Global Entry Interviews Are On Hold Amid Federal Government Shutdown

Global Entry membership

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Bad news if you’re trying to get Global Entry: The ongoing shutdown of the federal government might make it impossible.

Agents at several airports and Global Entry enrollment centers nationwide told Thrifty Traveler on Thursday that Global Entry interviews were on hold until the shutdown ends. A voicemail greeting at the Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) enrollment center simply stated: “Due to the federal government shutdown, all Global Entry enrollment activities are currently suspended.” Phones at many other airports and centers went unanswered.

Travelers online have also reported getting emails with a notification that their interview appointment was temporarily canceled, but that seems sporadic. Others have said they arrived for their interview to find a closed door and a sign saying it is closed during the shutdown.


Global Entry Interviews

Global Entry Kiosk


These in-person interviews are the linchpin to getting Global Entry and get through customs and immigration faster. As a reminder, a Global Entry membership also includes TSA PreCheck, which gets you through airport security faster too. A Global Entry membership costs $100 for five years, but a handful of credit cards cover it for free. Read our guide on signing up for Global Entry.

But amid a partial government shutdown that began Dec. 22, what’s going on now isn’t exactly clear.

Customs and Border Protection runs Global Entry, but its website doesn’t mention a Global Entry pause. A banner on the top of its site has the following notice:

Due to the lapse in federal funding, this website will not be actively managed. This website was last updated on December 21, 2018 and will not be updated until after funding is enacted. As such, information on this website may not be up to date. Transactions submitted via this website might not be processed and we will not be able to respond to inquiries until after appropriations are enacted.

It’s clear that interviews for Global Entry are on hold for now. But on its website, it’s still possible to schedule those interviews.


Global Entry interviews


A spokesman for Customs and Border Protection did not respond to a request for comment. That’s not a big surprise – those employees have probably been temporarily furloughed.

It’s also unclear if only interviews are on hold, or if the federal government also won’t process any applications at all. If we had to guess, we’d say all applications are frozen until the shutdown ends.

Thrifty Tip: Want to speed through Customs and Immigration but can’t get Global Entry? Use Mobile Passport, a free app!


Bottom Line

If you’re trying to get signed up for Global Entry, you might be waiting a while. Global Entry interviews are on hold for the foreseeable future, and there’s no end to the shutdown in sight.


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Lead photo courtesy of Customs and Border Protection

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

4 Responses

  1. Holly says:

    i get that the interviews are being cancelled, but it appears i can’t even start an application? Have my TPP account set up with login.gov but the options under Applications appear to be disabled.

    • Kyle Potter says:

      That was my guess, but I already have GE so I couldn’t check. And CBP has not responded to just that question – as no one is being paid to work.

  2. Emma says:

    Been waiting for my Global Entry application for over 3 weeks, application kept saying “Pending Review.” Dealing with gov’t. is bad enough, but this government shutdown caused extra troubles for EVERYONE.

    • Mel says:

      It took about 3 months for my status to change from “pending review” and that was prior to the shutdown.. Unfortunately you can expect at least that long and then whatever delay the shutdown adds.

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