Since 2008, the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency’s Global Entry program has been zipping members through in mere minutes. Ten years on, the program has expanded to over 60 U.S. airports and 13 international preclearance facilities, but that’s not the only growth Global Entry has seen. Once only offered to American passport holders, the program has gone truly global allowing nationals from an increasing list of countries an expedited arrival on American soil with access to GE kiosks.
For frequent foreign travelers to the U.S., one of the most common travel gripes is dealing with the rigmarole of customs and border entry. Depending on your arrival airport and how many other international flights touch down in the same time period, your first impression of the United States is often a snaking line of weary travelers. With wait times often exceeding the hour mark, you can hear audible groans of passengers join the huddled masses.
But there’s good news for a select set of international travelers as Global Entry applications aren’t only limited to American citizens. Twelve other nations fully participate in the trusted traveler program, while four others have a partial arrangement available to a limited number of citizens.
Other Countries Eligible for Global Entry Membership
Passport holders from the following countries can apply for Global Entry:
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- Canada (via NEXUS)
Global Entry available to a limited number of citizens from these countries:
- Saudi Arabia
Procedures for the program will vary by country of citizenship, and all foreign applicants who wish to apply will have to follow the same guidelines as U.S. nationals by creating a Trusted Traveler profile and submitting an application online accompanied by a $100 non-refundable fee. Canadian citizens are eligible for GE benefits via an approved NEXUS membership that costs $50 CAD or USD.
Certain credit cards help with the expense . The Platinum Card® from American Express provides a statement credit to cover entry once every four years, and the Mastercard® Black Card™ will cover the cost of the application fee every five years. Once an application is reviewed, an applicant will receive a message with instructions on setting up an in-person interview. Most enrollment centers are Stateside, but there are a few international facilities in cities like Doha, Singapore, Taipei, and London, as well as throughout Canada. A full list of appointment locations can be seen here.
Information regarding the four countries who have a limited number of travelers allowed to participate in the program is left quite vague on the Trusted Traveler Program Tool’s website – which you can view here. Some serve as a pilot program for a handful of citizens that visit the U.S. frequently and have received a government clearance. If you’re a citizen of one of those countries listed and wish to apply, I would recommend contacting your local U.S. Consulate to see if you are eligible before starting the application process.
Take note that the CBP.gov website is updated infrequently and information may have changed at short notice.
Next Countries to Join?
Most notably left off the list of countries eligible for Global Entry is Australia and New Zealand. Both nations allow American and Canadian E-Passport holders with ESTA access to SmartGate and eGates for seamless self-processing through border control. That eliminates the need to talk to a border agent, without having to pay and apply for a program like Global Entry. Talk about one-sided! Aussie and Kiwi travelers may get the short straw when it comes to entering the U.S., but things might change in 2019. Hawaiian Senator Mazie Hirono has recently reached an agreement to launch a pilot program for Australian passport holders to apply for Global Entry. However, at the time of this posting, it has not been finalized, and government shutdowns have hindered further progress.