We recently heard from a panicked traveler who had run into a difficult situation. She’d accidentally allowed her Global Entry to expire, and she needed to renew it ASAP for an upcoming trip.
Even before the pandemic, it was common to hear that the interviews required for new Global Entry applications were hard to come by, and that can still be the case in some areas. Travelers can start the application online but then might have to wait weeks, months, or even longer to land an interview slot. (Similarly, passport renewals were backed up for a while, but turnaround time has returned to pre-pandemic levels; see more on how to renew your passport.)
Here’s what you need to know about renewing your Global Entry membership.
If your Global Entry membership has not yet expired
Start early. You’re allowed to start to the renewal process within one year of your membership’s expiration date.
Log into your Trusted Traveler account and click Renew, then follow the instructions, answer the questions (eg., countries you’ve traveled to since you first applied, any change of contact info, etc.), then pay the fee. Depending on how much information you have to update, this could take a little while, so give yourself time to complete it.
You can find more info in the Homeland Security Department’s FAQ.
(If you only need or want TSA PreCheck, TSA is partnering with IdentGO to send mobile enrollment trucks to select cities this fall that can do interviews and fingerprinting onsite; you can find locations here.)
If your membership has expired (or you’re applying for the first time)
There is a relatively new option for Global Entry called “Enrollment on Arrival,” which means that you don’t have to wait for an appointment to open up at a nearby airport. Instead, you apply for a new Global Entry membership (if your membership has already expired, you can’t apply for a renewal), and after you receive conditional approval, you can do the interview for full approval when passing through customs and immigration the next time you re-enter the U.S. after a trip abroad.
The process to get conditional approval can take 90 days or more. After Brook applied for Global Entry in January 2022, she received notification of her conditional approval while in South Africa in April and was able to complete her Enrollment on Arrival when she landed at Newark a few days later—no appointment necessary. (If you find yourself in that situation, learn from Brook’s mistake: You must go through the regular immigration line first, and then go to the Global Entry counter for your interview.)
If you’ve had Global Entry in the past, Customs and Border Control already has your photo and fingerprints on file, so you may also be eligible for a virtual interview—and those are easier to schedule than the in-person interviews.
Here is the page where you can apply for a new Global Entry membership.