US Global Entry appointments available in London for a limited period

(EDIT:  looking at the comments below, it appears that all of the available interview slots have now been booked.  We will let you know if/when the US Embassy re-opens the list.)

Queuing at American airports can be a pain. Most of the time – unless I am just unlucky – it is incredibly chaotic, overcrowded and time consuming.

In order to make travelling from the UK to the US easier, since December 2015 British citizens have been able to register for Global Entry, making it possible for them to use the ‘fast-track’ entry kiosks at major airports.  Over 8,800 British citizens have already signed up.

The application process starts by requiring you to pass a background check by the British Government which costs £45 and can be done on this website. (You may want to check whether the airports you plan to use are part of the scheme before committing time and money to this process.)

If approved, a fee of $100 must be paid to the US CBP in order to apply to use Global Entry for a 5 year period. However, in order to complete the process, UK citizens had to travel to the US for a personal interview – until now.

For 60 days only, UK citizens who plan to enrol for Global Entry are able to schedule appointments in London at the US Embassy.

JFK airport new york

On September 26th US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) opened a Global Entry enrolment centre at the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London, just south of Oxford Street.  This makes the enrolment process far easier as you no longer need to line up an interview in the US at the same time as you are over there for a trip.

On arrival in the States, passengers registered with Global Entry are able to use special kiosks.  You must present a machine-readable passport or US permanent residency card, do fingerprint verification and fill out a custom declaration.  You will be issued a transaction receipt and directed to the baggage claim and exit.  You are also able to use TSA Pre✓ where available.  Global Entry does NOT mean that you no longer need an ESTA, however.

The enrolment centre at the US Embassy in London is open Monday – Wednesday 8am-4:30pm by appointment only.  More details can be found here.

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  1. A free alternative (until it becomes more popular) is using Mobile Passport, install the app on your phone. A good way to bypass long lines also, especially at MIA.

  2. Bryan Anglim says:

    I think I am missing something?
    I had an ESTA, nothing else.
    Travelled to Houston and ALL ESTA travellers were directed to an electronic booth for passport scanning etc. I was issued a receipt and sent straight through to collect my bags.
    No joining the queue, which was massive! This was back in May.

    • Same for us at MCO…

      • Lady London says:

        Same in YYZ

        • Same in MIA a fortnight ago….except both my husband & I failed and were directed to see a “human” (who was more interested in watching his soap streaming on his mobile than communicating coherently & clearly….) as were a large chunk of other arrivals from our flight.

    • When I went through JFK in March this year the person controlling the queue said the machines for passport scanning which issue the receipt were for “returning ESTA”, which I take it to mean is that your using a passport where ESTA has been used at least once before. But this would mean the first time you use ESTA with that passport, you cannot use the machines.
      The website explains differently – you must have visited the USA at least once since 2008 to use the machines

      • the_real_a says:

        They first need to scan your fingerprints… Subsequent entries you can use the booths.

      • Alan young says:

        Same at IAD last month, I had a new visa & the lady wife a retuning ESTA. But watch for limited signage tell you that you can skip the long queues (lines).
        Also note that a visa is now required if you have visited any countries on their watch list in the last 4 years

        • Graham Rice says:

          Alan states that there is a ‘Watch List’ of countries which could cause problems if you have previously visited them. Any idea where this list can be found? A web link would be useful.

          I have searched US Customs & Border Protection site but could not find anything.

    • You are indeed missing something! These electronic stations are different to the global entry kiosks (although they essentially do the same thing and have reduced the value of GE). GE kiosks altypically have no line at all, whereas the self serve kiosks can still have significant queues at times.

      • In addition – GE also gives you a separate Customs lane (which can save a significant amount of time) along with TSA Pre.

        These automated kiosks have certainly reduced the value of GE, however for 5 years (or almost 6 years if you time application for just after your birthday!) it’s fairly handy. Pre-clearance stations such as Dublin also have GE kiosks, although again the value isn’t as great as you still have to be through in plenty of time.

