How to Apply For Global Entry Online And Prepare For Interview Questions [2021]

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  • CBP now allows select travelers to schedule a remote interview for their Global Entry application. 
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Global Entry (GE) is a U.S. Customs and Borders Protection program and it is one of the Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) out there that allows expedited clearance for travelers upon arrival in the United States. 

Any travelers that have Global Entry can use Global Entry’s self-service kiosks by scanning their passport or U.S. permanent resident card at the kiosk machine, then perform a fingerprint and complete a customs declaration form all through the self-service kiosk. The kiosk then issues the traveler a transaction receipt and the traveler can simply proceed to the baggage claim and exit the airport. 
How to Apply For Global Entry Online And Prepare For Interview Questions
Get Expedited Clearance Next Time From Your International Trips With Global Entry
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    How to Apply For Global Entry Online

    The process to apply for a Global Entry online is actually quite simple, but first and foremost you should make sure you do not have any criminal history that may disqualify you from getting the Global Entry. 
    According to the Trusted Travel Program, applicants may not qualify for participation in the Global Entry program if any of the following conditions are applicable:
    • They provide false or incomplete information on the application;
    • They have been convicted of any criminal offense or have pending criminal charges to include outstanding warrants;
    • They have been found in violation of any Customs, Immigration, or Agriculture regulations or laws in any country;
    • They are subjects of an investigation by any Federal, state, or local law enforcement agency;
    • They are inadmissible to the United States under Immigration regulation, including applicants with approved waivers of inadmissibility or parole documentation; or
    • They cannot satisfy CBP of their low-risk status or meet other program requirements.
    If above mentioned Global Entry’s disqualifiers do not apply to you, then you can proceed with Global Entry enrollment. 
    • Go to CBP Trust Traveler Programs homepage. 
    • Under Global Entry, click on Get Started button and that will launch a sign-in page. 
      • It’s worth noting that, if your Global Entry gets approved, you will receive complimentary TSA PreCheck as well. 
      • Global Entry costs $100 and TSA PreCheck costs $85 – So it’s worth getting the Global Entry instead of the PreCheck. 
    • Create a Trusted Traveler Program (TTP)’s account if you have not. 
    • Once you successfully create a TTP account, sign into your account.
    • Within your dashboard, you should be able to go ahead and apply for the Global Entry. Simply follow the screen to complete your profile and answer questions on the application form. 
    • Pay a $100 application fee (see Credit Cards For Free Global Entry section below) and submit your application. 
    • If your application looks good, you’ll receive a Conditional Approval Notification status message.
    The Conditional Approval is not your Global Entry’s approval, hence the name conditional approval. The message will tell you exactly what’s going to happen next:

    We are pleased to inform you that your U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Global Entry membership application has been processed and you are now invited to complete the enrollment process.

    In order to finalize your Global Entry enrollment, you can complete your interview when you return from your next international trip at one of several international airports in the United States and at one of CBP’s Preclearance locations. 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. 

    Scheduling Global Entry Remote Interview Pilot Program

    This is a pilot program. Select Global Entry applicants can now schedule a remote interview with a CBP officer to finalize his/her Global Entry application through video teleconferencing Zoom. 

    To be eligible to participate in this pilot program:

    • Be conditionally approved for a TTP renewal;
    • Be at least 18 years of age;
    • Have a photo on file with CBP that was taken (1) within the past 10 years, and (2) after the applicant was 14 years of age; and
    • Have previously submitted fingerprints to CBP.
    To schedule a remote interview:
    • Log into your TTP dashboard
    • Select the Scheduling Your Remote Interview link. 
    CBP recommends that applicants verify their e-mail address of record by using the “Edit Profile” link prior to scheduling a remote interview. Doing so will ensure that the applicant receives appointment details and reminders. Also, make sure that your device and technology meet requirements for a videoconferencing capability. 

    Scheduling Global Entry Interview & Global Entry Interview On Arrival Locations

    Congratulations if you get to this point! Completing an interview in person is your final step to get approval for your Global Entry application. You have two options when it comes to attending an Interview with CBP personnel. 

    • You can complete your interview when you return from your International trip. This is known as Global Entry Enrollment on Arrival. There are several airports that provide this service and you can see a complete list here
    • If for whatever reason you cannot do the interview through Enrollment on Arrival, you can instead schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center instead. You can find your nearest Enrollment Center here
      • Should you go with this route, after receiving your conditional approval notification, you can schedule an interview at your nearest enrollment center within the dashboard under your TTP account’s profile as well.  

    What to Bring to Global Entry Interview?

    Your Conditional Approval message that can be found in your dashboard under Notifications does mention what you need to bring to your Global Entry Interview. 
    Here are the documents that you will need:
    • A valid passport. If you travel using more than one passport, please bring them to the interview so that the information can be added to your file. This provides you with the ability to use either passport at the Global Entry kiosk;
    • A permanent resident card (if applicable);
    • Documents providing evidence of residency. Examples are driver’s license (if the address is current), mortgage statement, rental payment statement, utility bill, etc.

