Global Entry Travelers Now Have a 24-Month Renewal Grace Period

U.S. Customs and Border Protection extended the Global Entry renewal period because of delays due to COVID-19.
Meghan Coyle
By Meghan Coyle 
Edited by Mary M. Flory

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection is giving international travelers more time to use their current Global Entry membership while they wait for a renewal. Global Entry is a program that allows preapproved travelers to use automatic kiosks at select airports to speed through customs when they arrive in the U.S. It also includes TSA PreCheck benefits when flying domestically.

Previously, there was an automatic six-month extension if Global Entry members had applied for renewal but hadn't yet been approved by their expiration date. That grace period has been extended to 24 months because of the volume of applications. The extension of Global Entry benefits may give people more peace of mind that they can still travel without the hassle of waiting in long lines getting back into the U.S.

Here’s what you should know about Global Entry right now.

How to qualify for the 24-month grace period

First, you must already be a current Global Entry member. You’ll become eligible to renew one year prior to your membership expiration date. (Membership lasts five years after you're approved.)

To take advantage of the extended grace period, you must submit a renewal application before your current membership expires. Travelers arriving in the U.S. during this grace period don't need to show any special documents to use Global Entry lanes.

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Will you have to interview again if you're renewing your Global Entry membership?

You might not have to interview again if you already have a Global Entry membership. Some renewing applicants might need another interview if there are any major changes to your account, like a name change.

Certain Global Entry Enrollment Centers don’t have any available appointments until next year, so renewing applicants might have to wait months before completing the in-person interview step of the process.

Is there a grace period for new applicants to schedule their interviews?

Global Entry interviews are hard to snag these days at certain airports. If you've applied for Global Entry as a new member, you won't have access to the benefits until you complete your enrollment interview. However, there is a grace period for completing the interview after you've submitted your application.

New applicants now have more than a year (485 days) from the date of their application to complete the enrollment process, including the interview.

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New and renewing applicants who have to complete an interview may also be able to use Enrollment on Arrival. Conditionally approved Global Entry applicants can do their in-person interview when returning to the U.S. on an international flight at any of the 60 airports that participate in the program.

Some credit cards cover the Global Entry application fee

If it’s about time to renew, check your wallet. Several popular travel credit cards reimburse the application fee for Global Entry, if you pay the fee with the card. Among those cards:

Cards with airport security benefits
Chase United Airlines Mileage Plus Credit Card
United℠ Explorer Card
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on Chase's website

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card
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on Bank of America's website

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
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on Chase's website

Annual fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95.




Statement credit of up to $100 as reimbursement when you charge the application fee for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or NEXUS to the card. Available once every 4 years.

Statement credit of up to $100 as reimbursement when you charge the application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry to the card. Available once every 4 years.

Statement credit of up to $100 as reimbursement when you charge the application fee for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or NEXUS to the card. Available once every 4 years.

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If your credit card offers reimbursement for the application fee for programs like TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, you must pay the fee with the card. You cannot submit a claim for reimbursement if you paid with some other method. Reimbursement will usually appear as a statement credit in your account within two months.

Cards typically offer reimbursement of only one fee once every four to five years. Check the terms and conditions of your card for the specific rules that apply. Note also that these cards only reimburse the application fee for a trusted traveler program. They don't automatically enroll you in the program or guarantee that you'll be accepted by the program. You still have to apply and go through the required screening, which in the case of TSA PreCheck and Global Entry includes an in-person appointment.

You shouldn't wait to renew

The bottom line is there’s a huge backlog to get or renew membership for Global Entry. You might have to wait months to get an appointment for an interview. As long as you reapply before your membership expires, you can continue to use the benefits for another 24 months while your renewal application is processed.

Traveling internationally requires a lot more preparation than it did before the pandemic. You should not only renew your Global Entry, but also renew your passport at least six months in advance (the U.S. Department of State is backed up, too). After all, you should be excited to travel again, not anxious that government delays will stop you from getting the documents you need for your next trip.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, you can start the renewal process and pay the application processing fee online. A subsequent interview may be required, so check your application status for updates.

Renewing Global Entry can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Currently, CBP is offering a 24-month grace period to those who start the renewal process before their existing status expires. This should be plenty of time to keep your benefits active while your renewal is pending.

According to CBP, you may be required to complete another interview when you renew your Global Entry. To find out, keep a close eye on your online application status once you’ve started the renewal process.

The renewal fee for Global Entry is $100 (the same cost as your original application). Many travel credit cards offer reimbursement for the Global Entry application fee if you use these cards to pay it.

The Global Entry grace period means you can continue using Global Entry benefits for up to 24 months if you apply for renewal before your existing membership expires. If you miss this deadline to begin the renewal process, you won’t get the benefit of the grace period.

The information related to Citi Prestige® Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

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