They essential review your application with you. If you have visited exotic countries those will surely arise in the interview. A more detailed description of your work might also be requested. Finally the officer may review your legal record to ensure no discrepancies between your responses on GOES and the truth. If you were and are honest it is relatively quick and painless.
That was pretty much my experience with NEXUS, also. I did my interview in the US, but I was interviewed by a Canadian. They wanted to know why I wanted the card, if I came there just to get the card (also asked that of another person who drove a few hundred miles to get it), if I had property or family in Canada. I also have some pretty exotic countries on my travel list for the past 5 years but they didn't seem too concerned about it.
I had a ton of "exotic" countries in my list
and was not questioned about any of them.
I think "exotic" is more like "countries that might set off alarm bells". For example, if you travel to the middle east with frequency, or perhaps countries known for drug production. But the way it was asked of me (re China) was "Why did you travel to China" and the explanation (for work) was entirely satisfactory to them. Of course, maybe they were just curious and making conversation.
Programs: AA EXP, QF Gold, HHonors Gold, Hyatt Diamond
Mine was very painless. I sat down, the agent asked me for my passport and drivers license. I asked if he wanted my letter and he said it was not necessary.
The agent asked me if I had ever been convicted of a crime, if I have ever been denied entry to the US, if I had ever been in violation of customs or immigration laws, if I lived in IL and why I chose Boston to do my interview, if I had been to Mexico and Canada within the past 5 years.
Took my pic, did my fingerprints, told me he was sending my info to the FBI, put the sticker on my passport and showed me how to use the machine.
My interview consisted of the CBP agent asking a few questions about my application, which actually seemed more like he was verifying information. It was relatively painless, including the kiosk demo, I was out within 15 minutes.
When I went for my "interview" at JFK, about two years ago, I felt it was more a conversation than an interview; the agent logged my passport into the system, and looked at my drivers license, took my picture and fingerprints for both hands. He explained how the system worked and noted that since planes are very dry, to rub my right hand on my forehead before placing it on the fingerprint reader, he also suggested (in case an "X" came up on my slip at the end of the GE process) to have a customs form filled out as a backup. He did ask if I had omitted any info form my application, and I added a flight I had taken just 5 years ago. The whole process took less than 10 minutes (it would have been even shorter, but his terminal was sluggish.)
[Very few documents I have have my real physical address; nearly everything is listed at PO Box (in a different city)--including my drivers license, I did bring my lease and a rent bill, but he did not ask for any of these.]
Location: Home: Arlington, VA; Home airports: IAD/DCA/BWI
Programs: Active: AA, UA, DL
Originally Posted by 14940674
You also have to watch a 6 minute video explaining the program's rules, and showing a Chinese man being terrorized for bringing undeclared apples into the US.
The officer who "interviewed" me also begged me not to become complacent in selecting "no" to all the questions on the GE machine. He said that many former GE travelers got too used to it that they selected "no" and ended up getting caught and kicked out of the program after a random search. Essentially, he created the impression that I was doing CBP more of a favor by having their resources not tied up with low-risk travelers as opposed to me having convenience.
I was expecting the "interview" to be something similar to a lie-detector test in a security clearance interview.
I like the flexibility of the Delta SkyMiles program and the fact that there is no award chart.
Programs: AA - EXP 2.3 MM, HH Diamond, MR Gold, recovering UA Premier
I was asked about two countries on my list. China was not one of them, in spite of the fact that me GE interview took place when I'd held four consecutive year-long multi entry visas for the mainland and had been going 4-5x/year.
First, the officer why I was in Singapore, to which I asked him which time, while trying to recall why I'd gone to Singapore. I remembered that my previous two visits were an industry summit and a small local conference. Singapore kind of threw me for a loop, since Singapore is such a close ally of the USA. It's one of the few countries that is allowed to buy pretty advanced weaponry from American arms companies (the others that come to mind are Israel and Taiwan).
After that was out of the way, he asked why I'd been to the UAE, which I fully expected. I'd been invited to speak at a conference where I was in the midst of Nobel laureates and other famous people. (I was a comparative unknown, but the conference still paid for business class on Etihad, which was very nice.)
I got the impression he was killing time until the fingerprint check was done. Although they don't tell you that they're running fingerprints, they do. After I came up clean, the CBP officer said something like "you'd be surprised how many people we catch when we fingerprint them for GE and find arrest warrants."
Totally low-stress. I was in and out of the parking lot in 53 minutes, and that includes about 15 minutes of waiting for the officer to show up and boot up his computer. I was the first interview of the day.
I got the impression he was killing time until the fingerprint check was done. Although they don't tell you that they're running fingerprints, they do.
The agent who interviewed me actually said that their computers were slow & she wasn't able to get the results of the fingerprint check/criminal background check. (I think she mentioned it was an FBI database that was slow to respond.) After about half an hour she sent me home with the sticker on my passport and told me that I should assume I was approved, but I'd be contacted if the background check turned up anything suspicious.
I seem to recall that the agent had a sheet of paper with a list of 10 or 15 questions, and I got the impression she was required to randomly select several to ask me.
Programs: AA EXP>2m, Alaska MVP, Virgin Gold, Delta Gold, U.S. Airways CP, Starwood Gold, IC RA
I had my GOES interview at LAX tonight. Short and sweet. Very friendly. They took me as soon as I arrived and I was out in about 15 minutes. They asked if I'd ever had trouble with the police, customs, or immigration, whether I'm a citizen of any other countries, and how much I expect to travel. The agent asked me why I go to India and Nepal, but I got the impression that any answer that made sense would do. Then we chatted about some restaurants near where I live. They said they'd been having trouble with the machine but it worked fine for me. Then, since I was at the Bradley Terminal, anyway, I stopped for a Pink's hotdog.