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No Global Entry appointments available? This is heard all too often. It can be tough to schedule a Global Entry appointment at a facility that is convenient for you, and in some instances, it can require waiting months. Some travelers try to schedule an appointment at an airport enrollment center with a flight they are taking, but even finding one that fits your schedule can be challenging.
The Enrollment on Arrival program, then, can be convenient for those who want to complete some of the formalities at the airport after an international trip. It's not as convenient as it sounds though — you must have already enrolled online and received conditional approval to be eligible for the Global Entry interview walk-in option. Of course, you'll also need to be arriving from a flight abroad, but at least you can complete the interview without an appointment.
It is possible to handle the Global Entry walk-in interview on arrival if you plan. Here's what you need to know to be well-prepared for it.
What is Global Entry?
Created by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, this program assesses low-risk travelers and provides them with expedited access through immigration at airports and other border patrols. It is a great way to avoid waiting in long lines when entering the United States. There is a $100 enrollment fee, but there are ways to have that reimbursed (which we will get into later).
To apply, one must complete an online form and attend an in-person interview. It can take around three months for some records to be reviewed, as a thorough background check is conducted. Once approved, Global Entry is valid for five years and includes TSA PreCheck, which is helpful even when traveling domestically. The latter means you won't have to remove shoes or laptops when passing through domestic security screening points.
» Learn more: TSA PreCheck or Global Entry — which is right for you?
Who can get a Global Entry walk-in appointment?
You must complete a few steps in advance to be eligible for a Global Entry walk-in appointment. For starters, you must have completed the application online and have received conditional approval. Without this vital step, you won't be accepted for a Global Entry walk-in appointment.
The online form is lengthy, and it may not even be worth it for occasional international travelers who could benefit just as well from a program like Mobile Passport. But, if you regularly travel overseas, spending the time and money to apply for Global Entry can be worth it.
» Learn more: SENTRI versus Global Entry — which is better?
Where to find walk-in appointments for Global Entry
You cannot walk in for a Global Entry on arrival appointment unless you are just arriving from an international trip. Since it is a walk-in visit, an interview is not guaranteed if there is a long line, but it's worth a shot to try and get an earlier Global Entry appointment.
Here's a complete list of domestic airports that offer Global Entry walk-in appointments.
You can also complete your application at certain international airports in Aruba, Bermuda, Canada, Ireland, the Bahamas and the United Arab Emirates.
What you need to bring
Whether you schedule an appointment in advance or walk in for an interview after an international trip, the interview must be completed within 365 days of the online application.
There are three important things you need:
A valid passport.
Proof of residency, such as a U.S. driver's license, utility bill or mortgage statement. (Also, carry your permanent resident card if applicable.)
Proof of conditional approval after completing the online Global Entry application.
How to get an even earlier Global Entry appointment
If you don't plan to travel internationally soon, keep checking on the Global Entry website, as new appointment openings can pop up anytime. Also, people may cancel their appointment, and their old time slot might be convenient for your schedule.
How to get your Global Entry fee refunded
Having the right travel card in your wallet can deliver plentiful perks from airport lounge access and free checked bags to travel credits and rebates. In addition, several cards refund the fee for expedited security programs such as TSA PreCheck and Global Entry. You can use it for yourself, or you can use your card to pay for someone else. Depending on the card, the credit is valid once every 4-5 years, so you can't use it yearly. Since Global Entry is good for five years if approved, it shouldn't be much of an issue.
Among the many cards with fee credits are the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card. Terms apply.
Especially notable is the United℠ Explorer Card with an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95 each subsequent year. This means you could apply for the card and take advantage of the fee waiver without paying anything.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
Global Entry walk-in appointments are possible
If you play your cards right and come prepared after arriving from an international trip, it is possible to complete a walk-in interview for Global Entry enrollment. It can save you time from hunting down an appointment slot and have you on your way to expedited immigration and TSA PreCheck benefits in no time.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card