My Experience Renewing Global Entry

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I love Global Entry. For those of you not familiar with Global Entry, it’s a trusted traveler program which offers expedited immigration in the United States to pre-screened passengers.

Global-Entry

In order to be eligible you have to join Global Entry, pay a fee, get interviewed, etc., but it’s well worth it. I can’t even begin to imagine how many dozens of hours I’ve saved by having Global Entry. I used to be stressed when I landed back in the US off a longhaul flight, wondering whether immigration would take five minutes or 90 minutes, but nowadays it’s not something I even think about.

I go up to a kiosk, insert my passport, get fingerprinted, answer a few questions, and I’m on my way. Easy peasy.

Those that are part of Global Entry also receive TSA Pre-Check, which provides for expedited security in the US thanks to dedicated lanes where you don’t have to take off your shoes, or take your laptop or liquids out of your bags.

Applying for Global Entry is a much better deal than outright applying for TSA Pre-Check. Applying for Global Entry costs $100, and it gets you access to TSA Pre-Check as well. Meanwhile if you spend the $85 to apply for TSA Pre-Check, you don’t get Global Entry.

Some credit cards get you free Global Entry

As I’ve explained before, there are some credit cards that offer $100 Global Entry fee credits as a benefit. Some of those cards include the following:

The process is super easy, as you just use the eligible card to pay for the Global Entry fee, and then you’ll automatically be reimbursed.

For example, last year I used the fee credit on my Citi Prestige® Card to get Ford Global Entry (which was reimbursed within a couple of weeks).

Citi-Prestige-Global-Entry-Credit

Meanwhile I just used the fee credit on The Platinum Card® from American Express for my Global Entry renewal (with was reimbursed within three days).

Amex-Global-Entry-Fee-Credit

How long is Global Entry valid for?

Global Entry is valid for roughly five years after you apply. The reason I say “roughly” is because it’s valid for five years from your next birthday. In other words, if your birthday is December 1, and you apply January 1, 2010, your membership would be valid through December 1, 2015. If you strategically apply for Global Entry, you can get it for almost six years with one membership.

When can you renew your Global Entry?

You can apply to have your Global Entry renewed up to a year before the expiration date. There’s no penalty for renewing early, in the sense that it will still be valid for five years from when your membership currently expires, and not five years from when you’re approved. So you might as well renew early.

For what it’s worth, you won’t want to let your membership lapse, since apparently the process is more complicated for a lapsed membership. So be sure to apply for renewal well before your Global Entry is set to expire.

My experience renewing Global Entry

To renew your Global Entry membership, log into the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES), and enter your account information.

In my case, I noticed that I had applied on July 22, 2011, and that my membership was valid through April 20, 2017 (my birthday is April 20, and the membership is valid through your birthday in the fifth year). To start the process of renewing my membership, I clicked “Renew Membership.”

Global-Entry

From there I had to go through the same 15 step process I went through when I first applied for Global Entry. The good news is that most of the information is already pre-populated, so you just have to confirm nothing has changed. Perhaps the one time consuming part of the application is the “Travel History” section, where you have to enter the countries you’ve been to in the past five years. For some of us, that can be a rather long list.

Global-Entry-1

The whole process of checking everything and adding all the countries took maybe 15 minutes, and then I was brought to the payment page, where I had to pay the $100 renewal fee. I used The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Global-Entry-2

I was then brought back to the account overview page, where I saw that my application was “Pending Review.”

Global-Entry-3

From there I just had to wait. I submitted my application on May 24, 2016, and this morning I finally received an email indicating that I had an “Account Status Change.”

Global-Entry-5

So I logged into my account, and noticed that my Global Entry renewal was approved. Apparently your account can be renewed, denied, or in some cases, you have to come in for an interview. So it’s awesome that I don’t have to come in for another interview.

Global-Entry-4

In my case it took almost three weeks from the time I applied until the time I was approved.

What happens when your passport expires?

My passport expires in 2019, while my Global Entry is valid through 2022. Nowadays you don’t need a Global Entry sticker for your passport, so it’s my understanding that the only thing that needs to be done is that you need to log back into your GOES account and enter your new passport information, and your Global Entry (and TSA Pre-Check) will work seamlessly.

Bottom line

The process of renewing Global Entry is easy. I just had to confirm all the information I entered into my application five years ago, add in the countries I’ve visited since then, and pay the fee. From there it was about a three week wait for my application to be approved. Best of all, I don’t even to go in for another interview.

If your Global Entry expiration is coming up within a year, you might as well get started with your renewal.

What has been your experience with getting Global Entry renewed?

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Comments

  1. Both my wife and I had to come in for an interview unfortunately When we applied for renewal.

  2. Nexus is a better program given that it’s cheaper unless you get reimbursed otherwise… Plus free applications for minors

  3. @ Andy — Agreed, assuming you live near an enrollment center. But for most people it’s much more practical to schedule a Global Entry appointment than to visit a NEXUS center.

