Not many people realise that UK Citizens are now eligible to apply for US Global Entry via the Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) – formerly named the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES). So if you’re a regular visitor to the USA, like many Touring Personnel are, it could well be worth doing.
It’s simple to apply but you do need to fulfill certain requirements. I completed the process some time ago and I am now a ‘Trusted Traveler’, which means I am able to avoid the often long lines at US Immigration by using the Global Entry kiosks at select airports. It also means I can use the ‘TSA Pre‘ priority lines at Security when flying within the US using one of many US Airports and Airlines, because once approved for Global Entry, you are also automatically enrolled for ‘TSA Pre’. I can assure you that not having to remove shoes, laptop, belt etc now makes US Domestic journeys much more pleasant.Update to this Post – (Originally published April 2016) – The old GOES website has now moved and is called ‘The Trusted Traveler Program (TTP)‘. Hopefully all links on here are now correct, and thanks go to Andrea at upgradedpoints.com for alerting me. If anyone registered previously on the GOES website, you may need to update your account on the new one, as I recently did.
By the way, if you only require ‘TSA Pre’ status, there is a very informative article on the upgradedpoints.com website – upgradedpoints.com/tsa-precheck-review.
How to apply for Global Entry:
- Check your eligibility.
- Apply Online to gov.uk for a UK background check which costs £42 and is non-refundable, and if successful obtain a “UK Access Code”.
- Assuming that you obtain the UK Access Code, complete a Trusted Traveler online application and pay the $100 non-refundable application fee. Have details of your last 5 years employment history ready and make sure there are no gaps as the online form insists on this.
- You don’t need to complete the Trusted Traveler application form in one go, you can keep logging in and out at your leisure, until it is finished.
- If and when you obtain an eMailed Provisional Approval notice, you must schedule an Interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center within 30 days of receiving it. The interview itself does not need to be done within that time frame, just the scheduling.
- The Centers are mainly located within the United States I’m afraid, but you can choose any of them to suit your location and timetable. I had my interview at JFK Terminal 4 Arrivals, it was very quick with no waiting and professionally conducted.
- At the Interview a U.S. Customs Border Protection officer will ask you questions, take your photo, scan your fingerprints and review your documents.
- They will tell you exactly what documents are required but in my instance all I needed was my UK Passport, my UK Drivers’s Licence and a printout of the Provisional Approval notice I received.
Timeline and further info:
My UK background check was done within a couple of days and the TTP process, from completing the online form until receiving the Provisional Approval Notice, took about a week. I was then fortunate enough to get an interview appointment within two weeks. Interview appointment availability varies considerably depending on which Enrolment Center you choose to attend.
By the way, a valid visa or ESTA is still required to enter the US, even after enrolling in GOES. If your visa situation changes during the 5 year enrolment period you must also inform the US CBP.
Global Entry Eligible Countries:
- Citizens of United Kingdom
- Citizens of Germany
- Citizens of the Netherlands
- Citizens of Panama
- Citizens of South Korea
- Mexican nationals
UK Trusted Traveller Program:
By way of a reciprocal agreement, U.S. citizens are now eligible to apply for the United Kingdom’s trusted traveller program, Registered Traveller. Members enrolled in Registered Traveller may use E-gates at airports in the United Kingdom. The service costs £70 to apply and an additional £50 a year thereafter. If the application is unsuccessful, the applicant will receive £50 back. To qualify for Registered Traveller, a U.S. citizen must make 4 trips to the UK per year.
UK Trusted Traveller Eligible Countries:
You must be 18 or older and have a passport from:
- Hong Kong (only if you have a Special Administrative Region passport)
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- Taiwan (only if your passport has your personal ID number on the photo page)
- the USA
You must also have a visa or have visited the UK 4 times or more in the last 24 months.