Global entry can seem like a long process, but it happens quicker than expected. Those of you new to the process, like our family, might think there is no way this will be ready in time, but donâ€™t be discouraged! The article you are reading is the second part of our Global Entry review; check out part one here.
Applying at Philadelphia International Airport:
Our experience with Global Entry at Philadelphia International Airport was quick and pleasant. To start, you set up your initial account online at CBP website; be sure to set your kids up with their email addresses because they will need their accounts. After you complete the forms online, you pay your $100 fee and await approval. Our family is big on travel cards, so Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve reimburse you the $100 fee; other cards have similar benefits, but these are the two we use, feel free to email us, and we will send you a referral.
Getting approval to set up the Global Entry interview took just a few days of waiting, and setting up the interview can be intimidating. Upon receiving the email, you go to the CBP site, sign in, and search for time slots at the location nearest to you, basically, the closest international airport. At first, all the appointment times were booked, and we started to get nervous, so I called and was informed that you have to keep going on and checking, but they open up the interviews one month at a time, so they are not as booked up as it seems. Once September opened, we quickly picked time slots for the beginning of the month; now, all we had to worry about was how long it would take after the interview?!
Arrival at Philadelphia International Airport:
When we picked the interview, instructions for getting to our interview location were on the CBP site. Park at Terminal A West, go to the International Arrivals Hall’s third floor, and wait to be calledâ€¦.We arrived, parked, and took the elevators to the third floor; walk just down the hallway, and you are there! Suppose you have ever flown into Philadelphia International Airport on an international flight. In that case, this is where you are after going through customs, and the elevators we took are the same ones you would take down to baggageâ€¦.A CBP officer came out and took all four of us back to an office where there was another CBP officer, and we did interviews two at a timeâ€¦We completed the process with quick questions, a picture, and fingerprints!
My appointment was at 7 pm; we arrived at 6:35 and returned to the car at 6:57, with all four interviews satisfied. The Global Entry was approved immediately and added to the passports, but it takes a few days to get the identification number and longer to get the cards, but you can use your passport anyway. There werenâ€™t any arriving flights, so Iâ€™m sure part of this timeline was just luck, but pleasant nonetheless! Here is our timelineâ€¦.
Website account, application, and payment: August 9 (Amex reimbursed on 8/12)
Application approved email: August 13 (this is when you can start picking interviews)
Interview: September 12 (Approval instantly and useable)
Status change email: September 24
Global Entry Card: Received!
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