Global Entry Trusted Traveler Program
Want to avoid waiting in line at U.S. Customs and Immigration when you return to the U.S.? Worried that you might miss your connecting flight if the line is too long? Sign up for U.S. Customs and Border Protectionís Global Entry Trusted Traveler Program (www.globalentry.gov). You start by filling out an application on-line and paying a $100 fee. When your application is approved, you schedule an interview at CBP and bring with you identification, proof of citizenship, and proof of current residence (I took my passport, driverís license, and birth certificate). After your documents are verified, you are photographed and fingerprinted, and your passport is activated in the Global Entry system.
When you return to the U.S., instead of getting in line at immigration, you simply proceed to the Global Entry kiosk, scan your passport, and place your fingers on the scanner for identity verification. Then you answer the questions on the computer screen that generally appear on the customs & immigration form (which means that you donít have to fill out that form on the plane), receive a receipt, and head for the customs desk near the exit. Thatís it. You can completely avoid the long lines.
If you are traveling with a group and the other people in your group are not members of the Global Entry program, your entire group will be granted head-of-the-line privileges. Youíll have to go with them instead of using the kiosks, but no one in your group will have to wait in line.
We filled out our application last weekend and had our interviews, photos, and fingerprinting at CBP at JFK this morning. Our application was formally approved, so next month when we return home from CN, we can just shoot past everyone else and get home more quickly to Dasher and Rudy! :)
While you'll still have to fill out the form and stand in the line at Jamaican Immigration, the long-term plan is that other countries will join the program and that you can be verified by other countries of your choosing as well. Our hope is that Jamaica gets on board soon so that we can avoid the long lines when we arrive in Jamaica as well.