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Global Entry Program Interview Completed

by Lux Joseph 30. August 2013

 

 Are you nervous? Are you concerned? Do you wonder about what will take place? A couple weeks ago I took the opportunity to tell you about the beginning stages of the Global Entry Program.  This past Monday I had my interview with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at the Miami International Airport Enrollment Center. This is the last and final stage of becoming accepted into the program. Even if you have nothing to be afraid of and have nothing against your record, having an interview with a government official can still be nerve wracking. However, as someone who completed the interview Monday I can tell you first hand that the process is very straight forward and not stressful at all.

Our appointments were on Monday evening at the Miami International Airport Enrollment Center. There are enrollment centers located throughout the United States and Canada. You can find the one closest to you by visiting the website at: http://www.globalentry.gov/locations.html. If you are located in South Florida, we are fortunate to have two enrollment centers: Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Fort Lauderdale is definitely closer to us, but the availability of appointments is limited. Once you have completed your application and paid your application fee you will receive a notice about being conditionally approved. At that time you receive access to set up an appointment. Our appointments were at 9:20pm and 9:40pm.

Miami International Airport is not a simple airport to navigate if it is your first time visiting so arriving early will ensure plenty of time to find parking and locate the Global Entry office. It is best that you park in the Flamingo Parking Garage or South Parking (uncovered) closest to Terminal J. As you approach the Miami Airport, Terminal J is the terminal located on the left all the way at the end of the strip in the south terminal. Upon entering the terminal, you will want to follow the signs for Lufthansa Check In. The Global Entry Office is directly across from their check-in counter.

I would definitely recommend selecting an appointment late in the evening. The airport was practically empty. Walking through the international terminal the only airlines still operating check in was LAN due to their late flights that depart to South America. The rest of the terminal was empty except for cleaning crew mopping the floors. When we arrived at the enrollment center no one was in line and one individual arrived immediately after us. All three of us were taken into a general room in which there were three stations each assigned with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer. The interview process was informal and informative. Some of the questions that were asked include:

·         Can you verify your place of current employment?

·         You were recently out of the country visiting the following countries; can you please inform us the purpose of each trip?

·         Can you verify your address of your previous employer?

·         Why are you applying for Global Entry?

The CBP officer scanned our biometric data (finger prints) and a photo was taken. Once that was completed, the CBP officer discussed the program at length and in detail. Immediately following that we were advised that we had been approved. “Wait, that’s all?” That is the exact thought I had when I walked out of the enrollment center at 9:17pm, three minutes prior to the time our interview was scheduled to start.

We were advised that we would be receiving our card within the next couple of weeks and will receive an email within 24 hours confirming approval. The Global Entry program is valid for five years and definitely worth the $100 application fee and the application process. Do not let the fear of government officials or an interview stop you from completing this. The process is not intimidating or intended to be complicated. In the future it will provide ease of travel for travelers internationally. Upon receiving your Global Entry card the CBP officer encouraged us to make sure our Trusted Traveler membership number is attached to any of our airline profiles. This will make you eligible for TSA PreCheck. If you do not have a profile with the airline, ask them to add your number to your reservation. The first time I utilize the kiosk upon arriving into the USA from an international destination I will be sure to inform you how it goes.

CME will be encouraging all of our nurses and physicians to become enrolled in the program. With our medical team traveling often, it would be extremely beneficial to have this in place especially when they are returning into the USA with patients. The extended lines in immigration can be stressful on the everyday traveler and we want to ensure only the smoothest travels for our medical team and their patients.

  

 

Global Entry: Trusted Traveler Protection

by Lux Joseph 11. August 2013

If you are a frequent traveler you are probably well aware of some of the long lines you stand in at customs, immigrations, and TSA. Even as the US Government provides additional funding, waiting in line is not going to disappear on its own. These long lines can affect a traveler by missing a connection, late for a meeting, or simply extra aggravation after traveling 16 hours from Asia. One of the government programs that have been in existence since 2008 is the Global Entry Program and it is something that we encourage you to look into if you travel frequently to alleviate some of this stress.

Try not to get the Global Entry Program confused with the TSA PreCheck program. Transport Security Administration piggybacked on the Global Entry Program. The Global Entry Program was piloted in 2008 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport. Today there are Global Entry kiosks at over 40 airports. Enrolling in this program is only $100, but if you are an American Express Platinum cardholder AMEX will reimburse you. By enrolling in this program you will complete an application which goes through a rigorous background check and screening followed by an interview to determine if you are a low-risk traveler. It may take several months to get an appointment, but once you do you are solid for five years.

Once you have completed your interview and you have received your Global Entry card, you are set for international travel. No more struggling to find that pen at the bottom of your backpack or having to ask another traveler for one to simply complete the customs forms upon arrival into the USA. With this program, you no longer have to complete any of those forms. You will bypass the regular customs line and proceed right to the kiosk where your fingerprints will be scanned to compare with biometric data, a digital photo will be taken, and you answer a few declaration questions on the screen.  Once that is completed you will be issued a receipt to present to the CBP officer and you can proceed to your final destination.

If you accepted into the program, you are automatically qualified for the program I mentioned earlier, TSA PreCheck. Many of you may be familiar with this or already enrolled by your frequent traveler programs like Delta Skymiles, American Advantage, and United MileagePlus. This program enables you to go through TSA screening without having to remove your belt, shoes, laptop, or even taking out your liquids. As a traveler, it is important to keep up to date with these types of programs to ensure stress free travel. 

At the end of the month I will go to the Miami International Airport for my interview. Below is the timeline of the typical process:

  • July 3, 2013- Applied online for the program and paid the $100 application fee.
  • July 27, 2013- Application was accepted and interview date selection was available. The soonest date available was August 23, 2013.

As the process continues, I will keep you informed so you know what to expect when you go for your interview.

To enroll in the Global Entry Program visit the following website: http://www.globalentry.gov


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