Travel Advice - expediting US Immigration & Customs

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by Mtgoat, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    Eventually, I will pull my travel tips together into a single piece. However, at this moment, I wanted to share a tip about something that I have found to be very helpful.

    The US Customs & Border Protection organization has a program that is not well known. It is called the Trusted Traveller Program. It allows you to essentially bypass the lines for immigration and customs. Technically, you don't skip the immigration piece - it's just automated (I've never had to even wait for 1 second). When it comes to the customs part, the manual part is still in place, but you get to walk to the front of the line, hand them your ticket from step 1 and your done. Essentially, you can get through the process as quickly as flight crews.

    The program is not free. It costs $100 for 5 years. Depending upon your budget and how often you travel internationally, that may or may not be cost effective for you. However, as I've said before, I travel a lot and because of that, the cost of the program works out to be about $10 per trip for me. It also will get you similar expedited processing through customs and immigration in a few other countries (but read the fine print before you apply).

    If you want to learn more, go to this URL: Global Entry

    There are companion programs and you can learn about them here:U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Travel

    If you want to apply, go to this URL: Global Entry
  2. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    I signed up, paid the C note and waited a month and a half before my application for interview was approved. If you do this, allow two to three months lead time.
  3. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    Good point, hog patrol. I signed up a couple of years ago when the program was just getting started. It all happened more or less immediately. It was perhaps 2 weeks until the application was approved. Then it was just a matter of scheduling an interview. I live near Denver and they weren't doing interviews there at that time (they do now). I just scheduled a long layover when I passed through Dulles on a business trip. There was now problem in scheduling the interview.

    I urged my wife to sign up, but she drug her feet. When she finally did sign up, there was a couple month wait time for the interview. When she went for the interview, she was told that the wait time had grown to several months.

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