Global Entry Applications Ride the Travel Rebound

By: James Flippin · August 03, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Revenge Travel

Applications for Global Entry — a program that promises a speedier return to the US for those traveling abroad — are surging. The reason? An unprecedented international travel boom.

Pent-up demand is fueling a summer of “revenge travel.” After several years of reduced travel due to pandemic lockdowns, Americans are booking up flight tickets to anywhere and everywhere. According to The Allianz Group, bookings from the US to Europe are projected to spike 55% this summer compared to last year.

While Global Entry may mean an expedited return home for pre-approved travelers, getting approved is anything but expedient. The program currently has a four-to-six month processing time.

Surging Applications

US Customs and Border Protection is on track to receive over 3.2 million Global Entry applications this year. If that momentum continues, it will beat the record of 2.95 million applications, which was set in 2022.

This high demand speaks to the recovering strength of a pandemic-battered travel industry. But it could be bad news for Americans hoping to snag a Global Entry membership over the coming months. Those signing up for the program now will face steeper odds of getting approved at any point this year.

How It Works

Similar to TSA Precheck, the Global Entry program is highly convenient for anyone who spends a significant amount of time traveling abroad. Here’s what the process looks like from start to finish:

•   Apply for the program through the Department of Homeland Security.

•   Complete the Global Entry application and pay a $100 fee.

•   Schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center.

Once approved, Global Entry members can skip the long line when returning from a foreign country, simply using a self-serve kiosk instead.

The biggest bottleneck is the interview, which takes an average of 130 days to complete after submitting your application. Luckily, that’s one process that can be expedited. Instead of interviewing at a center, choose Enrollment On Arrival. This lets you complete your interview when you arrive back in the US from an international destination.

Nothing makes a long day of travel more bearable than saving a bit of time.

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