Everyone doesn’t like to wait in line, especially at the airport, where most people are in a hurry to go somewhere. However, it’s inevitable, especially when it’s for security. However, there’s one thing you can do to make waiting in line avoidable: through Global Entry. If it’s your first time for Global Entry, there are some things you should know and expect in your appointment. But first, let’s discuss what Global Entry is.
What is Global Entry?
Global Entry is a part of the US government’s Trusted Traveler Program, where you can access a self-service kiosk for security, which cuts your waiting time significantly. It also allows you to
avoid dealing with tons of paperwork, which is helpful if you’re someone who constantly goes out of the country for reasons like work.
Not only that, but Global Entry also gives you access to a TSA PreCheck membership, a separate program that allows you even more reduced time in airport security. This is through a different travel lane which allows you to keep your liquids and gadgets in your suitcase, and you go through without having to remove your shoes. First, however, there’s an interview appointment that you have to go through before you can go. Here’s what to expect from that appointment.
The Interview is Most Just for Formalities
Once you get to the interview room, you’re already pre-screened, which means they already checked your background and saw that you’re not on any terror-threat list, international crimes, or lists that say, “The government doesn’t want you.”
Sometimes, they would even have your printed approval (faced down, to keep the mystery going, we guess) on the table already. However, don’t get all too cocky and say, “Is that my printed approval? That was easy,” or you’ll be seen as suspicious. Also, don’t get too nervous about the whole thing, as it’s not a job interview.
Instead of being overly confident or nervous about it, just think of the interview as a formality. Calm yourself and answer any questions they may have truthfully. Rest assured that the hard part is over once you’re in for an interview.
They’re Not Going to Grill You With a Lot of Questions
Aside from the essential information you have to provide verbally, the rest of the questions are just standard ones. Here are some of them:
- Why did you join Global Entry?
- Who is your employer?
- What’s your profession?
- Do you have any criminal liabilities locally or internationally?
- Have you ever had an issue with customs before?
Just answer them honestly, especially given that they already know the answer to these questions. But, again, they’re just following protocol, and the appointment is mostly just for formalities.
They’re Going to Look for Documentation
This one is purely situational. As discussed earlier, they will ask you standard questions; however, some situations arise that you have to provide documentation for. There are a lot of them. For example, let’s say you were locked up before, but the charges were dropped. In this case, you should bring your legal documentation for that.
Another example would be if you traveled to a restricted country. That said, you should have a legal reason to be there and the proper documentation to prove it. Suppose you fail to bring the documentation along with other forms of identification, passport, and the usual. In that case, your global entry interview process will be lengthened, and you’ll have to stay for quite a long until the issue is gone.
The Interview Itself is Short, But You’ll Still Be There for a While
As mentioned earlier, the interview itself is short as they’re just going to ask several fundamental questions, especially if you have nothing interesting to explain. However, that doesn’t mean the whole appointment would be short. This is because you won’t be the only one applying for one there.
Usually, you opt to go there as early as possible before the 10 am surge. So you might wait around 45 minutes before your interview starts during a busy time. If you have free time in the afternoon, make sure that it’s between Tuesday and Thursday as they’re the least busy time.
They’re Going to Take Your Picture
And lastly, before you go, they’ll have to take your picture for your ID. You will receive the said ID in the mail within a few business days, so better keep on the lookout. So during your interview, ensure you wear nice clothes so you won’t look less than satisfactory on the ID. This ID is going to be useful on your next trip.
Applying for Global Entry is somewhat easy, especially if you’ve come prepared. The appointment is the last phase of your approval process, so you should know that the worst part
of the application process has already passed. Just be prepared for any issue that may arise; after that, you’re good to go.