Slide through customs with Global Entry

If your job involves arranging travel for someone who frequently does business overseas, you’ll want to consider encouraging your boss to enroll in the Global Entry program, which makes it easier for travelers returning to the United States to get through customs and be on their way.

U.S. citizens in the Global Entry program receive biometric identification cards they can use at automated kiosks for customs and immigration clearance—instead of standing in the standard long lines—when they return to the country by air. The automated kiosks are open at more than 30 major U.S. airports as well as at airports in Canada and Ireland that have U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance lanes.

To apply for Global Entry, travelers need to visit, answer a series of questions about their background and travel habits, and pay a $100 application fee.

If the application and an initial background check are found to be satisfactory, the next step is to schedule an appointment for fingerprinting and a personal interview at a U.S. Customs center.

Word is spreading about the convenience that comes with acceptance into the Global Entry program, and its popularity is growing.

“We’re seeing applications in record-breaking numbers,” said John Wagner, U.S. Customs’ acting deputy assistant commissioner for field operations. “We were doing about 15,000 applications a month for Global Entry, but the last couple of months we’ve done 50,000.”

— Adapted from “Travelers Welcome a Customs Shortcut,” Joe Sharkey, The New York Times.