After our most recent travel to Scotland, I have gotten into travel hacking and got a premier travel credit card which comes with some pretty cool perks, one of which includes free global entry for one person! We had talked about doing this for a couple of years, but always put it on the back burner, but now seemed to be the time! Global Entry is pretty cool because it helps you go through immigration in the US so much faster, but also includes TSA pre check for domestic travel, so a win win in my book!
The beginning of June, I did all six of our applications and payments online. Yes, all six, and boy was it a lot of work!! In less than a week, we received conditional approval and could sign up for our interview. There are at least a dozen options for global entry interviews in Houston, however, there was no availability ever in Houston when I initially looked. It was not great timing, but we picked a day to go to Austin for our interview, since that was the nearest place with availability.
I received an email the beginning of July about open interviews all over the US. I just happened to log in and check, and found interviews had opened up at Houston Intercontinental Airport that did not require international travel! I was so relieved.
Our interviews were set up between 915-945 since we are a family of six. With Houston traffic the way it is and airport parking, we left at 730am to be sure we would not be late! We were definitely not late as the drive and parking went well, and we arrived and were walking into the airport by 830am.
The interview process was quick and easy. We were called back at 845am, and were walking out of the airport by 9am! That was for all six of our interviews!
So the interview process… Aibhlinn just had to have her picture taken for her global entry card, and was automatically approved. Super easy!
The boys did their photos and had their finger prints taken for a back ground check. Us adults had the same process, plus a review of all international travel in the last five years. We were told it could take a few days to receive approval, but we received our approval emails before we ever made it home!
So now we wait for our cards, but are Global Entry approved for the next five years, which is so lovely! If you are considering this process, I highly recommend it, and it is not nearly as stressful or complicated as I had originally thought it would be.