US Global Entry trial for Australian citizens to start in 2019

US Global Entry trial for Australian citizens to start in 2019

Australian citizens could be a step closer to fast-track entry into the USA with plans for a local trial of the Global Entry program in the second half of this year.

The Global Entry program facilitates speedier clearance and entrance into the United States for pre-approved travellers, and also includes TSA PreCheck for expedited security processing on US domestic flights.

A spokesperson from Australia's Department of Home Affairs has confirmed the trial to Australian Business Traveller.

"The Department is engaged with the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency to develop a mutual understanding of how Global Entry membership will work for Australian travellers with a view to conducting a trial in the second half of 2019."

Both the Global Entry and TSA PreCheck schemes are based on 'low-risk' passport holders from almost a dozen countries, which includes background checks and an in-person interview.

The current cost for enrollment into Global Entry is US$100 for five years, which is exceptional value compared to the time you'd otherwise spend standing in line at US international and domestic airports.

Travellers approved for Global Entry head straight to a bank of dedicated kiosks, insert their smartchipped passport, run a quick fingerprint verification and tap on the screen to complete a customs declaration (inbound international passengers also no longer need to complete an incoming passenger form).

Global Entry enrolment centres are located throughout the USA at US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offices, with on-arrival enrolment also possible at most major US airports where travellers can have primary processing and their pending Global Entry application authorised at the same time.

It's not yet known whether an enrolment centre will be established in Australia, or any other Global Entry requirements will be modified as part of the trial process.

Ironically the process of getting Global Entry for Australians has been more stop-start than fast-track. The trial has been promised several times in the past without fruition, much to the frustration of frequent visitors to the US.

Also read: Fast-track at passport control in these eight countries

Brandon Loo

Brandon Loo

Brandon divides his time between Perth and Launceston, with ample hours spent in airport lounges in between. He recently picked up photography and tries to capture the beauty of Tasmanian landscapes, aeroplane cabins and in-flight food, to varying degrees of success.
 

31 comments

  • Stefan Kane

    DrSK

    11 Jun, 2019 07:19 am

    The positive impact this will have on flying to and within the USA cannot be underestimated - here's hoping it finally comes to fruition this time. TSA PreCheck would make a world of difference to the frequently painful domestic departure experience.
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  • Rigs

    Rigs

    11 Jun, 2019 07:29 am

    Yes! About *+#&ing time.
    Member who gave thanks

    jch

  • RTWFF

    RTWFF

    11 Jun, 2019 08:08 am

    We (rightly) offer use of our ePassport gates to all and sundry without first extracting mutual privileges from other countries IMHO
    No member give thanks

  • Charles Furrows

    OOLflyer

    11 Jun, 2019 09:20 am

    As I have written on other threads, I already have it via my UK passport and can safely say:

    1. It is great for giving TSA-Pre on domestic flights in the US.

    2. It is great for rapid processing upon arrival in the US.

    3. It does not work for your departure from the US to Australia on QF, VA or NZ as they don’t pay to participate in Global Entry - even though half their passengers on these routes are US citizens, many of whom have Global Entry.

    Even once Aussies can access Global Entry, it will only work on departure from the US if they fly on AA, DL, HA or UA.

    For Qantas or Virgin frequent flyers it will only help upon arrival in the US.
    No member give thanks

  • Dean

    deanr

    11 Jun, 2019 09:35 am

    Why would Qantas, Virgin or NZ spend money on it when their own citizens (Australia or NZ) are ineligible to use it: essentially funding the US government to offer services to its own US citizens? If the US actually bothers to complete the trial and roll this out, then the airlines will probably scramble to get on board.
    No member give thanks

  • Charles Furrows

    OOLflyer

    11 Jun, 2019 09:45 am

    To get Global Entry costs US$100, plus the cost of a police check, plus you have to book 8-10 weeks in advance for an interview at LAX or HNL or SFO or DFW.

    I reckon on a 300 seat aircraft from the USA to Australia there are probably 150 US citizens of whom maybe 15 have Global Entry. Which is worth their while in part for the TSA-Pre access that it gives them on domestic flights.

    And QF and VA choose not to pay to participate for those paltry numbers.

