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.
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.