Global Entry is one of the best tools for an international traveler, getting you access to the TSA PreCheck line for airport security and a dedicated fast lane to clear customs and immigration when returning to the U.S. And it just got a bit better.
The Points Guy reports that Global Entry members can continue using both Global Entry and TSA PreCheck after their membership expires for up to another year – so long as they apply to renew the membership before it actually expires. That’s up from the previous grace period of six months.
It’s a response from Customs and Border Protection as the Global Entry enrollment and renewal process has slowed to a crawl for many.
The Global Entry application process is typically simple: You apply, wait for conditional approval, schedule an in-person interview. If you’ve got the right credit card, the $100 fee for a five-year membership will get automatically reimbursed!
But we’ve heard from many Thrifty Traveler members who have waited four to six months or more just to receive conditional approval. And after that, scheduling the required can take months more.
Renewing an existing membership is a similar process, though you may not always need to schedule a separate interview. Still, there have been plenty of delays even for renewing a five-year membership.
Thrifty Tip: Having trouble getting an interview for Global Entry? Try Enrollment on Arrival!
Customs and Border Protection is still suffering from a backlog wrought by the federal government shutdown this past winter. And those issues have flared up again as agents have been redirected to the southern border.
This is a nice fix from Customs and Border Protection. It won’t change the enrollment or renewal process for many travelers, but it an give you some peace of mind if your renewal process seems to be dragging on.
Just be sure you apply to renew your five-year membership before it actually expires!
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.