I recently received my Global Entry card, which of course has a very unflattering picture of my face just like my passport.
You’ve probably come across the terms TSA Pre✓, Global Entry, NEXUS, and/or SENTRI and thinking, should I get this? Which one is best for me?
Listed below are the differences:
TSA Pre✓– is simply expedited screening through security when departing the US
Cost = $85 for 5 year membership
Global Entry- includes TSA Pre✓ on all your departing flights from the US + expedited screening upon entering the US. You receive a Known Traveler Number (PASSID) when you receive your card. When booking flights, you will see the box “Known Traveler Number” next to “Frequent Flyer Number”: that’s where you plug it in.
Cost = $100 for 5 year membership
NEXUS- allows for travel by air between the US and Canada to be swift
SENTRI- allows for traveling between the US and Mexico by land border to be swift
Most people reading this will likely need one of the 1st two listed. In my opinion, it’s worth the + $15 to be able to enter the US upon your return with the least amount of hassle. Especially if your permanent residence is in the US. Every time I book a flight, I add my frequent flyer and known traveler number, allowing me to accumulate points and get TSA Pre✓ for every single flight I’m on 🙂
You apply for these through the Trusted Traveler Program
Overview of the steps for applying for Global Entry:
You submit a lengthy application online (triple check all your information is correct before pressing submit, you can’t go back). Pay the $100 fee. You wait until until your identity is verified and you receive an email (about a few days later after submission or so) from the program asking you to schedule an appointment/interview at your closest airport. (Yes, you go in for an interview, but it’s not really an interview)
It says interview, but they just verify the info you submitted in your online application. They will ask you where you’ve lived in the past xyz years, education background, job background, and traveling background (where you’ve been and why), and why you are applying for Global Entry. You sign your statement and they take your picture (very similar process as when you apply for your passport).
You should receive your card in the mail in about a week or two. Global Entry has made my travels less stressful and time consuming. It’s been worth every cent.
Happy (and speedy) traveling,