Joe and I have had Global Entry for several years now; it simply makes life easier when we’re traveling overseas because we don’t have to stand in as many queues. That’s a nice thing but since we only travel outside the U.S. one or two times a year at most (and sometimes not at all, depending), it admittedly has limited use to us. However getting Global Entry also gives us automatic TSA PreCheck, which is WONDERFUL, especially since our home airport is MCO and their TSA checkpoint is historically slow (here’s why we think that is).
I was always under the impression that TSA Precheck was only available to U.S. citizens, but apparently a few years ago the program was expanded to be available to citizens of several other countries around the world. And just like with American citizens, if you have Global Entry, it also gives you TSA Pre✓ eligibility.
For those who have never looked into Global Entry and/or TSA PreCheck before:
What is Global Entry?
From U.S. Customs & Border Protection’s website:
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.
So you can potentially save a lot of time when you enter the U.S. because you don’t have to stand on so many lines.
What is TSA Pre✓?
TSA PreCheck is a U.S. government program that allows travelers deemed low-risk by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to pass through an expedited security screening at certain U.S. airports. With TSA PreCheck status, instead of standing on line at X-ray for upwards of 45 to 60 minutes, you can speed through security (average wait time is less than 10 minutes) and you don’t have to remove your shoes, laptops, bag o’ liquids, belts and light jackets.
Simply put, it’s awesomesauce. 😉
And non-U.S. citizens can get these?
Apparently so. 🙂
Honestly, it never really dawned on Joe and me, as U.S. citizens, to see if or how Global Entry and TSA PreCheck were available to non-U.S. citizens (really, why would we, y’know?). But then I read something on Facebook about how a U.K. citizen had Global Entry. And the SAME DAY, a friend of mine, also a U.K. citizen, but who spends a decent amount of time in the U.S. and even owns a house here with his partner, asked me about TSA PreCheck for Brits. So I started looking around and, as it turned out, there are a BUNCH of countries where, as citizens of those respective countries, you can get the U.S.A.’s Global Entry and, therefore, TSA Pre✓, as well.
The process varies from country to country; for some, you only have to apply for entry through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Trusted Traveler Program and schedule an interview with a U.S. Customers Border Protection officer (which is the same thing U.S. citizens do). For other countries, the process is more complicated, in that you have to have certain paperwork done and apply with your home country first for vetting, and THEN apply for entry, schedule the interview, etc. But even if you have to jump through a few hoops, it’s still worth it, in the end, if you pass, especially if you travel to/from/within the U.S. on a regular, or even semi-regular basis.
Anyway, citizens of these countries are eligible for Global Entry membership:
- Canada (via membership in the NEXUS program)
- South Korea (Republic of Korea)
- United Kingdom
There are a few countries on the Trusted Traveler Program that make it appear its citizens are able to get Global Entry but are not (their countries are listed and have links to eventually lead to notification that they are not eligible for Global Entry):
- New Zealand
If you’re a Canadian citizen or resident, you’re eligible for Global Entry benefits through membership in the NEXUS program.
Citizens of the Netherlands were supposed to be able to apply for Global Entry status as of April 2019, but as it turned out, cannot apply for Global entry at this time. From the U.S. Gov’t’s website: “The U.S. and the Netherlands recently signed a new agreement [sic] that is pending implementation. Please check www.globalentry.gov for updates.”
If you’re under 18 years of age, you must have your parent or legal guardian’s consent to participate in the program.
Well? What are you waiting for, travel friends from the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, South Korea, Singapore, Panama, Mexico, India, Germany, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina? Go apply! 😉
A HUGE thank-you to Andrew V., who was the catalyst for this post!
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I’m a Panamanian citizen and applied on April. Still waiting to be conditionally approved.
Unfortunately, the U.S. government has been running VERY slowly for the past 2.5 years or so. U.S. citizens are also getting long delays 🙁
My mother in law from Colombia applied last year but still waiting for conditional approval. They are WAY backed up. My daughters expired in May 2020 and they are so backed up, they extended it automatically for 2 more years after that. She finally has her appointment in May 2022 but until then there wasn’t any appointments locally. I’m not holding my breath waiting as I think it will take a few years.