Many people get confused with the differences between CBP’s Global Entry and TSA’s Precheck.
Global Entry is a fantastic and a must have for frequent international flyers, it offers a much quicker entry back into the United States when arriving from an international flight. Instead of having to wait in the often long lines at Customs, you simply go to an automated kiosk, scan you passport and fingerprint, answer a few questions and you are on your way.
If you are a frequent domestic only flyer, then TSA Precheck could work for you. (Global Entry also gets you TSA Precheck.)
Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Members enter the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports.
At airports, program members proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingerprints on the scanner for fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration. The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction receipt and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit.
Travelers must be pre-approved for the Global Entry program. All applicants undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment.
While Global Entry’s goal is to speed travelers through the process, members may still be selected for further examination when entering the United States. Any violation of the program’s terms and conditions will result in the appropriate enforcement action and termination of the traveler’s membership privileges.
To apply for Global Entry see the CBP website at: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry
There are 3 steps to signing up for TSA Precheck:
Complete the online application or you can complete the entire process in person at an application center.Schedule an appointment online or by calling (855) 347-8371 weekdays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET. Walk-ins are welcome but appointments take priority.Visit an application center to:
- Provide required documentation and fingerprints. Bring your current U.S. passport or a driver’s license and birth certificate. See other acceptable documents.
- Pay a non-refundable $85 fee valid for five years with a credit card, money order, company check or certified/cashier’s check.
- You can check your status online at any time.