  4. It’s my understanding that you’ll have to go in for an “update” when your passport expires. I recently got GE for the first time and that’s what CBP had explained to me. Besides, there were 2 other people there to update their passport information waiting with me.

  5. I just reapplied last month and initially was asked to schedule an interview (first appt. was 4 months out at my local airport). About two weeks later, I got an email that my status had changed and it showed I was approved. When my card came in the mail (another 2 weeks later), the letter accompanying it said they took the liberty of canceling my appt for me. Sweet.

  6. I can confirm that NOT updating the passport information has no effect. I got a new passport over a year ago and have used Global Entry plenty of times with no adverse consequences. I still updated the information now though.

  7. No, when you get a new passport/ when it expires, all you have to do is go into the GOES web site and update your passport number. I just got a new passport and that’s what I did. Have had no trouble using global entry since. It’s very easy and intuitive

  8. Can anyone advise if Nexus renews without an interview? Sure is nice to have when transiting YYZ or YVR.

  9. Charlie,
    NEXUS works off an RFID card when crossing a land border and a retina scan for air travel. You also have to be interviewed by both American and Canadian border patrol. So I don’t think you automatically get NEXUS with Global Entry. However, you can use Global Entry to return to the US from Canada.

  10. Charlie good luck using global entry to enter Canada.

    Only works the other way around (because nexus does two sets of background checks, global entry only does one)

  11. I’ve had the same experience as JC. I renewed my passport and it didn’t occur to me to update the info in my GOES account. I’ve had not trouble using Global Entry or TSA

  12. You don’t need to go in when you renew your passport, you just update it in your account. I admin for several people who travel a lot and have done this for 5 or 6 of their passports.

    If you have a second passport (for those who travel a lot and need a second passport for visas) you have to go in to get that one added, you can’t add it manually online.

  13. Thanks for this! My first renewal will come in a year and a half, so this was useful to remind me to get ready. Seems pretty straightforward thankfully!

  14. I renewed my passport recently and only had to log into GOES to update the passport number. I have had zero issues since updating my passport using Global Entry.

  15. My GOES account has very few fields open for me to change, and I could not enter my new passport number. I had to go to a CBP office to have my GOES account updated with the new passport number.

  16. Just as a data point, my passport expired recently and I had no issues updating GOES with my new information. Have used Global Entry and PreCheck several times since without incident.

  17. When I was interviewed last year the agent told me that I would need to re-apply when my passport expired in 2017. Seemed like a big hassle and expense for just a year and three months of GE. Hopefully, I can update my new passport number on the website in January. Wonder why he didn’t mention that? Hope you are right about passport renewal.

  18. FYI, my wife had GE when she was a Permanent Resident. Once she became a U.S Citizen and got a U.S. Passport, she had to go in to an office and have it added. That scenario cannot be done online. We did this at the office just south of the Blaine, WA border.

  19. I renewed my NEXUS card last year and didn’t have to go in for an interview. However, with NEXUS, you *do* have to update your passport in person.

  20. Lucky

    I renewed my GOES membership in late April and I was approved within 6 days. Maybe the time needed to hear back scales as the number of countries one visits:-).
    BTW did you receive a physical card when you first applied back in 2011; I did not and it was sometime after that they started sending out cards. I did receive a new card several days after being my renewal was approved. Very quick process.

  21. I’m a dual national and was told that when my 2nd passport was to be renewed, I simply had to come into the GE office at the local airport – not even make an appointment – and wait for a free person to “quickly enter the information and verify picture”. I went to the airport and it took all of 5 minutes plus about 5-8 minutes of waiting time. No sweat.

  22. Just applied for Global entry for the first time. Any idea how long I will have to wait for my interview in Boston?

  23. I renewed Nexus and was required to go up to the border for an interview. I live in NH so it’s a 90 minute drive to the St Albans, VT border station – but the next available interview was not for 4 months so good thing I renewed early.

  24. Reportedly a six month initial interview wait at SFO. Will have to do this summer’s re-entry the slow way. Went ahead and got TSA Pre-check for this year’s travel, will swallow the extra $85 for Global Entry.

  25. I don’t have the “renew” button for my Global Entry – the way you show in your graphic.

    My Global Entry will be be one year from expiring on 2016/07/07 – I will check back after that date and see if I get the “renew membership” button too.

    Thanks for all your great work.. I read your postings religiously. =)

  26. Something totally unrelated to global entry, for some reason I can’t stop laughing at the fact that you were born on 420 😛 Is that how you got your nickname Lucky?

  27. Didn’t see It mentioned in the post (sorry if I missed it), but when I renewed I called in to Amex to enquire when the Platinum reimbursement would reset. They said you can use it every 4 years, meaning that there is no reimbursement-related reason not to renew early.

