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Thread: Global Entry and TSA Pre ✔?

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    Registered User nukediver's Avatar
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    Global Entry and TSA Pre ✔?

    I'm seriously thinking about applying to the Global Entry program to become a Trusted Traveler and was wondering what others thought about the application process. I'm not worried, as I have had background checks performed as part of my job and do not anticipate any issues. Specifically, I'm curious about the interview process, and what types of questions they ask. My guess is that part of it is a visual screening process as well (do I look shady, etc &#128521. I'd love to hear about other people's experiences.


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    I did this in October or November, and it was pretty simple. Most of the application is online, and just disclose all the countries you've visited honestly. Scheduling the interview can be tough depending on your location (PHL was useless, but I was in DC for a meeting, where it was very easy). The person asked a few questions, took fingerprints, took a webcam photo, asked if I had any questions, and I was out in 5 minutes. The interview was quite perfunctory. I HIGHLY recommend Global Entry and PreCheck to anyone who travels at all frequently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoz View Post
    Scheduling the interview can be tough depending on your location (PHL was useless, but I was in DC for a meeting, where it was very easy).
    There is no interview location near where I live, however, I travel quite a bit to airports which do perform the interviews. Do you know if it is possible to schedule on short notice (a week or so) for an interview since that'd all the advance visibility I typically have into my travel plans. Thanks!
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  4. #4
    Registered User nukediver's Avatar
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    I'm hoping scheduling the interview is easy - I live close to Newark airport, which schedules interviews 14 hours each day, 7 days a week.

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    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    The Global Entry program is great. I just got mine and traveling was a dream on my last trip, due to the TSA-PRE lines. You should be fine if you have no criminal history*, no immigration/customs violations, and are not on some mysterious watch list (which can happen to the best of people, if your name gets mixed up with someone else's).

    The interview was very perfunctory and easy. In my case, I'd brought a color-coded, descriptive list of every flight I'd done over the years, including the seat numbers and my travel companions. It was, however, not needed at all, and it turns out I could have spared myself the effort.

    Scheduling an interview is actually the hardest part. You can book an interview and then keep checking back to see if an earlier slot opens up due to a cancellation. This worked for me and I was interviewed about a week after I applied.

    * edit: See post #16 by Toblerhaus. Having an arrest on your record is not necessarily a disqualifier.
    Last edited by bchaplin; 04-06-2014 at 05:58 AM.
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    For Pre-check, scheduling is easy and you can pick out the time and place. The issue might be availability of slots. My interview was at Dulles and I chose the date three days in advance. They weren't crowded and I was out early. If you are going into a crowded location, YMMV. You can schedule the Pre-Check interview online.

    Global Entry is a different matter, I am waiting on a time still.

    Good luck either way. Both programs are worth it if you travel overseas. My co-worker has both and sails through both security and Customs. Service and wait times at the Customs line at Dulles is abysmal so anything helps. As an aside, if I can, I will schedule trips returning through Atlanta or Miami rather than connect back directly to Dulles because of the lines.

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    Registered User snowbot's Avatar
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    I completed the online application about 2 weeks ago and heard back that I was conditionally approved about 5 days later. There was good appointment availability both pre- and post-security in Houston. I have an appointment scheduled next month because I have a long layover though Houston then.

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    Registered User nukediver's Avatar
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    These are all good things to know, thanks!

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    I have Global Entry. As stated above, you'll fill out the application and set up an account on line. This account is where you'll set up your appointment and get all correspondence. It's also where you'll pay the fee. In a few days you'll be told if you were conditionally accepted or not. If you're accepted, you have 30 days to schedule an appointment. Not 30 days to have the appointment, 30 days to schedule it. The closest airport to me had a 3 month gap until the first appointment. Dulles Airport, however, had openings every day. Due to snow, I had to reschedule twice in a two week period and it was no problem.

    At the airport, I, along with a handful of others, was told to wait until I was called. At my appointed time, about five of us were ushered into the office. Our passports and driver's licenses were taken and we watched a film on how to use the kiosk. We were then called one by one. I was asked questions based on the answers on my application form, had my picture and fingerprints taken and was in and out in 10 minutes. Four hours later I got an email letting me know I was accepted. A week later my card arrived in the mail. (You don't need the card but it can be used as a form of ID with TSA, (I could if it looked even remotely like me.))

    Having the ability to use TSA Pre-Check, and bypass the every growing immigration lines, is worth the hassle and expense of getting approved.

    One bit of advice....once you get your Trusted Traveler number, enter it into all your frequent flier programs and don't forget to make sure it's entered every time you buy a ticket. If you don't, you won't get Pre-Check.
    Last edited by Frank II; 04-05-2014 at 04:29 PM.
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    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Inspired by this thread, I just applied online and got an April 15th appointment that someone just cancelled!
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    You applied today and got approved in a few hours?
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    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Global Entry now includes TSA-Pre. So if you receive Global Entry you get TSA-Pre wrapped into it. As TSA-Pre alone is $85, and Global Entry is $100, it is worth applying for the latter, unless you don't expect to fly internationally in the next five years.

    Quote Originally Posted by dephyingra View Post
    For Pre-check, scheduling is easy and you can pick out the time and place. The issue might be availability of slots. My interview was at Dulles and I chose the date three days in advance. They weren't crowded and I was out early. If you are going into a crowded location, YMMV. You can schedule the Pre-Check interview online.

    Global Entry is a different matter, I am waiting on a time still.

    Good luck either way. Both programs are worth it if you travel overseas. My co-worker has both and sails through both security and Customs. Service and wait times at the Customs line at Dulles is abysmal so anything helps. As an aside, if I can, I will schedule trips returning through Atlanta or Miami rather than connect back directly to Dulles because of the lines.
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    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    You applied today and got approved in a few hours?
    I got an appointment.
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    You have to hear from CBP on your conditional acceptance before going to the appointment.
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    Dear nukediver,

    My wife, son and I all signed up for Global Entry, and the process was very easy. As others have mentioned, the application is filled out online. We were able to get interviews within days of getting approved at the Washington, DC office (a rather convenient location given that we can get their by metro). My wife had her appointment on a Saturday morning, and my son's was that afternoon (those were the two slots available for the Saturday we wanted to go in). They were happy to accommodate them both when we went in the morning. We were in and out in less than 15 minutes. We received email confirmations of the approval later that day or on Monday, I forget now. And the Global Entry cards arrived within a week.

    They will ask you questions related to your travel, perhaps your background, at the interview (they have the answers in front of them to whatever questions they ask - they are just looking to see that you answer truthfully). I imagine that if you've been pre-approved and invited to the interview, there is nothing in your background that should prevent you from getting Global Entry membership.

    Global Entry membership is very well worth it to me! Even if I only use it once a year, if I can save an hour of standing in line after a 20 hour journey home, I am happy to pay $100 every 5 years!

    The bonus is the TSA-Pre approval, which allows you to keep your shoes on, your toiletries and laptop in your bag, etc. as you go through a shorter security clearance line.

    Happy trails!
    -m

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