Easy Trick to Get a Quick Appointment for Your Global Entry Interview
Global Entry is a great program for frequent flyers. It is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. It is primarily aimed at travelers coming into the United States, but it’s also recognized at other participating countries such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. It also includes TSA PreCheck. The membership costs $100 for five years, but you can usually get Global Entry for free if you have a premium travel credit card. You can read more about it and similar programs here.
The process for Global Entry starts with an online application. Once your application is conditionally approved, then you will need to schedule an Global Entry interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. Approvals have been taking longer that usual this year, so keep that in mind. Each applicant must schedule a separate interview.
You should also check out this free alternative to Global Entry, which can come on handy on your next international trip, if you can’t get an appointment in time.
There are two option for an interview. The first one is Global Entry on Arrival. You can take advantage of a walk-in interview for Global Entry when you return from your next international trip at one of several international airports in the United States and Canada. With Enrollment on Arrival, Global Entry applicants who are conditionally approved can complete their interviews, the last step of the Global Entry process, while they are clearing through United States Customs and Border Protection or Preclearance.
If you need your Global Entry before your next flight, then scheduling an appointment is your only option. You can check times and locations here. But depending on your location, interviews might not be available for a few weeks or even months.
One easy trick to get a quick appointment date is just to keep checking continuously throughout the day. The busiest locations will have the longest wait but there’s also more people canceling and rescheduling appointments, which means that a date could open up anytime. Here’s an example from a few days ago, where I was able to get an appointment at JFK within 24 hours, after seeing only options for almost a month out at first.
Even if you’re not sure if you can make an appointment that pops up, schedule it first. You can also continue to look for different times and dates and you can reschedule or cancel your current appointment. I saw more times open up as I kept refreshing throughout the day. It might be difficult to find the something for more than one person, but still worth it to keep trying if you need your Global Entry right away.
As for the interview, make sure to bring your passport, and your ID with you. At the JFK center, it was about a 10 minute wait, even though the waiting room had about 10 people. And the interview itself took about two minutes. The agent only asked for my passport, name, address and whether I’ve had customs issues or been arrested in the past. Once you complete your interview you will be approved within 24 to 48 hours.
If that doesn’t work for you, or if you don’t want to constantly check for open slots, then there’s also a paid service than can help you. Appointment Scanner (affiliate link) is a service for people who have filled out their online application, paid the fee, and have already received their conditional approval. It will help you find an in-person appointment.
Appointment Scanner constantly scans the Trusted Traveler site looking for canceled and rescheduled appointments for the Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI programs. When you get an alert, hurry and try to claim it as fast as you can. The average user should get between 10 and 25 appointment alerts per day.
Appointment Scanner is not affiliated with the DHS or the Trusted Traveler programs. It costs $29 and it doesn’t promise you’ll be able to schedule an interview, partly because you’ll need to act fast yourself and actually schedule it.
Free Global Entry
These are the cards that will reimburse you $100 for paying for Global Entry, and most of them also give you $85 if you want to go for TSA PreCheck:
- American Express
- Capital One
- Other Issuers