Getting Global Entry for Kids: Everything You Need to Know

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Getting Global Entry for Kids: Everything You Need to Know

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A Global Entry membership is a must for any international traveler to get through immigration fast – and also clear airport security faster, too thanks to an included TSA PreCheck membership.

But is Global Entry for kids also a must? If you have Global Entry and plan on doing any international travel as a family, you will want your child to have Global Entry too. Unlike TSA PreCheck, kids will not be able to use their parents' Global Entry benefits when returning home from abroad.

Here's everything you need to know about getting Global Entry for children, and why you should do it.


What is Global Entry?

Let's start with the basics. Global Entry is a trusted traveler program that allows you to get through U.S. immigration and customs quickly. It also includes a TSA PreCheck benefit that gets you into a designated lane for security. It's a genuine two-birds, one-stone program.

Once your membership in the program is approved, it will be good for five years. You'll be able to renew your Global Entry membership starting one year from your expiration date.

Because this program lets you get through high levels of security quickly, the process for getting approved is a bit more rigorous than what you'll find with TSA PreCheck.

It's also more expensive, costing $100 (though that may soon increase to $120) versus TSA PreCheck which costs $85 (and is also good for five years).

Read More: The Complete Guide to Get Global Entry: How to Apply & Interview


global entry experience


Should Your Kids Get Global Entry?

If you have or are planning to get Global Entry, and you plan on traveling internationally with your children, it is definitely worth getting them Global Entry.

Global Entry is not like TSA PreCheck where children up to the age of 12 don't need their own membership and can come through the PreCheck line with you. Regardless of age, everybody using Global Entry will need to have their own program membership.

So if you have Global Entry and your children don't, you will have to go through the normal customs line when returning to the United States – no matter the age of your child.

Plan on taking a few international trips with your children? It can definitely worth getting Global Entry for the family.


How to Get Global Entry For Your Children

Getting Global Entry for your child is the same process and cost as it is for adults. That's right, even if your child can't yet talk, they'll still need to complete the interview process – with the help of mom and dad of course.

Here are a few tips.


Use a Credit Card with a Global Entry Credit to Apply

Global Entry itself costs $100 for a five-year membership. However, plenty of credit cards include a credit of up to $100 to cover the cost of a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership as a perk.

Many top-tier cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, The Platinum Card® from American Express, and the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offer this benefit.

But then there are even cheaper options where you can cover the cost of Global Entry, like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, or the new U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature Card, which waives its $95 annual fee for the first year.


credit cards offering travel insurance


Read our guide on the top cards that offer Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

All you need to do is pay for Global Entry with the card that covers the application fee. That means you can pay for your child's application with a card that has a Global Entry credit and that charge will get erased.


Getting a Global Entry Interview for Your Children

Yes, your child needs to go in for a Global Entry Interview mainly to verify the child matches their passport. Depending on your child's age they may or may not have to have their fingerprints scanned. Younger children will not.

Note: If your child does not get their fingerprints scanned, they will get a large x on their customs printout from the Global Entry Kiosk when coming back to the U.S. This just means an agent needs to verify their identity by matching them to their photo on the passport. You will get to go through an expedited line.

Unlike passport applications for minors, both parents do not need to be present at the Global Entry interview. Only only one parent needs to bring the child to the appointment.

You will need to bring both your child's passport and your passport.

Related Reading: How to Get a Global Entry Interview Faster


After the Global Entry Interview

After the Global Entry Interview, your child will get instant approval. You should receive a notification email shortly after the interview.

You can get their known traveler number right away in their Trusted Traveler account online. You should also get a membership card within a few days or a week by mail.

Once you've received their membership card, follow the attached instructions to activate it. But unless you’re entering the U.S. from Canada by land, there’s not much reason to carry around their card.


Getting Global Entry for a Child: FAQs


Can my child just come with me through Global Entry, like TSA Precheck?

No, all children, no matter their age, need to have their own Global Entry membership. If your child does not have Global Entry, but you do, you will have to go through the normal customs line with them.


Can I bring more than one child to a Global Entry interview?

Each child will need their own Global Entry interview appointment. However, you can bring your children to one appointment and ask if they can do their interviews together. You might be able to get them done at the same time, but don't rely on this.

Want to get an interview faster? Check out Appointment Scanner to find available interview times near you.


What if my child's passport expires before their Global Entry Membership does?

Passports for children under the age of 16 need to be renewed every five years. So depending on when your child gets Global Entry, their passport may expire before their Global Entry membership (also five years). When you get their new passport you can just update their passport number in their Trusted Traveler account online.


Bottom Line

If you have Global Entry or are planning on getting it, it might make sense to get it for the whole family.

Getting kids a Global Entry membership will take a little extra work, especially finding an interview, but it's worth it so you can breeze through customs when you come back from your next international family trip.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

14 Responses

  • If the application is approved can a child participate in the Enrollment on Arrival program when returning to the US for their interview?

  • We have a son who got Global Entry when he was around 12 and now needs to renew. Of course he looks almost nothing like his original photo, so does he have to go in person and have a new photo done as he would for an initial interview? Cannot find anything on the website that states what should be done.

    • My older son was 13 when he got Global Entry, my younger son was 8. This year, the older filled out his renewal (as an adult) and was approved automatically, with no need for an interview. The younger was conditionally approved for renewal but had to schedule an interview. Not sure what the determination is, but hope this is helpful.

  • To create a TPP account, the TPP page asks to create a account for my child. However the terms of service of and rules state that the user agrees it’s not a child under 13. I’m worried the will somehow block if I have to enter my son’s date of birth, does anyone know whether that will be a problem? Thanks

  • Both my husband and I already have Global Entry and our accounts are linked to each of our designated email address. I’m trying to figure out now how to create an account for my 1 year old. He doesn’t have an email account and it wont accept mine or my husbands since we already have accounts linked to our emails. Am I missing something here?

      • I did spoof emails using my actual email plus my kids name (eg. [email protected]) as anything after the plus sign is ignored and still routes to your personal email account yet the website will capture it as a unique email account. An easier option than creating an infant their own email account (unless you want to hurry and save their name via email early).

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