    Even if Aussie citizens become eligible to obtain Global Entry, it’s doubtful that more than 10 of the 250 Aussies on a Qantas A380 across the Pacific would have Global Entry.

    I just don’t think that the economic arguments for QF or VA to participate will stack up. If they did, Air NZ would already participate on the basis of their LAX-LHR sector where both American and British passengers can acquire Global Entry.
    No member give thanks

  • henrus

    henrus

    11 Jun, 2019 12:54 pm

    Um... might want to get your facts right.

    TSA Precheck and Global Entry are two very different things. However Global Entry comes with Pre Check access.

    Global Entry is only for faster processing when arriving into the US on any airline (or at select land, rail and sea ports). Airlines have nothing to do with this process.

    TSA Precheck is for streamlined security for departure from US airports. Currently 67 Airlines participate (including many international carriers) in this and it requires them to update their systems to pass a known travel number to TSA's database, receive a response from the system and then print "TSA PreCheck" on the boarding pass.
    No member give thanks

  • Shingi Sa

    davidzuo

    11 Jun, 2019 11:37 am

    This is great news. Cleared immigration recently at JFK and it took 2 hours, the line was just not moving. In the end, even the custom officials thought it was too much and redirected half of the queue to the US citizen line, which was a bit faster than the ESTA one.
    No member give thanks

  • Tracie

    Tracie

    11 Jun, 2019 02:27 pm

    Here's hoping this goes ahead. Was in the USA last week and just made a 2hr connection upon arriving into the USA - I was the first person off and was speed walking with passport in hand. To have a quick entry would make life easier!
    No member give thanks

  • aggie57

    aggie57

    11 Jun, 2019 04:30 pm

    Bring it on!
    No member give thanks

  • 11sjw

    11sjw

    12 Jun, 2019 03:22 pm

    With a US trip coming up later this year I'm very keen to drop the $$ required for this. Very keen to know when it goes live for we Aussies!
    No member give thanks

  • Paul Grover

    PasGro

    12 Jun, 2019 03:24 pm

    While this will be good news once it goes ahead, an APEC card https://www.apec.org/Groups/Committee-on-Trade-and-Investment/Business-Mobility-Group/ABTC
    already provides the same benefit when entering the US.
    I used my APEC card in February when travelling through SFO and you go through the Global Entry route. The only delay was the new Border Protection agent had not seen one before so had to ask their colleague for assistance!

    No member give thanks

  • RD_ADL

    RD_ADL

    12 Jun, 2019 04:06 pm

    Yes, I've had the same issue. Whilst the APEC Card supposedly gives access to a priority lane of some description, Border Protection Agents aren't often familiar with it in my experience..... Interested in others experiences who perhaps travel more frequently with an APEC Card to the US. :-)
    No member give thanks

  • Frank Cee

    frankonthemove

    12 Jun, 2019 05:38 pm

    I entered the US recently with my Apec card in hand. As I stood under the sign that said "APEC" the US immigration guy looked puzzled and asked "what is that", yep a bright bunch.
    No member give thanks

  • Peter Fullerton

    waratahbay

    12 Jun, 2019 03:34 pm

    I'm confused. When I travelled to the US last year I used my Aussie e-passport at the e-passport terminals at LAX and entry was approved at the machine. (I had travelled First and was being escorted by a Qantas staff member but we still used the terminal.)
    No member give thanks

  • Peter Fullerton

    waratahbay

    12 Jun, 2019 03:56 pm

    <wakes up> I was probably at an ESTA kiosk with no queue!
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    12 Jun, 2019 04:02 pm

    waratahbay: That's an Automated Passport Control (APC) machine, which is only available to passengers travelling on particular passports for certain reasons, and is different to Global Entry. Not every Australian traveller can use APC, including those travelling on the vast majority of visa types.

    (Speaking as somebody with one of those visas - a US media visa - I can't say I enjoy waiting for 1-2 hours in line every time I fly into LAX for manual processing as the visa requires. Having Global Entry would turn that into more of a 1-2 minute wait instead.)

    Member who gave thanks

    waratahbay

  • Charles Furrows

    OOLflyer

    12 Jun, 2019 04:09 pm

    Apologies for my earlier error: QF/VA/NZ elect not to participate in TSA-Pre, which is the Global Entry benefit which allows simplified departure security.

