The Global Entry program, created to facilitate the entry of low-risk travelers into the United States, is known for reducing wait times at airports and expediting the customs and immigration process, allowing users to breeze through security checkpoints in mere minutes. And it’s about to get even faster.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced a new app that will allow Global Entry members to complete their arrival paperwork on their phones instead of waiting to use a portal.
“The new Global Entry mobile application leverages the latest technologies, in order to enhance security while further improving the travel experience for CBP’s trusted travelers,” said CBP’s senior official performing the duties of the Commissioner Troy A. Miller in a statement.
Upon landing, users take a selfie with the app, which, according to CBP, will be “compared to a photo gallery to verify their identity through facial biometrics.” The photo will be submitted to CBP, and the traveler will receive a digital receipt on the app, with which they can go directly to the CBP officers to finish the arrival process.
For now, the Global Entry app is only available for use by travelers arriving at seven airports:
- Seattle–Tacoma International Airport
- Los Angeles International Airport
- Miami International Airport
- Orlando International Airport
- Washington Dulles International Airport
- Pittsburgh International Airport
- Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport
In a statement, CBP said it would consider adding more airports to the app in the future; currently, more than 50 U.S. airports have Global Entry, plus more than a dozen international airports, including Abu Dhabi International Airport, Dublin Airport, and Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Those who aren’t yet enrolled but would like to need to create a Trusted Travel Programs (TTP) account, fill out the online application, and pay a $100 fee for enrollment (covered as a free perk by some travel credit cards, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the American Express Platinum card). After submission, a CBP officer will review the application. If you’re conditionally approved, you’ll be asked to schedule an in-person interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center, where you’ll be asked to confirm details of your application and have your photo and fingerprints taken. Currently, processing times are listed as four to six months, and interview slots are hard to come by. Still, you might be able to get an appointment faster with programs like Enrollment on Arrival or by signing up for Appointment Scanner, which helps travelers find last-minute appointments.