Global Entry - Green Card to ESTA

Old Oct 29, 17, 5:54 am
  #1  
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Global Entry - Green Card to ESTA

Hi knowledgable people.

Myself and and my wife are about to surrender our Green Cards as we have moved back to the UK.

However I would really like to keep our Global Entry intact, is this in any way possible?

Obviously our passport will not be changing so the numbers will all link up ok, but immigration status is different.

I did notice that when applying for an ESTA (which we havenít donít yet) there is an option to enter the Global Entry reference number during that process. Would that link things up for us allowing us to use the GE kiosk on our next visit, or am I being massively optimistic!

Thanks

Gareth
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Old Oct 29, 17, 3:28 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Short answer: Yes, as UK citizens, you should be able to maintain your Global Entry membership even after you surrender your green cards, and, yes, placing your Global Entry membership number into the ESTA application will likely allow you to use the GE kiosk on your next visit. But there are a lot of considerations and middle steps you should think about.

Long answer:

Global Entry membership has been available to UK citizens since 2015. Once you abandon your US lawful permanent resident status and surrender your green cards, you will no longer be eligible for Global Entry as US LPRs but only as UK citizens.

Presumably, your and your wife's Global Entry membership would not be revoked after abandoning your LPR status and returning your green cards, as you would still be eligible for Global Entry, just through another category of eligibility. In other words, just by abandoning LPR status you would not necessarily trigger cancellation of your membership (suspension and removal from the program):

(2) A Global Entry participant may be suspended or removed from the program for any of the following reasons

. . .

(iv) CBP, at its sole discretion, determines that the participant . . . otherwise no longer meets the program eligibility criteria
because you would still meet the program eligibility criteria:

(b) Program eligibility criteria - (1) Eligible individuals. The following individuals, who hold a valid, machine-readable passport . . . may apply to participate in Global Entry:

. . .

(ii) Certain nonimmigrant aliens from countries that have entered into arrangements with CBP concerning international trusted traveler programs
In addition, while UK citizens initially applying for GE have a separate, additional UK Border Force vetting process, your change in status would presumably not require you to be vetted by UK authorities until you apply for renewal. (Note, though, that the procedures for UK citizen Global Entry renewal are seemingly not yet documented on the CBP website, because most of those memberships will not expire until 2020 or later.)

You should almost certainly make an appointment with the local Global Entry office on your final trip out of the United States or at the US Embassy in London, for several reasons:
1) the CBP website strongly implies that a change in LPR status is a "significant change", and thus must be updated in-person at a Global Entry office

2) as a new non-citizen, non-LPR, you would no longer be eligible to hold a Global Entry card, and should likely be returning it, as the card itself is only available to "Global Entry (GE) members who are U.S. Citizens, U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents and/or Mexican Nationals"

3) Because LPRs/green card holders are supposed to be using their I-551 green card at the Global Entry kiosk, the CBP officer may need to ensure that your Global Entry membership remains linked to your UK passport, after the account changes are made

If I were in your shoes, I would make the appointment and discuss these changes with the CBP officer before completing an ESTA application and linking your Global Entry membership to your ESTA. That should hopefully minimize the hiccups from the change of what document your Global Entry is linked to (passport/green card passport/ESTA). During the interview, you should probably tell the officer that you intend to apply for an ESTA soon and that you will link your Global Entry membership to it.

On a side note, are you absolutely certain that you wish to give up your LPR status?

If you are anywhere near 5 years in the US, you and your wife should strongly consider finishing out your green card terms and naturalizing before permanently returning to the UK.

The application to become a new green card holder has become much more complex this year, with significant increases in its complexity, ambiguity, and sheer number of questions. If you can afford to keep some type of home in both places, like a rented room in a house (†consult a competent lawyer for any details or planned actions or legal advice), you should really think about sticking it out -- especially if you need Global Entry because your work sends you to the US a lot.

There are no guarantees that the Visa Waiver Program will remain in place permanently and that travel to the US will always remain as worry-free as it is now for UK citizens.

Also, any children you have or adopt in the future may benefit significantly from US citizenship-by-descent (much broader job opportunities in the English-speaking world, in-state discounted tuition anywhere in the US under some circumstances, easier entry into some countries, easy NAFTA work permits for Canada and Mexico), even if they are not born in the US. Keep in mind that if Brexit sours UK relations with Europe in, say, 20 years, Americans may have an easier time living and working in Europe than Britons. (Downsides, of course, might include mandatory annual tax filings.)

And finally, as you know, some people give up their life savings or even their lives trying to become US citizens. Personally, I would suggest some major thought as to how to make the dual homes happen, with your primary one (main residence) in the US.