    There are two sets of On Arrival automated passport machine: the first for anyone who has previously used their passport to enter the USA and the second for Global Entry members.

    The Global Entry ones are processed much faster by a human before baggage reclaim, and also allow the member to go through a faster Customs channel.

    It’s a great benefit, but beware that:

    1. It requires a booked interview at a US airport.

    2. Travel companions are unable to use the Global Entry machines unless they too are members.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    12 Jun, 2019 04:15 pm

    Just for the information of other readers who may be planning trips to the US, the APC kiosks at US passport control aren't "for anyone who has previously used their passport to enter the USA": that is indeed a requirement, but they're further restricted to those who are also travelling on an ESTA or on a small list of specific visas on that particular trip, whereas those travelling on the vast majority of US visa types have to line up for manual processing each and every time, and can't use the kiosks. :)

    No member give thanks

  • Andris

    stepandy

    12 Jun, 2019 06:14 pm

    So, if I travel with Ozzie passport with ESTA but have not entered into the US before on the same passport, I can’t use APC? Right?
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    12 Jun, 2019 06:33 pm

    Correct, you'd need to line up for manual processing and complete a blue US arrivals card before you reach the desk.
    No member give thanks

  • Himeno

    Himeno

    13 Jun, 2019 11:01 pm

    That's what they say, but I was able to go right to the APC with the first ESTA on my second passport and first use of that passport.
    No member give thanks

  • aaflyer

    aaflyer

    15 Jun, 2019 06:12 am

    If you have had trouble booking an appointment, they take drop-ins on a space-available basis.

    No member give thanks

  • Otto Van De Velde

    OttoV

    12 Jun, 2019 06:06 pm

    Fabulous and about time. With family in Memphis and a twice yearly visit, the entry queues in LA or SF are the pits. I reckon we always land after an A380 or B747 from Peking/ Taipan/ elsewhere resulting in 600+ bewildered tourists clogging up the poorly managed system.
    No member give thanks

  • Scott Watkins

    scottw

    12 Jun, 2019 06:12 pm

    I agree this would be nice but flying into LAX on QF93 last week (in economy) I was through immigration and at the baggage carousel before people in the global entry line were. I totally accept there are still the 2 hour stories described above, but, in my experience, US immigration processing is definitely improving.
    No member give thanks

  • Himeno

    Himeno

    13 Jun, 2019 10:59 pm

    In the last 2 years, I've entered the US at LAX (x3), YVR and BOS. I've had everything from 5 minutes to 2 hours to get through to baggage
    No member give thanks

  • Otto Van De Velde

    OttoV

    12 Jun, 2019 06:14 pm

    Just an after thought. Taking luggage through LA customs, the ‘officers’ noted my luggage lock with its TSA key port. They did not know what it meant, nor what they could potentially do. Are luggage makers taking us for a ride if the TSA personnel in LA and SF haven’t a clue?
    No member give thanks

  • Himeno

    Himeno

    13 Jun, 2019 10:55 pm

    Customs (CBP) are not TSA. SFO also doesn't have TSA, they have a 3rd party company on contract to TSA at the airports request.
    There is no reason for CBP to know about, or have access to, the TSA baggage lock keys.
    No member give thanks

  • donlee

    donlee

    12 Jun, 2019 07:28 pm

    This is great news indeed. Does has there been any comment about NZ passport holders that you know of?
    No member give thanks

  • Rotten

    Rotten

    12 Jun, 2019 11:35 pm

    Just an aside re the USA "wait time" issue. I travel through LAX about 3-5 times a year and have experienced the 2 hour crawl to immigration passport control. April 16 this year landed and sped through like a domestic arrival. Even had to wait for baggage to come through. It's all a matter of timing and a bit of luck, but Global Entry would be a welcome advantage.
    No member give thanks

  • aggie57

    aggie57

    13 Jun, 2019 08:39 pm

    It sure is. I’m in the same boat, as in traveling through LAX often and on a visa like Chris. Most times I’m in the Asia morning rush and 80% of the time now I’m through and on the street in less than 45mins.

    My worst experience entering the US was actually coming in to Newark from Toronto city airport on a Porter flight. Never again.
    No member give thanks

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18 Jun, 2019 07:12 am

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