One of the things to think about before your trip is the process of coming home and going through Passport Control.
You have 3 options when you return to the US.
- You can wait in the long line with the rest of the people.
- You can use Mobile Passport to go to a shorter line.
- You can get your Global Entry approval to go to the very short line.
Fortunately for those of us who have opted for number 2 or number 3, most people only take infrequent international trips and don’t know or don’t want to take the time to learn about the other options.
We don’t want to be in those lines. We may have had to suffer through them when we arrived in the foreign country on our trip, but we don’t want to do it when we’re tired after a long trip home.
The second option is using an app on your phone called Mobile Passport. We continue to use this second option while we wait for the government to get back to us. I wrote a post about Mobile Passport several months ago. You can click here to read it. The best part of this option is that it is free.
The third option is really the first choice for frequent international travelers. That would be to sign up for Global Entry Of course, that means that after your conditional approval, you will need to go to one of the very few international airports for your interview. For us, that means going to San Francisco to do the interview. A pain in the back side. Also, after you fill out the documents and pay the fee, you can still end up waiting months before you get your conditional approval. We applied in May for an October trip. Still no joy and it is already September. It does not look like we will have it for our next international trip; maybe we will have it for next year.
After you get the conditional approval, you need to sign up for the interview. Unfortunately, it could be several more months before you can go in for your interview. If you have your conditional approval, you can get an interview on the fly if you return from an international trip and land at one of the several dozen airports that allow it, you can do your interview there after you disembark. When landing in an international terminal follow the signage directing you to CBP officers who can complete your Global Entry interview during your admissibility inspection. Click here for info on that process. We hope that we at least have the conditional approval before we leave in October so that we can use this process when we return. Otherwise, it will mean a trip to San Francisco before our next big trip in 2020.
One of the nice things about Global Entry is that it includes Pre-Check. Unfortunately our Pre-Check was expiring this fall and we expected to have Global Entry in place so we were not going to renew it. Well, we had to renew it because of the long delay in getting Global Entry. That was an extra expense of $170 that we were not happy about.
Of course, there are a couple of other options. If for example all of your international travel is between the US and Canada, you may want to consider Nexus. If your travel is only to Mexico and Canada, then you should look at Sentri. These two examples may include Pre-Check too.
Turning Dreams into Memories,
One Vacation at a Time.
As you might guess, this document is a compilation of information from our travels as well as from other travelers. I hope it has been of value to you. Check out the important links below.
- Packing Checklist
- Parent Authorization Letter For Unaccompanied Minors
- Medical Treatment Authorization Letter
- Travel With Minors – Permission Letter
Don’t hesitate to email us when you return from your trip with any suggestions that will make this document better for you and your fellow travelers!
You may also want to visit our Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/TeamEdwardsTravel