  28. Lucky – My gf lost her GE card. Any idea if the $25 replacement fee would be covered by a credit card that gives you the $100 GE credit?

  29. When you re-new your GE- does the expiration date extend for 5 years from the current expiration or do you “loose time”? i.e. If my GE expires in December 2016 and I renew in June 2016- is the new expiration December 2021 or June 2021

  30. Justin,
    I renewed my NEXUS card a little under six months prior to expiration and received credit. I believe your new expiration is typically five years from your next birthday. However, it could be from your closest birthday.

  31. RR99X – I don’t know the specific rules for your question, but here’s my anecdotal summary: I didn’t receive a GE card on my first GE issue in 2011 as they weren’t “a thing” yet. My husband applied shortly afterward, and he received a card. I’d suggest this was about August 2011.

    We have never had occasion to use the GE card. Ever. Perhaps others use it for some convenience, but we use DrvLic (domestic) or passport exclusively. This has held true for us for five years. The GE status is used only in conjunction with passport and needs no card. Bottom line, I can’t think of a reason to pay the $25 replacement fee, which will not be covered by your CC. You don’t need the card. Ours is in a drawer.

    And just a recommendation to all – I did a lot of scrambling for records when I just applied for renewal. It ended up processing seamlessly and with no interview, but I will definitely tweak my recordkeeping in the future so I can easily answer the “list the countries you’ve visited” section with less digging.

    Hope this helps.

  32. I recommend applying for renewal for NEXUS early. I applied over two months ago and my status is still pending review. Hoping I can get through to someone in person for an update.

  33. My spouse has a very different name on her drivers license and on her passport, and mine is slightly different: no middle name on license. Both of us had a problem getting TSA Pre to appear on our boarding passes until we changed our name in each frequent flier program to be identical to our passports. That means we can’t use out driver’s licenses for IDs, and we don’t want to use our passports for this. So the GE card works.

  34. Just a follow-up, my NEXUS card was approved for renewal, but took about 3 months. They send out the reminder email 6 months before the expiration date so I would recommend applying for renewal as soon as you get the reminder notice. I was not required to go for another interview. I will be renewing my children soon an will find out if that process is different. I hope there’s an easy way to send in a new picture as they just use the previous photo and for children that doesn’t work very well given how quickly their appearance changes.

  35. Do I have to notify all my airlines of the renewed global entry to allow “precheck”? My GE number has remained the same; only the expiration has changed.
    Do I get a new GE card when I renew?

  36. After the approval of your renewal, did you receive a new global entry card in the mail? How long did it take to receive the new card? Thanks.

  37. Hmmm, not sure if I became a criminal recently without knowing it or if applying too late to the expiration date (my bday) has impacted me.

    I applied sometime in October and my application is still pending review.

  38. I sent my renewal in 06 Dec 2016. My card expires in March 2017. I have yet to receive a response and it has been seven weeks.

  39. Update: I submitted my renewal on 06 Dec 2016. This morning (26 Jan 2017) I received notification that it had been approved. My renewal letter stated the following, “You may use the program as soon as you receive and activate your new NEXUS card.”

  40. I just renewed mine and it’s approved, but have no place to schedule an interview… does that mean some people don’t need to come in for another interview?

  41. @Casey Congrats! Your letter likely has a sentence “You can begin using the program immediately.”

    If so, you’re good to go. My TT# didn’t change, so I didn’t need to update any FF accounts.

    My husband had a different notification which informed him how to proceed to interview.

    Hope that helps.

  42. I have NEXUS. My passport was stolen; I entered the data from the replacement passport online without difficulty.

  43. I submitted my renewal on January 15th. It’s been over two months and my applications is still “Pending Review”. I guess they’re just really busy. My Nexus expires in less than 4 weeks – April 14 – but I did see something on the website that said the card is good for 6 months after expiry if you renewed before the expiry date. Hope I don’t have to test that out.

  44. Is global entry good for 5 years from the next birthday after your application date or the interview/approval date?

  45. My renewal was approved. How long does it take to get the new card in the mail and how long do I have to authenticate it online? i may be traveling when the card arrives.

  46. My GOES card was renewed within 7 days of application in May of this year. No need for an new interview. I called a CBP Enrollment Center to see when I would get a new card and if I had to get a new photo taken. They said I would not be getting a new card. My Known Traveler Number would be associated with my passport.

  47. So about how long does it take for a RENEWAL on Global Entry to take?. If I calculated from Andy’s comments, it looks like about 3 weeks, but I can’t be sure. Does anyone have an approximate answer?

  48. I recently renewed my Global Entry. My old card expires Feb ’18. I assume I will be getting a new card before then. By the way, how are some of you renewing your Global Entry WITHOUT an interview? That was part of the process and I certainly didn’t see how you could circumvent that.

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