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Old 03-02-2016, 07:10 PM   #41
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OMG - I was able to make an appointment at the closest office for tomorrow morning!!!!!
Audrey
You definitely live right ;-) We got our conditional approval within a week but could not get scheduled for at least 45 days for an interview at SeaTac--our closest and the only one in WA state. Once I went out 60+ days pretty much my choice.
I did noticed they took a fair number of walk-ups for administrative stuff like name changes and follow-ups.
If you and your partner sign the check-in sheet in sequence they will do a joint interview. Might save a bit of time if there is a small number of interviewing officers.
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:31 PM   #42
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I really had no idea how busy the offices would be here. The bridges are very busy, and I imagined a hoard of people trying to get SENTRI passes for their vehicles since there is a high border traffic area.

They didn't have anybody at all scheduled for tomorrow. We are scheduled back to back.

I wonder if we'll be training anybody?

Brownsville was also available tomorrow.

Hey - anyone waiting for their interview: come down and enjoy South Padre Island, and swing by the Brownsville office for your pass interview.
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Old 03-02-2016, 08:26 PM   #43
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We had to drive to Charlotte (4 hours away) for our interview.

We've always gotten PreCheck since then, except DH didn't on our last trip to Vermont. I told him it was because his central Asian visas had finally caught up with him!

Love breezing through the lines when entering the US for sure!
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:42 AM   #44
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I read various things about getting an appointment - that it can get really delayed. Apparently you should go ahead and make the first available appointment, and then just keep checking to look for openings and reschedule.
That's reason #1 we haven't done this yet. We're never anywhere long enough to wait for the wheels of bureaucracy to turn.

Reason #2 is that there just aren't that many airports that take it. Out of the six international flights we know we're going to take this year, only one has Global Entry kiosks.
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Old 03-03-2016, 11:37 AM   #45
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That's reason #1 we haven't done this yet. We're never anywhere long enough to wait for the wheels of bureaucracy to turn.

Reason #2 is that there just aren't that many airports that take it. Out of the six international flights we know we're going to take this year, only one has Global Entry kiosks.
What about TSA Precheck? That's a significant side benefit.
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Old 03-03-2016, 11:50 AM   #46
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...

Reason #2 is that there just aren't that many airports that take it. Out of the six international flights we know we're going to take this year, only one has Global Entry kiosks.
Are you referring to six international flights that involve US landings or departures? I ask because of my understanding that you are globetrotters and our own, unfortunately limited to date, experience finding global entry available everywhere when landing in US.

Maybe it is because we haven't really come through small US airports, which is where you'd expect to run into problems....
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:03 PM   #47
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They certainly are not everywhere yet.

Airports with Global Entry Kiosks | U.S. Customs and Border Protection
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:37 PM   #48
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Thanks--it looks like the the major US international arrival airports are covered; that explains our experience, as opposed to the true globetrotters who we envy!
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:04 PM   #49
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But that is a very long list already.
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:04 PM   #50
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All done!

Were both approved before we left the building.
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:16 PM   #51
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All done!

Were both approved before we left the building.
Excellent! Welcome to the club.
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:25 PM   #52
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Are you referring to six international flights that involve US landings or departures?
Nope. The one airport we'll go through with Global Entry is in the U.S. The other five airports are all out of the country.
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Old 03-03-2016, 04:54 PM   #53
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Excellent! Welcome to the club.
The scariest part was trying to figure out how to get into the port of entry facility without accidentally crossing the bridge into Mexico!!!

The little narrow left turn lane was really hard to see.
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Old 03-03-2016, 05:35 PM   #54
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The scariest part was trying to figure out how to get into the port of entry facility without accidentally crossing the bridge into Mexico!!!

The little narrow left turn lane was really hard to see.
LOL, I had exactly the same problem at Otay Mesa. The directions for getting there, which were emailed from the GOES program, involved going past a Do Not Enter sign and then driving around a barricade in the road. I'm sure this is much easier at an airport.
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Old 03-03-2016, 05:47 PM   #55
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I heard that.
We did our NEXUS interviews in Detroit, and had a very similar experience. It was around a very convoluted series of turns through construction areas, and if you weren't paying very close attention you would have ended up crossing the bridge into Canada.