    Global Entry Interview Questions

    It all comes down to this final step. First of all, you need to understand that there are no set interview questions and it all boils down to the CBP officer with his/her own questions. However, I am going to offer you some data points based on my personal experience to help you prepare for your Global Entry Interview. 
    I took my US passport, driver’s license, printed conditional approval letter, and my current mortgage statement with me to the Interview. 
    Through my personal experience, my driver’s license does not have the current address that’s because the DMV here only updates the address in the system and if I want my current address on my driver’s license, I’ll have to completely renew my driver’s license and pay the full renewal price. So instead, I took with me my current mortgage statement to show the CBP officer my current address that matches the address on my Global Entry application.
    There are experiences out there that mention watching the Global Entry program prior to conducting the interview. That did not happen to me.
    Review the submitted Global Entry application prior to the Interview if you can. Some officers may go through the entire application and ask you questions on the form such as your address, your employer, your job, office’s location, etc. to make sure everything you filled out is/remain correct. 
    Officers may also ask you about any international trips that you mentioned on the application such as the purpose of the trip and where did you go, etc. 
    Officers may also go through the criminal history questions again with you. 
    All in all, be prepared and you’ll be fine. I personally feel that the most important thing to face these interview questions is to review the application that you submitted prior to attending your interview. You can review your submitted application in the dashboard via your Trusted Traveler Program’s account. 
    While the thought of being interviewed is intimidating to some, but I find that the entire interview process is actually quite simple. The whole process took about 15 minutes or so. Towards the end of the interview session, they will take your fingerprint and take your picture. That biometric information will be sent to verify your background history. If all looks good, you can expect the result within hours. In my case, I got an approval notification two hours after the completion of my interview. 
    They will send you a Global Entry card with your Known Traveler Number (KTN) which is also your TSA PreCheck benefit. Please note that the Global Entry card ties to your passport so you shouldn’t really need your Global Entry (GE) card to perform clearance upon arrival in the United States through the self-service kiosk. You just need to present your passport and the system will automatically know that you are a pre-approved GE trusted traveler. 
    If you provided vehicle information to the application for crossing the border using expedited SENTRI lanes, you will receive an updated notice when your application has been approved. Once approved, you can use the vehicle in the SENTRI lanes.

    How Soon Can You Renew Global Entry?

    Your approved Global Entry is good for five (5) years. You become eligible to renew your Global Entry membership one year prior to its expiration. It is recommended that you start Global Entry’s renewal process as soon as you are eligible to renew it. It may take some time to arrange an interview if you are selected for an interview. Once your renewal is approved, they simply add an additional 5-year period onto your current Global Entry membership. 

    Is Interview Required For Global Entry Renewal?

    Yes and no. There are some data points that indicate that some renewal applicants did not have to go through an interview process again to renew Global Entry membership while others had to. I personally had to do an interview again to renew my Global Entry. I am not quite sure whether it has to do with age and countries that I visited or something else. But the Trusted Traveler Program’s system will automatically determine whether an interview is required or not for your Global Entry renewal. 

    How To Renew Global Entry Online

    Renewing Global Entry membership is just as simple as you initially applied for it. Keep in mind that you are eligible to renew your membership one year before your Global Entry expires. 
    • Go to the CBP Trust Traveler Programs homepage and log in. 
    • Click on the BLUE Renew Application under your Program Membership
    • Complete your personal information and answer questions on the form. 
    • Pay for your renewal fee of $100 (see Credit Cards For Free Global Entry section below) and submit your application. 
    If you are conditionally approved, you will need to attend an interview to finalize your renewal. In some cases, a renewal may be approved without needing to schedule an interview. This is all determined by the Trusted Travel Program’s system and you cannot appeal this decision. 

    Credit Cards For Free Global Entry

    The only way you can get Global Entry for free is through a credit card’s benefit. There are a few rewards credit cards out there that offer Global Entry fee reimbursement benefits. The way that benefit works is this:
    • You pay $100 when you apply for or renew the Global Entry membership online with that particular credit card. 
    • After that charge is posted, the card company will then issue you a $100 statement credit. So in the end, you owe nothing. 
    • You can only receive the Global Entry’s statement credit every 4 years, but your Global Entry once approved is good for 5 years. 
    • If you have multiple credit cards that have this benefit, you can use them for someone else’s application too. Credit card company does not restrict that credit to be used only for the cardholder. 
    • This benefit is also a great way to help to reduce any annual fees on the credit card. 

    Below are credit cards with Global Entry fee’s reimbursement

    Please note that, while some of these cards have a very high annual fee, some premium and luxury cards offer additional travel perks other than just the Global Entry fee’s reimbursement alone. Meanwhile, there are also some credit cards that have a much lower annual fee as well. See below cards in alphabetical order:

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