If are waiting to complete a Global Entry interview you are probably aware that operations at all Trusted Traveler Program enrollment centers were suspended back in March to minimize the exposure of CBP personnel and the public to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Here is the latest update about when Global Entry enrollment centers are expected to reopen.
When will Global Entry enrollment centers reopen?
According to the most recent release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Trusted Traveler Programs enrollment centers (which include Global Entry enrollment centers as well as NEXUS and SENTRI) will remain closed until at least September 8, 2020. According to the CBP, “Trusted Traveler Programs applicants who scheduled interviews at enrollment centers on or before September 7 must reschedule their appointments. To reschedule, applicants should log into their Trusted Traveler Programs account on or after September 8 and use the online scheduling tool.”
However, the September 8 reopening date is not set in stone as this is the fourth time that the reopening date of Global Entry enrollment centers has been postponed.
Originally operations at Trusted Traveler Program enrollment centers were temporarily suspended from March 19 until at least May 1. On April 22, the closure was extended until at least June 1 and on May 26 the closure was extended until July 6. On June 26, CBP announced they would reopen on July 6 but a few days later (on July 1) decided to postpone operations until August 10. The most recent CBP release (on July 20), announced that Trusted Traveler Programs enrollment centers will remain closed until at least September 8.
If COVID cases continue to rise, it is likely that Global Entry enrollment centers will stay closed past September 8. Based on previous history, the decision will likely not be announced by the CBP until end of August or early September. I would assume that even when Global Entry enrollment centers are reopened, it will become harder to find Global Entry interview availability as there will be a large backlog of applicants waiting to schedule a Global Entry interview.
The only way complete a Global Entry Interview right now
Until Global Entry enrollment centers reopen, the only option to complete a Global Entry interview is Global Entry Enrollment on Arrival which allows conditionally approved Global Entry applicants to complete their interview at customs upon arrival into the United States (without having to schedule it).
The problem is that this option is only available when you are coming back into the United States from abroad, but most people are not flying internationally right now. However, if you do have an international trip scheduled to be completed before September 8, Global Entry Enrollment on Arrival is the easiest and best option to complete your Global Entry interview. This page has more information about Global Entry on Arrival.
Fortunately, CBP has further extended the period of time that applicants have to complete the Global Entry enrollment process. Every applicant now has 545 days from the date that CBP conditionally approves their Trusted Traveler application to complete the enrollment process. This has been extended from 365 days pre-COVID.
How does this affect Global Entry renewals?
Those of you whose Global Entry is subject to renewal soon, might not be affected. CBP is still slowly processing applications just not interviewing people at enrollment centers. Most people are approved for Global Entry renewal without having to complete an interview (including both of us). However some people are only conditionally approved and required to complete interview for final approval.
Please note that if Global Entry will be expiring soon, make sure to apply before your Global Entry expires. The CBP will extend the program benefits of members for up to 18 months as long as you apply for renewal before the expiration date. This way you will not be left without Global Entry while your renewal application is pending.
If you don’t know when your Global Entry expires, you can find your Global Entry expiration date on your Global Entry membership card. You can also log into your Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) account at https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/. You can find our guide on how to renew Global Entry here.
Alternatives to Global Entry
Instead of Global Entry you can apply for TSA Precheck instead (which is included in Global Entry) and download the free Mobile Passport App which speeds you through U.S. Customs and Border Protection at most major U.S. airports and cruise ports. The Mobile Passport App is just as quick or even quicker than Global Entry.