Top Travel Questions – Answered

Exploring Global Entry: Can Family Members Join the Journey?

Global Entry is a trusted traveler program administered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited processing upon arrival in the United States. It provides a convenient way to bypass long immigration and customs lines, making international travel more efficient. Many people who travel internationally frequently wonder if their family members can benefit from the Global Entry program. In this article, we will explore whether family members can go through Global Entry and provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions for your travels.

1. Eligibility for Global Entry

Before we look at whether family members can go through Global Entry, it’s important to understand the program’s eligibility criteria. Global Entry is available to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and citizens of certain other countries. To apply for Global Entry, individuals must complete an online application, pay the required fee, and undergo a rigorous background check. Once approved, travelers receive a Global Entry card or can use their passport at participating airports and border crossings.
It’s important to note that Global Entry is an individual program and each applicant is evaluated independently. Therefore, each family member who wishes to enjoy the benefits of Global Entry must submit a separate application and complete the necessary steps. However, it’s important to remember that children under the age of 18 can be included in a parent’s application without a separate application or fee.

2. Family Members and Global Entry

Now that we understand the eligibility requirements for Global Entry, let’s explore whether family members can go through the program. The good news is that family members, including spouses and children, are eligible to apply for Global Entry. However, it’s important to note that each family member must meet the eligibility criteria and complete the application process individually.
When applying for Global Entry, family members may indicate their relationship to the primary applicant. This helps CBP streamline the adjudication process and ensure that family members are processed efficiently. However, it’s important to remember that each family member’s application is adjudicated independently and approval is not guaranteed based solely on the primary applicant’s approval. Each individual’s background check and eligibility will be evaluated separately.

3. Family Member Benefits

Family members who are approved for Global Entry can enjoy the same benefits as the primary applicant. These benefits include expedited processing at airports and land border crossings, access to dedicated Global Entry kiosks, and the ability to use TSA PreCheck lanes for domestic flights. Through Global Entry, family members can save significant time and avoid long lines, making their travel experience more convenient and efficient.
In addition, it’s important to note that beginning in September 2021, CBP has extended the age limit for children to be included on a parent’s Global Entry application. Previously, children had to be under the age of 14 to be included, but now children under the age of 18 can be included at no additional cost. This change allows more families to benefit from the Global Entry program and provides a smoother travel experience for parents and their children.

4. Application Process for Family Members

The Global Entry application process for family members is similar to that of the primary applicant. Each family member must complete an individual application, pay the required fee, and undergo a background check. The application can be submitted online through the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES), and applicants will be notified of their conditional approval status.
Once conditionally approved, family members must schedule an in-person interview at a Global Entry enrollment center. It’s important to note that interviews for family members can often be scheduled together, which can make the process more convenient. During the interview, applicants will be fingerprinted, provide additional documentation as needed, and have the opportunity to ask questions.

5. Closing

Global Entry offers tremendous benefits to frequent travelers, and the good news is that family members can also go through the program. By completing the individual application process and meeting the eligibility requirements, family members can enjoy expedited processing, shorter lines and a smoother travel experience. Keep in mind that each family member must apply separately, and approval is contingent on meeting the program’s criteria. So if you’re a frequent traveler and want your family to enjoy the benefits of Global Entry, encourage them to apply and experience the convenience and efficiency it offers.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on knowledge available through September 2021, and it is always advisable to consult official sources and websites for the most up-to-date information regarding the Global Entry program and its eligibility requirements.

FAQs

Can family members go through Global Entry?

Yes, family members are eligible to go through Global Entry. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) allows for the inclusion of immediate family members in the program.

Who qualifies as immediate family members for Global Entry?

Immediate family members include spouses, children (under the age of 18), and parents (if the traveler is under 18). Stepchildren and adoptive children are also considered immediate family members.

Do family members need to apply separately for Global Entry?

Yes, each family member, including children, needs to apply separately for Global Entry. Each traveler must complete an individual application and pay the application fee.

Can family members use the same Global Entry kiosk at the airport?

No, each family member must use a separate Global Entry kiosk at the airport. The kiosks are designed to process one traveler at a time, so each individual needs to use their own kiosk.

Are there any age restrictions for family members applying for Global Entry?

No, there are no age restrictions for family members applying for Global Entry. Both adults and children can apply for the program, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

Can family members accompany a Global Entry member in the expedited security line?

Yes, family members who are not Global Entry members can accompany a Global Entry member in the expedited security line at participating airports. This privilege is extended to immediate family members traveling with the Global Entry member.