Global Entry (GOES) Program Expedites US Immigration and Customs

Global Entry (GOES) Program Expedites US Immigration and Customs

Global EntryGlobal Entry (GOES) 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. Though intended for frequent international travelers, there is no minimum number of trips necessary to qualify for the program. Participants may enter the United States by using automated kiosks located at select airports.

My husband and I have both had this for years.  As frequent international travelers, it is fantastic to get off a packed airplane and circumvent the long immigration lines.  We simply go up to a kiosk, scan our passports, scan our fingerprints, and we’re done under one minute.  The other bonus is that you don’t have to fill out the customs form, either.  You complete it at the kiosk with a touch screen, and it prints out a receipt to hand to the customs officers as you exit the airport.  Plus, you get through the expedited customs line for GOES, which means less waiting behind people with luggage carts.  It’s great.

Another benefit is expedited TSA screening that is being piloted as a program called tsa_thumb.  U.S. citizens who are members of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI Trusted Traveler programs are eligible to participate in TSA’s program.  During the pilot, the TSA expedited screening will only be available to Delta and American Airlines passengers at specific airports (click here for a list).

The only problem that we have had is that, until recently, minors under age 13 were not allowed to apply for GOES.  This presented a problem for us, since we always travel with our toddler.  We either had to not use the kiosks and go through the regular routine, or fill out a custom form just for Veda, go through a kiosk, then present her to an officer to “check her back into the country.”  We had some struggles with this.  But now we are very happy because GOES is open to minors, as well.

If you are a frequent international traveler and are interested in applying for you and/or other family members, click here.  The application involves the following: filling out an on-line application and paying a non-refundable $100 pee for applicant, scheduling an interview (at your nearest airport with a Customs and Border Protection Officer), have the interview which includes fingerprinting and questioning, and your photo is taken.

Once you are approved you will have a sticker placed on the back of passport and you’re good to zoom through immigration and customs and be on your way back home with less stress and waiting.

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