Global Entry can be a huge time saver for international travelers. Instead of having to wait in sometimes extremely long lines, you generally get to zip through immigration once you arrive back in the U.S. after a trip abroad. Global Entry members usually have their own lines and can reenter the U.S. simply with a photo of their face — no passport scan needed.
Once you’ve experienced the speed of Global Entry, the idea of going back to the standard immigration line can be hard to stomach. If your Global Entry renewal is coming up, here’s what you need to know about the process.
How to check your Global Entry expiration date
The first step in your Global Entry renewal is figuring out your current Global Entry expiration date. That’s because you can complete Global Entry renewal only within one year of your current expiration date.
To check your Global Entry expiration date, log into your Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler Programs account. Then, go to your account dashboard and scroll down to the “Program memberships” section. There, you’ll find your Global Entry expiration date.
If you’re eligible to renew your Global Entry membership, you’ll see a large blue box indicating that “your membership will expire in less than a year.” Below your current expiration date, you’ll have a link to start the Global Entry renewal:
If you aren’t eligible yet, the dashboard will show the earliest date when you can renew your Global Entry and it will only provide options to engage with your current membership.
What you’ll need for your Global Entry renewal
Before starting your Global Entry renewal process, we recommend gathering the correct documents and information. Being prepared can prevent your application from timing out.
Documents to have on hand for Global Entry renewal
Any other passport if you have citizenship in another country.
Information to have on hand for Global Entry renewal
Countries that you’ve visited in the past five years (other than Mexico and Canada).
Addresses and dates of moves in the past five years.
Employment dates, employer address and phone number for all jobs in the past five years.
Your vehicle information — if you plan to drive across the border from Mexico.
How to complete your Global Entry renewal
Start your Global Entry renewal by logging into your Trusted Traveler Programs account dashboard and select the “Renew membership” button under the “Program memberships” section.
After confirming your eligibility, you’ll need to select which program you’d like to renew. U.S. citizens generally have three options:
Global Entry: For air travel into the U.S.
Nexus: For travel between the U.S. and Canada.
Sentri: For land travel between the U.S. and Mexico.
All three options include a TSA PreCheck membership, so the right choice depends on where you’re traveling (and how).
If you select Global Entry, you’ll be asked whether you plan to fly internationally into the U.S. in the next six months. A pop-up box clarifies that DHS encourages travelers to complete Enrollment on Arrival if they plan to fly internationally into the U.S. in the next six months.
Eligible business or government travelers also have the option to add an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) business travel card to their application for an additional $70 application fee.
The next step is to acknowledge that you’ll be subject to a background check and need to complete an interview — either on arrival into the U.S. or by scheduling an appointment at an enrollment center.
Since you’re renewing your Global Entry membership instead of applying for the first time, DHS will pre-populate the information it currently has on file. You’ll need to provide your current:
Gender identity, height and name history.
Driver’s license information.
Physical and mailing address.
Travel history for the previous five years.
Lastly, you’ll be asked if you’ve been convicted of a criminal offense, received a waiver of inadmissibility to the U.S. or violated customs laws or immigration laws.
Don’t worry if your application times out during this lengthy process. You should be able to pick up where you left off by logging back in and scrolling to the “Applications in process” section of your account dashboard.
Finally, you’ll get a chance to review and certify that the information you entered is correct. After that, you’ll need to pay the Global Entry renewal fee to submit your application. If you don’t have a payment card on hand, you have a month to return and complete your payment before your application is deleted.
Will you need to do an interview for Global Entry renewal?
You may not need to complete an in-person interview if you are renewing your Global Entry membership. Keep an eye on your account once you submit your application and fee. There will be an update posted there if another interview is required.
Global Entry 24-month grace period
As long as you submit your Global Entry renewal application before your membership expires, you can continue to use your Global Entry benefits for another 24 months. This grace period means you won’t lose access while your renewal is processed.
How to get Global Entry fees reimbursed
Many travel rewards cards will reimburse either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees. All you need to do is charge the application fee to an eligible card, and you’ll generally receive a statement credit. If Nexus is a better fit for your travel style, note that a smaller subset of cards reimburses Nexus application fees.
Global Entry and TSA PreCheck memberships last five years, but renewals can be completed and paid for up to a year before expiration. So, many card issuers will reimburse application fees every four years. If you have only one eligible card, check the terms carefully to make sure you don’t apply before you’re eligible for reimbursement.
Credit cards that reimburse Global Entry fees
If you need to do a Global Entry renewal
Global Entry renewals can be completed up to one year before expiration, and it’s generally a good idea to submit your renewal well before your current expiration date. That way you’ll have plenty of time to find an interview appointment once your application is tentatively approved. Or, even better, submit your application in time to complete your interview on arrival from your next international trip.
Before you apply, gather the necessary information and documents to avoid the application timing out. Then, when it comes time to pay, select your payment card carefully. You may be able to submit your Global Entry renewal for nothing out of pocket by taking advantage of a credit card perk.
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 2023, including those best for: