We’re coming up on travel season and many of us are going to Europe, maybe for the first time in years. So I wanted to do a quick post on two things that will make your international travel easier. I’m talking about the federal programs known as Global Entry and TSA PreCheck.

While there are other services out there now (like Clear and the new digital passports that are in beta testing), I’m just going to talk about these two programs because I’ve used them successfully for years and they are less expensive than offers from private companies. Also, there is a discount if you sign up for both at the same time.

TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck is a program that allows you to get through U.S. airport security more quickly without taking off your shoes, belts, etc. or putting your liquids in quart-sized bags. Because you are pre-screened for security, the TSA lines move much more quickly and can help you make your flight on time. Some TSA lines also don’t require that you take out your electronics for the X-Ray machine.

So who’s eligible for TSA PreCheck? (info below comes from the TSA.gov website)

  • Citizens of the United States of America
  • Lawful Permanent residents and U.S. Nationals
  • Members of other Trusted Traveler Programs ( G.E., NEXUS, SENTRI) and select foreign nationals who have been approved membership to these programs
  • If traveling with a minor aged 12 and below they may receive these benefits as long as the member they are traveling with is their parent or legal guardian.

How much does TSA PreCheck cost?

$85 dollars for each person applying for TSA Precheck (as of May 2022). If you also combine it with Global Entry, the combined fee is $100.

How long is TSA PreCheck good for?

Five years and the renewal fee, which can be done online, is $70 as of May 2022.

Click here for more information on tsa precheck.

Global Entry

Global Entry is a pre-screening for U.S. immigration. If you have Global Entry and return to the U.S through any port of entry, you can use the electronic machines to scan your passport. You will receive a receipt that allows you to bypass the long immigration lines, especially those at larger airports. This service is invaluable if you are trying to make a connecting flight as immigration line waits can be as long as 90 minutes.

So who is eligible for Global Entry? (the information comes from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website)

U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents and citizens of the following countries are eligible for Global Entry membership:

  • Citizens of Argentina 
  • Citizens of Brazil
  • Citizens of India
  • Citizens of Colombia
  • Citizens of United Kingdom
  • Citizens of Germany
  • Citizens of Panama
  • Citizens of Singapore
  • Citizens of South Korea 
  • Citizens of Switzerland
  • Citizens of Taiwan 
  • Mexican nationals

Canadian citizens and residents are eligible for Global Entry benefits through membership in the NEXUS program.

If you are under the age of 18, you must have your parent or legal guardian’s consent to participate in the program.

Can I apply for Global Entry online?

Yes and no. You can fill out the paperwork online, but you will have to undergo an in-person security screening where they will take your fingerprints. Most airports now have GE offices for these screenings and in more rural areas, it may be done by appointment at some post offices.

How much does it cost?

$100 per application. (if you are applying for TSA PreCheck at the same time, you can save money as it’s $100 for both per application). (prices as of May 2022)

How long is Global Entry good for?

Five years, but it expires on your birthday of that year. It can be renewed online. It costs $100 to renew (as of May 2022).

CLick here for more information on Global Entry.

I hope this information helps. During the pandemic, the government wasn’t taking any new applications but from my research it appears they are operational again. If you think applying for these services is worth it, I suggest you give yourself enough time to apply and get your interviews. Depending on where you live, the process could take months. Good luck and Bon Voyage! I hope you all have a great summer of travel and fun.

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