Have you ever considered applying for the Global Entry Program? Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.
This program is one step above the TSA Pre-Check program in that it not only allows you to skip through the long lines but also helps with customs when returning to the US – it does not work on customs for entering other countries.
I had thought about this for a long time but thought the application process would be cumbersome so I never followed through with it. However, when an opportunity presented itself for me to waive the $100 application process fee for a 5 year pass, I decided I might as well give it try.
Low and behold, the process was surprisingly simple. You start with a short online application by answering some personal questions, and assuming you don’t have any legal issues on record, you are immediately pre-approved.
You then need to schedule a time for an in-person interview at the closest Global Entry office – usually located at most international airports. I was a little concerned at what questions would be asked or what the process might be, but it is really just a formality of checking your ID (you bring your passport and driver’s license) and they scan your fingerprints. After that, you receive your card in the mail in 7-10 days!
I can tell you this, I have certainly gone through more inconvenience going through the TSA check on my travels then it was to apply for this program so I think I will be enjoying this benefit! If you travel frequently, I highly suggest looking into the Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check program.