Journey Jotters

Bitten by the travel bug


Trusted Traveler Program

In June 2013, our family made a weekend trip to Houston to complete the interview for Global Entry. Subsequently, we have enjoyed five years of Precheck and Global Entry privileges. Global Entry membership expires after 5 years, on each member’s birthday.

Membership renewals can be applied for one year prior to the expiration date which would have been summer of last year, for our family. But we were too preoccupied with life, in general. All too suddenly, the expiration date was staring us in the face. With upcoming international trips, we had to move quickly and complete our renewal forms. The website states that if the renewal application is sent in before the expiration date, then the Global Entry benefits are valid for up to six months following expiration, until the application is processed.

Our original applications in 2013 were submitted using the GOES system, which is no longer used by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). So we had to first set up an account using their new system called Once set-up, the system uses the Membership number or PASSID from the Global Entry card to link the new account with the old GOES information. Each household member has to submit a separate application and separate email accounts are needed to set up the new accounts.

Once the Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) website pulls up the traveler information, the renewal can be started. The application process involves reviewing and editing several details including member profile, identifying characteristics, passport info, driver’s license info, addresses past and present, employment details and countries visited since last application. This last bit was the longest as we had to add each country four times. I can only imagine how long this takes for business travelers and digital nomads.

Once we were satisfied that all details were accurate and complete, we certified the application and made the payment of $100 per person using our credit cards. The system accepts credit cards and electronic debit from a checking or savings account from an US bank. Then it was time to wait.

Some of the current credit cards we hold give a $100 statement credit for Global Entry applications. We applied for mine and Mr. JJ’s using the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Citi Prestige during Memorial Day weekend. A couple of weeks before our application, I had seen a similar advertised benefit from our United MileagePlus Explorer Card, starting June 1st, 2018. So we completed the children’s application and waited to make their payment on June 1st. A member has 30 days within which to make the payment on the application.

Interestingly, my renewal was approved four days later! Once I got an email stating there had been a change in my status, I logged in to my dashboard to check and had been approved. I received the new Global Entry card the following week. I activated it using the SC code on the back of the card. Mr. JJ’s took three weeks to be approved. And Missy JJ’s approval came through about 24 days after we applied. Sonny JJ was “conditionally approved” at the same time and had to schedule an interview.

I was able to log into his account and see the conditional approval letter asking to schedule an interview. I then went to the “Schedule interview” tab and chose the DFW enrollment center. Luckily this time, there were several openings and some evening appointments as well (unlike when we searched for interviews in 2013). So I scheduled an interview for him for earlier this week at 5 pm.

We were asked to report to the Global Entry Enrollment Center near the arrivals hall at terminal D. I carried a copy of his conditional approval letter, our passports and my driver’s license as proof of residence. We arrived early at 4:30 pm and checked-in at the reception area. Immediately, one of the CBP officers took us back to her office to conduct the interview. She asked Sonny JJ some general questions and made him feel comfortable. She looked at his  passport. Then she took photographs of him and obtained a fresh set of fingerprints from him. And we were done! A mere five minutes after we walked in!! By 4:45 pm, we were walking back to the parking lot and had already gotten an email about a change of status for him. His renewal had been completed! We are waiting to receive his card in the mail. I suspect he needed an interview as he is growing and changing. He was, but a child, at the time of his last application.

As for our credit cards, all four statements showed a credit of $100 each under the tab “USCUSTOMS TRUSTEDTRAVELER”.

The TTP website has made it easy to renew Global Entry membership. The site is well designed, very intuitive and easy to use. And the entire process went far smoother than I expected. I am heartened to see many more available dates and times for interviews at the DFW enrollment center. I look forward to enjoying Global Entry and TSA PreCheck for many more years to come.


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