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Travel Tip: Global Entry Explained

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This year, the Global Entry program became finalized, so here’s what you need to know about this program and how it can benefit you.

The Global Entry program was developed by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol as a voluntary initiative that gets you easier access across the border.

You can skip the lines at Customs and Border Patrol and instead use touch-screen kiosks in the arrivals area of airports. There are now more than 30 airports that have this option.

It’s targeted toward low-risk, frequent travelers who have gone through a rigorous background check. Even minors under 18 can apply for the program.

You may already know about the NEXUS and SENTRI programs, which apply to border crossings between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico, both by land and sea. The good news is, members of those programs can also participate in Global Entry.

Bottom line: I’m a fan of anything that expedites the screening process, and it’s only $100 fee for 5-year membership. But like anything, it’s only worth as much as you use it, so calculate how frequently you plan to cross the border before making the investment.

For more information, visit the Safety & Security archives.

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