see how close they are to the front of the line, mumbling to their neighbor and shaking their head. You might notice the short line of people using automated machines to clear security, breezing past the long lines. They are part of an elite expedited immigration program known as Global Entry.
According to the Global Entry Program website,
Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.
The program is available for U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, as well as Dutch and South Korean citizens and Mexican nationals. Canadian citizens may also enjoy the benefits of Global Entry through their membership in the NEXUS program. Applicants must have a clean criminal record and must not have been found in violation of any customs, immigration, or agricultural regulations of laws in any country. You must also not be the subject of any ongoing investigations by federal, state, or local law enforcement agencies.
To apply for the program, complete the online application and submit a $100 non-refundable fee. Once your application is reviewed, you will receive a message in your online account instructing you to schedule an interview at one of the Global Entry Enrollment Centers. It is important to note that you will not receive an email alerting you of the status of your application. You must check your online account for your acceptance. At the interview, a U.S Customs and Border Protection officer will ask you questions pertaining to previous travels and family history, take your photo, and scan your fingerprints. Remember to bring your passport and driver’s license or another form of identification to this interview as well. Once approved, your membership is effective immediately and you will receive a card in the mail within a few weeks.
On arrival in the United States, visit the Global Entry kiosk, much like an ATM, to complete the on-screen form. You’ll receive a printed copy to take to the Global Entry Passport Control booth, passing the long line that you would have been in had you not signed up for Global Entry. After collecting your luggage, you’ll clear customs in a separate line for Global Entry customers, an added benefit of the program, where you’ll hand over your printed receipt.
With the popularity of the program on the rise, wait times for personal interviews can be anywhere from one week to two months, so prior planning before your international trip is recommended. You can, however, book your interview at any airport that has an enrollment center. If your travels take you to an airport with open interview slots, you may do it there, instead of your home airport.
With less time waiting in line to clear customs and immigration, you’ll be home faster, with more time to get over your jet lag.
For any questions regarding Global Entry or help planning your next Ker & Downey journey, please contact your Ker & Downey designer.