  3. I must be very lucky, aside from a 90 minute wait at LAX 2 years ago. I have been able to get myself and family through in no more than 15 minutes at JFK, DFW and SEA.
    Inside my experience of US entry as a foreigner has been a great deal more positive than returning and dealing with the queues and chaos of the UK Border force and their useless machines

    • Yes you are VERY lucky although I have had better experiences this year at JFK -particularly at terminal 4. Try MCO however….

    • Arriving at BOS is a killer every time.

      • Boston last summer was a total breeze. Straight through the automatic gate and even a border droid with a sense of humour. The worst thing about the whole experience was realising how much like my mother I look – including being 30 years older – without my glasses.

  4. Last month II had a similar experience at LAX. I had to wait 90mins+, the officials started to call for passengers which came on our flight by the end – I guess they got fed up of all the bags in reclaim.

    We were allegedly unable to use the self serve kiosks as we had new passports. It seems that each time you renew your passport you have to line up again (renewals included). Some of our family used the kiosks unknowingly (with new passports and names changes thereon) and managed to get through.

  5. One more reason not to visit the paranoia stricken USA ….

    • We can assume you live outside the UK. A Brit at the current time couldn’t say such a thing without a serious lack of self awareness.

  6. Attended my interview last week, I was informed that all the interview slots in the U.K. have now been booked so this now could be a waste of money unless you can travel to the US on specific dates.

    • I got the GOES email yesterday saying I’d been approved and that I could book my slot. I selected the US embassy in London and there is indeed a bold notice saying that all slots now taken. So quite, I feel a waste of money in some respects as I have no immediate US plans.

  7. I joined GE a couple of years ago when they opened up a very short trial for U.K. citizens. As I travel to the US three times a year it wasn’t too much hassle to arrange the interview to take place on my next visit.

    It’s the best $100 I have ever spent. There is never a queue for the machines, so you’re at the baggage carousel in no time. Most airports seem to also offer a dedicated GE like for the customs check as you leave the airport, so much shorter waits there too.

    When you have GE you also become eligible for Pre Check, which is (supposed to be) and expedited security screening process. In reality, so many travellers have Pre Check now the lines are often just as long but they move faster because (a) you don’t have to remove coats, shoes, laptop, liquids, etc and (b) the travellers in this line are more experienced at airport sucuriry so don’t faff around.

    • Like James, I did the same thing and agree fully how much easier if made immigration in the US. I paid using my Amex Platinum at the time and called Customer Services to ask if they would cover the application fee. I asked because the US-issued Platinum card provided GE for free via a statement credit of $100. I argued that because GE had just opened up to UK citizens, it was a perk they should match. They agreed to cover $50 instead of the full amount which was still a bonus.

      Suggest calling Amex Platinum to ask if they will cover the fee (and update their benefits page as UK citizens have GE available to them, not just on trial as per my previous application).

    • Totally agree. I’ve had GE a few years now and love it, plus the TSA Pre is great too. It takes me longer to get back into the UK than it does into the US!!

  8. As a regular US traveller this is the best thing that has happened to entry into the States. Miami, traditionally one of the worst for lines, 2 weeks ago was less than 5 minutes in Global Entry. Looking at the lines that day my guess is that one trip alone my time saving was in excess of 1.5 hours. Naturally as it becomes more popular the time will get shorter but at the moment and with recent trips to Miami, Chicago, Orlando and Philly, GE has paid for itself already.

    Agree with James that you also get pre clearance as well which means you just scan your bags intact without having to remove anything. To my mind this is not only a time saving but I always get concerned that the potential for dropping my computer or something to be missing from my tray of belongings is always there and not having to unpack my pack is another benefit.

  9. Terence Bartlett says:

    We tried this system at Mia in May 2016. We followed all the instructions correctly and the machine did not work and we were directed to join the various long queues and wasted valuable time going through the additional entry process.It would have been faster to have just joined the queue.

