Global Entry Renewal: Everything You Need to Know

Global Entry only lasts for five years, so make sure you’re up to speed on the process, costs, and common mistakes when it’s time to renew.

If you renew your Global Entry, you’ll need to update your new Known Traveler number in your frequent flier profiles, as well.

If you renew your Global Entry, you’ll need to update your new Known Traveler number in your frequent flier profiles, as well.

Photo by Arne Beruldsen/Shutterstock

Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) like TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are designed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to help you get through the airport faster, whether you’re flying out of or into the United States. Some of the programs are linked: If you are approved for Global Entry, for instance, you are automatically enrolled in TSA PreCheck (although the reverse is not true).

Over the years, the Global Entry network has expanded. Many may not realize that Global Entry is actually available to more than U.S. citizens; it is open to citizens of Argentina, Germany, India, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, among many others. Canadian citizens are eligible by applying through Canada’s NEXUS program. There may be additional requirements for international applicants, but Global Entry membership can be a big time-saver for frequent travelers to the United States.

Global Entry is valid for five years (it lasts through your birthday in the fifth year) but must be renewed before it expires. The renewal process is not as demanding as the initial application, but don’t wait until the last minute or you’ll risk not being able to use the Global Entry kiosks. (If that does happen, though, a good free alternative is the Mobile Passport app, which can sometimes be faster than Global Entry lines.) Here’s all you need to know about renewing your Global Entry membership.

When to reapply for Global Entry

Log into your Trusted Traveler Programs website profile to find the expiration date and initiate the renewal process through the “renew application” form. (The expiration date is also printed on your Global Entry card.) When you first applied, you likely used the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) site, but this transitioned to TTP in 2017. You’ll simply need to transfer your information to the new site by following the instructions that it outlines.

You can begin the renewal process within one year of expiration (but not any earlier). That’s the time frame when the renewal application form will automatically appear within your account. You won’t lose any time by starting early, because the renewal will tack on five years beyond the date of the original expiration. If you forget to check your expiration date, the Global Entry kiosk will remind you when your expiration date is imminent, as well.

What is the Global Entry renewal process like?

The renewal may involve scheduling another appointment with a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer for a brief interview at a CBP office or enrollment center (these are often located at airports). This is only the case for some applicants who are “conditionally approved,” which could be due to countries you’ve visited or a job change. Others may receive their renewal information without having to schedule an interview. If you cannot find an available appointment (they book up quickly at popular airports), walk-in interviews are available at certain renewal centers, too.

The renewal application will ask you to review the originally submitted information from the lengthy application used when you first applied. Luckily, most of the data is prepopulated, although you will need to update the countries you have visited since you last applied.

The good news is, the process will not take as long as when you originally applied. When you renew your Global Entry successfully, it will automatically renew your TSA PreCheck status. You will also be issued a new Known Traveler number; be sure to update that number in your frequent flier accounts so that it works on your next flight.

A new photo is not required, but if you are called in for an interview, they will take a new picture anyway. Applicants have one year from the date of application to schedule an interview if one is requested during the renewal process. If the interview isn’t completed within 365 days, you will have to start the renewal process again.

How much does Global Entry renewal cost?

The application fee is $100, but that cost is covered if you have a credit card that offers a fee reimbursement. Many credit cards include this perk, such as the Platinum Card from American Express, United Explorer Card, Citi Prestige, and Chase Sapphire Reserve. Simply use the card to pay the fee, and the credit card companies will refund the payment by your next statement. Authorized users on these cards can also take advantage of this perk, in addition to the primary cardholder. During a year when you are not using your fee waiver, you can use your qualifying credit card to pay for a friend or family member. The fee will still be waived.

How long does the Global Entry renewal process take?

Once the application is submitted, it will switch to “pending review” status and may take anywhere from a few days to several weeks for approval. You can check the status of the application online, but you will also be notified by mail or email if and when it is approved.

If you submitted your renewal in advance of your expiration date, but haven’t received your approval by the scheduled date, the system usually provides a six-month grace period where you can still use Global Entry privileges when you travel. Because you applied within the allowable time period, you won’t be penalized if there is a delay in processing.

What are some common Global Entry renewal mistakes and how can I avoid them?

If your passport expires or you get a new passport, you won’t need to renew Global Entry yet. Instead, just log into the TTP account and update it with your new passport number and expiration date.

If you have changed your name for any reason, you won’t be able to renew your Global Entry online. To facilitate the renewal process, you’ll have to visit an enrollment center with government-issued identification documenting the change.

If you make a minor mistake, like inputting an incorrect zip code or forgetting to include something like a recent country visited, this can be amended during any potential interview.

Remember that there are many scenarios that could cause your Global Entry to be revoked, such as committing a crime, not paying child support, or bringing in prohibited items to the United States. Chances are, if your Global Entry was revoked, you will have trouble applying again. During your interview, you will be asked to explain your situation.

If you don’t make it to the interview process (or your renewal application is otherwise denied), you can submit a redress request to have your account reviewed. This can be a long process, and appeals are not taken lightly. Note that the $100 fee for Global Entry is not refundable if you are not approved for the program.

Remember that the Global Entry program has become increasingly popular over the past decade, meaning there will be more and more renewal applications in the system: Accordingly, be sure to allow ample time to process your own.

>> Next: TSA PreCheck Versus Global Entry: Which Is Best for You?

Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs from around the globe.
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