How to renew Global Entry
With Memorial Day right around the corner, the U.S. Transportation and Security Administration expects pre-pandemic level airport crowds as Americans head out on summer vacations.
Though crowded airports are frustrating, there are many tools to ease the traveler experience, including Global Entry. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection program, Global Entry facilitates expedited arrival into the U.S. for preapproved, low-risk travelers via automatic kiosks at nearly 60 airports.
Valid for five years, Global Entry also includes a five-year membership to TSA PreCheck, an expedited security program run by TSA that allows you to speed through airport security without removing your shoes, laptop, liquids, belt or light jacket.
If you haven’t done so already, check the expiration date of these travel tools along with your U.S. passport. The renewal process is no longer as easy as it once was due to a continuous backlog of applications.
Renew as early as possible
Global Entry users can renew their membership up to one year before it expires, and there’s no penalty for renewing early.
As long as you submit a renewal application before your membership expires, you can continue using Global Entry up to 24 months after your membership expiration date should your renewal not be processed ahead of its expiration.
Once your renewal is approved, a five-year period is added to your current membership period.
An interview may or may not be required as part of the renewal process.
Once you submit your renewal application and fee, CBP says to check your Trusted Traveler Program account periodically for updates on necessary actions to complete the renewal process. You should also receive an email with any membership status changes.
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Given the aforementioned application backlog and difficulty in scheduling in-person interviews, we recommend setting a calendar invite to start the renewal process one year from your expiration date.
Before you start the renewal process, be sure to have the following documents and information ready to go to expedite the application:
- U.S. passport.
- Drivers license.
- Work history, including address and phone number for each place you worked since you first enrolled as a Trusted Traveler member.
- The countries you’ve traveled to since you first enrolled.
- Vehicle make, model, year, color, VIN and license plate if you plan to drive across the U.S. border.
You should set aside about 45 minutes to complete the process, though it could go significantly faster if you haven’t moved, changed jobs or traveled overseas much since originally applying.
How to renew
CBP provides step-by-step instructions on how to renew a Global Entry membership.
First, start by logging onto the TTP website, selecting manage membership and click the box for Global Entry to renew. Respond “yes” to certifying your application on the Program Application page and proceed with paying the application fees.
Throughout this process, you’ll be asked to acknowledge that there will be a background check and that an interview may be required. It’ll also ask you to confirm the aforementioned series of personal information and questions.
After submitting your application, monitor your account for any status changes.
Consider Enrollment on Arrival
If you need to schedule an interview to complete the process, you can Enroll on Arrival upon returning back to the U.S. from an international trip. The service allows conditionally approved applicants to avoid a formal interview at an enrollment center to finalize their applications by instead completing the enrollment at the airport.
Enroll on Arrival is currently available at more than 50 airports globally. To enroll on arrival, you’ll need your U.S. passport (which you’ll already have if returning to the U.S. from abroad). Also, you may want to verify if any other proof-of-residency documents, such as mortgage statements and rent stubs, are needed to complete the interview. A full list of accepted support documents is available here.
If open, this service allows you to complete your Global Entry enrollment interview as part of the immigration process when arriving at the airport after an international trip. To do this, follow signs in the airport for the “Enrollment on Arrival” lanes — and be sure your flight arrives during hours when interviews are offered.
A CBP agent will complete your Global Entry interview during your admissibility inspection.
Use the right credit card
Although there’s a $100 fee for renewing your Global Entry membership, you won’t have to pay for it out of pocket as long as you have the right credit card.
Many credit cards will reimburse these fees via a credit issued once every four years, including:
If you start the renewal process a couple of months in advance, you can still get a credit card that will reimburse the fee. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides a month’s grace period between completing your application and paying the fee before your application is purged.
That means you have the option to save your application, apply for a credit card and get the card in the mail before you have to submit payment.
If you’re a frequent international traveler, Global Entry is essential in helping expedite your return to the U.S., as it can help you clear customs in a matter of minutes. If you’re departing from a pre-clearance location like Canada, sometimes you can clear customs before you even physically reenter the U.S.,
Though the process of becoming a Global Entry member can be cumbersome due to the difficulty of securing an in-person appointment, enrolling in the program is well worth any application headaches.
JT Genter previously contributed reporting.