What Is The Global Entry Interview Like?

Travel1 year ago
Picture inside an Airport terminal

Are you worried about applying for a Global Entry interview? Do you want to discover everything you need to know about your Global Entry application status and how to best prepare? Our article below will tell you everything you need to know.

One of the most frustrating and unpleasant aspects of travel can be waiting in long lines for security or slow-moving queues for immigration. No one wants to spend their time waiting around, particularly if you are worried about making your flight in time.

Luckily, over the past decade or so, several services have been established to help frequent travelers avoid these frustrating time-sapping processes. And one of the most popular of these services is Global Entry.

The Global Entry program allows its members access to an expedited immigration line when they return to the US. As a member, you will also benefit from reduced waiting times when passing through security upon arrival.

Before we delve into the details of booking an interview for Global Entry, let's look at the program in a little more detail.

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What Are The Global Entry Benefits?

Global Entry is part of the US Trusted Traveler Program which allows members to reduce their waiting time by using self-service immigration kiosks. Using these kiosks, you can sidestep the time-consuming process of filing paperwork each time you travel. This can be incredibly helpful for those who travel frequently for business or pleasure.

Membership of Global Entry also includes TSA Precheck benefits. This program will reduce your waiting time for airport security checks by using a separate lane. Your Global Entry membership will also allow you to keep your shoes on, keep your laptop or liquids contained in your suitcase, and use a body scanner rather than a metal detector.


How Much Does it Cost to Apply For Global Entry?

The application process for Global Entry will cost you a $100 one-time fee which is payable at the time you apply. This can be paid via credit cards or bank transfer and is non-refundable - even if your Global Entry interview is unsuccessful.


How Do You Apply For Global Entry Membership?

The Global Entry application process is quite extensive. As you will be bypassing normal immigration and security checks, it is only natural to expect a high level of questioning and background checks.

Initially, you will be asked to fill in an application form online and answer questions about yourself, including:

  • Your address and Personal Details.
  • Your Employment Details.
  • Past Travel History.
  • Your Criminal History.

For the majority of these categories, you will need to provide information going back over the past five years. So, before you begin your application you should make sure you have all the information you need close to hand.

Once you have provided this information and submitted your application, it will be entered into the review process. The information you have provided will be checked and verified by Global Entry.

Once your Global Entry application status changes, you will receive an email. At this point, your application will be either conditionally approved or denied. If you have been approved, you will be able to move on to the next stage which is arranging a Global Entry appointment interview.


Picture of a terminal


How Long Does it Take to Book Your Global Entry Interview?

Once you have received confirmation of your approved Global Entry application status, you have 730 days to book and attend your interview. If you wait longer than this your application will be canceled and you will need to start the process over again.

How quickly you will be able to attend your interview for Global Entry membership will depend upon the availability at your location. The Global Entry interview process can sometimes take up to 6-12 months to be completed.

If the appointments at your local Global Entry enrollment centers are too far off and you are planning on traveling before then, you should consider taking advantage of the Enrollment on Arrival program.

This program allows you to complete your Global Entry interview at certain airports when you are traveling back from an international trip. You won't have to make an appointment ahead of time to take advantage of this. You can check the US customs and border protection website for more details about participating airports.


How to Make a Global Entry Appointment for Renewal

Once your Global Entry membership has been approved, your status will remain valid for the next five years. After this period, you will need to submit a renewal application to remain a member of the program.

To do this, you will need to complete a new application and include any new information and details which have changed over the past five years. Further details could include recent travel and changes of address.

To make sure that you don't run out of coverage, you can begin the renewal of your Global Entry application status for up to a year before your membership expires. This way you will still be able to enjoy all the benefits of your membership while your application is being processed.

It is possible that you won't be asked to complete another interview for Global Entry, you may find that you are approved without having to complete this step. If you are asked to make a Global Entry interview appointment, you can do so at an enrollment center or use the enrollment on arrival process detailed above.

There is also a pilot scheme that will allow selected travelers to complete their Global Entry appointment interview online. This process should take about 15 minutes to complete. However, this is not yet widely available.


What Happens During a Global Entry Interview?

To make sure that you are fully prepared for your interview for Global Entry, there are a few things you need to know beforehand.

Your Global Entry interview is an opportunity for CBP officers to check the information that you have provided on your online application. You'll need to answer a variety of questions and be asked to provide several documents, including:

  • Your passport.
  • Proof of your current address.
  • A secondary proof of your identity.

You may also be required to bring additional documents such as change of address paperwork or court documents.

Once your interview for Global Entry is complete, the CBP officer will scan your fingerprints, take a photo, and register your biometrics.


What Questions Will Be Asked During Your Global Entry Appointment?

Some of the information you supplied during your application will have been verified before the interview. So, your interview itself shouldn't be that taxing or difficult.

The amount of time the process takes will depend upon your status and the information you have provided in your application. Some of the questions you may be asked during your interview for Global Entry include:

  • What is your job?
  • Who is your current employer?
  • Have you had any previous problems or history with US customers and border patrol?
  • Are your fingerprints currently on file due to an arrest or other incident?
  • Why are you applying for Global Entry?

Other information which may be discussed at the interview includes your five-year history of addresses, employment, travel, and other basic details.


How Long is a Global Entry Interview?

The interview can take anywhere between five minutes to half an hour based on the information you have provided.


Takeaway - What is the Global Entry Interview Like?

Global Entry membership can be incredibly beneficial to those who travel frequently and find themselves wasting a lot of time waiting around in airport queues. Although, a lot of information is initially required and you will need to complete a Global Entry interview, becoming a member is definitely worth your time.