The instructions they sent us were full of large font, bold face warnings to NOT under any circumstances use a GPS to get to the address given. They wanted us to follow their written instructions and they had good reason to.

My appointment was about ten days before DW's, so I mounted a GoPro camera on my dashboard and filmed the process for the last couple of miles to the interview location. DW said later that watching that video was worth its weight in gold to her.

One more small point: If you're using NEXUS and flying into Canada from overseas, you'll want to use the extra step of getting an iris scan. The US border points don't do that. Our workaround was that not long after getting our NEXUS cards, we were passing through the Halifax airport on our way to Newfoundland, and the Canadian officers in the airport were great about doing our iris scans.
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:12 PM   #56
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LOL, I had exactly the same problem at Otay Mesa. The directions for getting there, which were emailed from the GOES program, involved going past a Do Not Enter sign and then driving around a barricade in the road. I'm sure this is much easier at an airport.
Wow - I'm glad I didn't have to drive through a do not enter, and around a barricade! Ours was a tiny turn, just a few yards from a manned booth for exiting the US. I'm sure the agent would have let me back up.

And, yes, the GPS wanted us to cross into Mexico, turn around and renter the U.S., adding two hours to our arrival time!
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Old 03-07-2016, 09:22 PM   #57
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What about TSA Precheck? That's a significant side benefit.
Yes - on paper Global Entry looks like a no-brainer because in addition to expedited CBP screening, the program claims to greatly increase the probability of receiving TSA Precheck.

But my experience with Global Entry has not been good. The CBP Enrollment center near me was scheduling 3-4 months out for an appointment. I travel a lot domestically and wanted TSA Pre, so I traveled several hundred miles to a less busy CBP enrollment center for my interview. The officer who interviewed me was very professional and cordial. The interview took 10 minutes, and I received the approval notification email on my phone before I even got back to my car.

But - I haven't gotten TSA Precheck on any of the 3 domestic flights I have taken since activating my GE card. And yes, I have double-checked all the secure flight data with my airline to confirm that my name, DOB, and KTN matched my GE card. I have called TSA's service center on two occasions, given them all my info and asked for an explanation, but both times they weren't able to give me one.

So here's what I would say:
  • If your main goal is to receive TSA Precheck more often, bypass Global Entry and apply instead for the TSA's trusted traveler program. TSA's program has far more enrollment centers, has far less of a wait time for an interview, and its even slightly lower cost. I don't travel internationally much, and I have easily spent more time traveling to and from the distant GE enrollment center I used than I would ever spend in CBP screening on the few trips I do in 5 years.
  • If your main goal is expedited CBP screening, then GE makes sense. Once you have GE you are guaranteed "head of the line" privileges at any participating port of entry, even if the outcome once you get to the officer is normal (rather than cursory) screening you still benefited because you skipped the long lines. But applying to GE mostly to get TSA Precheck may mean you stand in the regular line for regular screening and there's no benefit whatsoever to having joined Global Entry.
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Old 03-07-2016, 10:08 PM   #58
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Thanks for the tip to check often for interview availability. Originally, the earliest was July, but after checking a couple of times, we both have dates in March. The center is not far, so having to go twice isn't a big deal.
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:50 PM   #59
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I had been debating on getting Global Entry because I travel with a friend who has this.
I applied Mar 2nd, received email conditional approval on Mar 8th. On Mar 9th, the earliest appt. for the nearest interview location was May. (my overseas travel is the end of April). I looked today and an opening is available for tomorrow!! So I grabbed it.
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Old 03-10-2016, 03:35 PM   #60
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I had been debating on getting Global Entry because I travel with a friend who has this.
I applied Mar 2nd, received email conditional approval on Mar 8th. On Mar 9th, the earliest appt. for the nearest interview location was May. (my overseas travel is the end of April). I looked today and an opening is available for tomorrow!! So I grabbed it.
Cool! I got my card in the mail on Monday, after my Thursday interview. Couldn't believe how fast that was. You don't actually need the card for going through customs an international airports - it's useful for border crossings.
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