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4 Tips for Getting a Faster Global Entry Appointment

4 Tips for Getting a Faster Global Entry Appointment
Caroline Lupini

So, you finally got around to applying for Global Entry and now you need to wait for an interview spot to finalize your status in the Trusted Traveler Network. You’ve probably noticed that the next available appointment at your ideal enrollment center isn’t usually so ideal, but what if there were a way to bump up your interview time? Even though the Global Entry process can take a while to complete, there are a few ways you can expedite the process. Here are a few tips that may help you get approved for Global Entry in a timely manner.

1. Check for Open Appointments Regularly

This is one that you’re probably already doing, but it does help to keep yourself updated by regularly checking for openings at your enrollment center. It’s possible, if not probable, that somebody will have canceled their appointment between the time you scheduled your appointment and the actual appointment. When cancellations happen, they can fill up quickly and in order to increase your chances of bumping up your booking, you will need to check regularly.

2. Get Notifications when Appointments Open

If you’re not keen on refreshing the Global Entry appointments page every day, you can have your own virtual assistant do that for you. Tech-savvy travelers developed an app called Get Me Global Entry, which was designed to help you track appointment cancellations in an efficient way. When you register and enter your information, Get Me Global Entry will look for appointment cancellations at your enrollment center and notify you when something opens up. That way, you will be able to save time and jump on appointments as soon as they open. Get Me Global Entry isn’t free, but the small cost is worth it if you don’t want to constantly be checking for appointments to open up.

3. Check Other Locations

This might seem a bit obvious, but if you’ll be traveling around the US and Canada or you live near multiple enrollment centers, double check to see if there are any open appointments at your second or third choices. From the Global Entry webpage, you (of course) can search for your nearest enrollment center but it is also possible to search by state or even country. Enrollment centers are available in several locations around the world including many states in the US, Canada, and even Qatar so wherever you are, you should be able to find a few workable options.

4. Interview While You’re Coming Home

If you’re traveling back to the US or Canada from an international destination, take advantage of the opportunity to enroll while you’re crossing the border. Enrollment on Arrival is a US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) program that combines the Global Entry interview process with your arrival process. This means that you don’t have to bother with scheduling an appointment at an enrollment center; you can interview when you land at a participating airport after your next international trip. Note that you will need to be conditionally approved as a Global Entry applicant, but when you get to the border, you will be able to complete your interview.

Upon arrival at a participating airport, simply follow the signs that direct you to CBP officers who will be able to conduct your interview. In this case, you will not need any documents besides the documents necessary to travel, like your passport.

At this point, you’ve been conditionally approved, which means that your background check and screening has already been completed. During this process, your information was already checked by CBP and you should be in the home stretch. During the interview, expect to answer some familiar questions that you have likely already answered during the application process.

These questions include your intentions and reasons for applying for Global Entry and becoming a member of the Trusted Traveler Network, your occupation, your travels over the past five years, your arrest record and past potential issues with border patrol. The interview itself should only take between ten and fifteen minutes, and during that time, you will provide fingerprints and have your photo taken. After the interview, you will be assigned a Known Traveler Number (KTN) that will qualify you for TSA PreCheck as well as Global Entry. Your Global Entry card will arrive within two weeks and needs to be activated within 30 days, but you will not need to carry it with you while transiting airports.

While the Global Entry application and interview process can take some time, many frequent travelers have found the process to be completely worth it for the expedited security screening and border crossing. If you have already applied but are waiting for your interview, try monitoring for appointment cancellations, registering with Get Me Global Entry, exploring different enrollment center locations, or consider interviewing on arrival in order to work it into your own schedule. Regardless of what you decide to do, your brand new Known Traveler Number will be an excellent and beneficial addition to your traveler toolkit.

Do you have any tips for getting a Global Entry appointment faster?

[Image Source: Shutterstock]

View Comments (5)

5 Comments

  1. ykish

    March 20, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    The key is that you can reschedule multiple times. I had my 1st appointment during the shutdown which got forcefully cancelled. After that I rescheduled 4 times and kept checking till I found the best one.

  2. jaybos

    March 21, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    When I applied, appointments in Boston were booking three months out. Checked Champlain, NY and got an appointment in a couple of weeks….I made a day of it, drove there and back for the appointment, easy breezy!

  3. Florida Boy

    March 22, 2019 at 6:16 am

    If you have completed the application process, then just show up at an interview/enrollment center. I missed my scheduled interview because of a flight delay and stopped by to reschedule. The CBP staff found time to do the interview and send me on my way with GE. They seem to allow 15 mins. per interview, but in practice, it only takes 5-10 mins. They were delighted to get me processed. It was really terrific.

  4. tlott01

    March 22, 2019 at 8:05 am

    In 2016 the interviews @ DIA were running several months out and our appointments were in late August. Since we were going to Europe in June, I checked EWR appointments and bingo! We did interviews during our return transit, made our layover productive.

  5. askmrlee

    March 23, 2019 at 11:37 am

    A note about interview upon arrival. Keep in mind that there will likely be a significant wait. When I arrived in SFO on a Sunday morning last July there was a wait of over 90 minutes. I found it easier to just reschedule and come back with an appointment a few months later.

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