  10. I also have approval for myself & my wife from GE – but getting the “Currently there are no available appointments at this enrollment center. Please check later for openings or choose another enrollment center.”. So that’s $100 plus £21 times two that I’m out of pocket (we have to book appointment slots within 30 days), Is this something that Trading Standards (is there a Berkeley Square department) can look at?

    • You have to book the appointment within 30 days but can schedule it much further ahead and change it as many times as you want until you get a suitable slot so schedule one to coincide with your next trip to the US

    • Once you’ve make a booking within the deadline you can keep moving it as much as you want.

    • What is the £21 for? I just applied for the UK Home Office approval, which is £42 per person (just applied for a family of 4).

      Then, I went and applied for the 4 GOES accounts, so I can just plug the number in when I get it from UKHO.

      Wish I’d read the comments earlier though, because having now spent £168, I find I won’t be able to get an appointment! D’oh!! Fingers crossed, they open up again within the 10 days UKHO will need to send me my code… Was rather hoping to wrap it all up during the kids half-term, but I guess it will take longer than that…

  11. Just got conditionally approved (UK citizen). I was lucky – managed to bag a slot at the london embassy. There was only 1 slot available. Interestingly it’s on a Thursday – I thought (as per the article) they only run Monday-Wednesday. Perhaps they’re opening up more slots? Any case, if you’ve been conditionally approved, worth checking back frequently as cancellations are bound to happen.

    • If you don’t mind me asking – how long did it take, from the time you applied on the GOES website, to being approved and able to book in the interview?

      I was surprised to get my UKHO approvals on the same day! But not sure how long the GOES review process takes.


      • Took a day for UKHO, around 10 days for GOES conditional approval then I was lucky to be able to schedule an interview for London right away as there was one slot left!

        Not the best timing so I keep checking back to see if another interview slot opens up – so far haven’t seen any availability.

  12. UPDATE: there are a lot more slots available now for London. All slots available for this Thursday and one for Friday. It appears they have opened up Thursday & Fridays.

    • My interview was last Friday so it must have always been possible but great that the additional slots have been added.

      • Was there a long wait before your interview? Do I need to arrive a bit before? Seen the horrendous queues for visas etc outside the embassy before! Thanks

  13. Alastair France says:

    Unfortunately there are now no slots available in London again – and you can’t book an interview until everything has gone through and you have paid your $100 and £42. Mine came through yesterday, and completely unable to book – and you have to book within 30 days… (not attend – just book).

    It almost feels like a money-making scam!

    • Although cancellations frequently come up and you can book appointments in the USA too. You’re not limited to bookings in London, I had mine in San Juan, Puerto Rico a few years ago!

  14. Peter Bambridge says:

    I also hit the no slots available in London message.
    UKHO was back in 14 hrs.
    GOES was back in four days.
    Just waiting for a cancellation in London.
    My trip to Chicago in a few weeks means O’Hare would be an option but they have no availability until end November !
    Can you book a slot and later change location ? (while waiting for cancellation in UK)

  15. I think I’ve been extremely lucky.

    1. ~8 working hours for UK Border Force to pre-check me (I have existing UK Government clearances)

    2. Just 3 working days for US CBP to review the application.

    3. When I got the email saying the status of the application had changed I immediately logged into GOES and found a 10am interview slot at the US Embassy in London the next working day! (that’s logging into GOES about 5pm on Fri 14/10/16 to pick a 10am Mon 17/10/16 slot)

    I did check the rest of Oct; Nov and Dec and there wasn’t a single slot! (Which I think is past the available slots in London anyway?)

  16. Peter Bambridge says:

    Great News !

    I got a cancellation at two days notice, and yesterday attended my interview at the American Embassy. Delighted to say I received the email confirmation a few minutes after my interview. All sorted :)

    I only applied for Global Entry because I read the recent article on how the appointments were opening up in London. So thanks again for timely and relevant information.

    I will think of you as I don’t queue in Chicago next month.

    • Peter Bambridge says:

      For those looking for a London appointment – keep checking back on the website !
      I caught a cancellation on the 30th time !

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