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  • Writer's pictureColette DeGrazia

Global Entry

Do you love to travel, but the thought of the TSA security lines and the long waits at US Immigration and Customs are holding you back? I have a great tip to simplify your life – and it’s called Global Entry. I enrolled a few years ago and was amazed at how simple and efficient the process was. Now, whenever I travel by air, I can use the TSA PreCheck lines at security which move so much quicker because you are not required to strip (belts, jewelry and even shoes can stay where they belong!) or remove your laptop and toiletry bag from your carry-on luggage. Then, if I am traveling Internationally (via land, air or sea), I can bypass the long lines at Passport control upon my return to the U.S. and simply scan my passport at a Global Entry kiosk, which also checks my fingerprints and takes a very flattering “selfie”. If I am cleared, a receipt prints and I can simply flash it to an immigration officer as I walk briskly to claim my luggage and head home. The application process is very easy and fast. I filled out the online application, paid the $100 fee (good for 5 years and reimbursed by some high-level credit cards) and within 3 days, I received an email telling me I was approved and invited to set up an appointment at the closest participating airport. I did have to wait about 3 weeks for a convenient appointment time at Miami Airport, but I hear that other airports have shorter waits. On the day of the appointment, you take your Passport, Driver’s License and approval letter to the Global Entry office and have a 10-minute interview with an agent. He asked me a few questions about my past travels and fingerprinted me and then told me that I was approved. I received my official card in the mail within 5 days. EASY-PEASEY! I have used my new "status" several times now and the perks have been amazing! I also applied for Global Entry for my husband so we can all use the benefits whenever we travel together. It would be sad to not be able to breeze through Immigration together! Do you mostly travel domestic and you think you won't use Global Entry? Well the cost for just TSA Precheck is $85 for 5 years! An additional $15 gets you Global Entry AND TSA PreCheck! You can't go wrong with getting both!

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