Last edited by Newbie2FT; Oct 30, 17 at 3:07 am Reason: clarity, spelling
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Old Oct 30, 17, 3:52 am
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by Newbie2FT View Post
Downsides, of course, might include mandatory annual tax filings.
For American expats, that is a HUGE downside. The sheer complexity of reporting requirements if you are an American abroad - which become increasingly and unreasonably onerous if you are anywhere near upper-middle class or are a business owner, not matter how small - not to mention the actual tax liabilities themselves, and being locked out from many banks and financial institutions/services solely based on their US citizenship or residency, causes many Americans/LPRs residing abroad to rethink their status.

If you have a British passport, which is just as powerful in terms of worldwide access as the American passport, and have absolutely no intention of returning to reside in the US, why saddle yourself and your future generations with this?

All of that being said, I agree with your conclusion that the OP ought to visit a GE office to discuss and update their membership, as this is indeed a significant change in immigration status.
Hyperacusis is offline  
Old Oct 30, 17, 6:05 am
  #4  
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Thanks all, helpful comments.

Whilst I would very much like to keep my Green Card for the unknown in the future, I am 1 year into a new company in the UK and as we are having to look into more complex financial planning (pensions, bank accounts, accountants e.t.c) for all sort of reasons the Green Card is proving to be a real problem for myself and the company.

We are UK passport holders, and don't really see any future where we will be moving back there. If there was an easy/cost effective way of maintaining the status, that also didn't feel like I was going to fall afoul of TSA agents asking some questions that would cause me to have to lie to then we would probably keep it, but I don't really see it as being practical.

We have been away from the US for over a year now, so technically we've probably abandoned it anyway by now. So would you recommend entering this time on an ESTA, don't want to end up at the border with our Green Cards being cancelled and no ESTA in place?

Is there any way to discuss this with the GE agent without visiting an office in the US, as I kinda need to resolve it before entering the US? Or I guess we just enter on the ESTA, without the GE linked and then go and see the GE officer and hope for the best.

Cheers

Gareth
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Old Oct 30, 17, 10:31 am
  #5  
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Exclamation Moderator's Note:

Folks,

This is the Trusted Travelers subforum of the Travel Safety/Security forum. It is a place to share information about the various Trusted Traveler programs, i.e., Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI and TSA PreCheck.

Discussing or arguing about the benefits and drawbacks of giving up US LPR (lawful permanent resident) status and the disadvantages of being expatriate US citizens are off topic (FlyerTalk Rule 5).

If you wish to debate those issues, or ask questions about Green Cards and ESTA, please start a thread in the USA forum.

OP, I strongly recommend that you discuss your visa situation with a competent immigration lawyer.

Future messages discussing non-trusted travelers related subjects will be summarily deleted without further notice.

Thank you for understanding.

TWA884
Travel Safety/Security co-moderator

Last edited by TWA884; Oct 30, 17 at 10:39 am
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Old Oct 30, 17, 1:02 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 177
Regarding Global Entry -- the US Embassy London very likely has a CBP officer stationed there, who may be able to perform the:

* updating of your Global Entry records with this "significant change" in LPR status

* acceptance of your Global Entry card you are no longer eligible for, and

* ensuring that your Global Entry account remains linked to your UK passport.

I discuss the details of one possible way of undertaking this, and the other issues you raise, in a new thread at:

Former green card holder traveling to US from VWP country (I-407, ESTA, USCIS-CBP GE)
Newbie2FT is offline  
Old Mar 7, 18, 12:57 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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@gazzer82 -- CBP just officially announced that they will be at the US Embassy London from March 7 through May 3 for Global Entry interviews. So now is your chance to talk to a CBP officer and make sure that Global Entry applies to your UK passport and your ESTA number. (That's assuming you've already handed in your I-407 to relinquish your green card. If not, you may want to take advantage of the embassy visit to first take care of that.)

Here's the email announcing the GE appointment availability:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29495956-post15.html


Originally Posted by gazzer82 View Post
Thanks all, helpful comments.

Whilst I would very much like to keep my Green Card for the unknown in the future, I am 1 year into a new company in the UK and as we are having to look into more complex financial planning (pensions, bank accounts, accountants e.t.c) for all sort of reasons the Green Card is proving to be a real problem for myself and the company.

We are UK passport holders, and don't really see any future where we will be moving back there. If there was an easy/cost effective way of maintaining the status, that also didn't feel like I was going to fall afoul of TSA agents asking some questions that would cause me to have to lie to then we would probably keep it, but I don't really see it as being practical.

We have been away from the US for over a year now, so technically we've probably abandoned it anyway by now. So would you recommend entering this time on an ESTA, don't want to end up at the border with our Green Cards being cancelled and no ESTA in place?

Is there any way to discuss this with the GE agent without visiting an office in the US, as I kinda need to resolve it before entering the US? Or I guess we just enter on the ESTA, without the GE linked and then go and see the GE officer and hope for the best.

Cheers

Gareth
Newbie2FT is offline  

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