Recently, I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about people have a difficult time being able to schedule global entry appointments. I definitely believe there is a backlog of interviews that need to be scheduled after talking to multiple people I know from working at the airport. If you are in this boat, keep reading; I have a few thoughts you may want to review to try to help you.
Ensure Your Application is Complete and Conditionally Approved
Before you even consider making an appointment, make sure your Global Entry application has been completed in full and is submitted. You will NOT be able to schedule an interview until you do so and pay the non-refundable $100 fee. Secondly, you will also NOT be able to schedule an interview until your application has been “conditionally approved.”
After you submit the application, it’s a waiting game. Some applications are approved faster than others. It may take a couple weeks or even months. The biggest problem people have been having is trying to book an interview without the correct status. Although you are supposed to receive an e-mail notification that the status of your application has been received, the system is not perfect. I did not receive an e-mail and rather just checked my application several times a week until I noticed one day the status changed.
Don’t Be Picky
When your application status changes, look at the closest enrollment centers in your area. Take the first available appointment you see. The slots can fill up quickly and are live. Other people are looking at the same times and slots you are. Appointments can be changed at any time, but getting one in the first place can often be the most difficult part.
If you are unable to obtain an appointment or are looking for a better date and time, check the appointment site several times a day. Availability is always changing! For my area, there was a Twitter Bot account that would tweet out Global Entry interview appointments as they became available. Maybe you will have the same luck!
Same Day Appointments and Walk Ins
If you are in the enrollment center area and have time, you may find yourself able to obtain a same day appointment. Walk ins are typically only available in the mornings. Put your name down; it never hurts. Otherwise, check the Global Entry site for same day appointments too. You never know when a person will cancel. This is how I changed mine. Slots in the evening are a little easier to obtain than in the morning.
Enrollment on Arrival
This is one of the best kept secrets…if you are arriving from an international flight, you can enter the customs area returning to the US and often enroll on arrival. You can typically score an interview as soon as you land. Make sure you have all your documents ready just in case.
If you have the means, try looking in different enrollment areas. You may find it a million times easier to enroll in say Long Beach than New York. If this is the only way you can find an appointment, make it a long weekend.
Being persistent is the best piece of advice I can give you. You may not like it, but it’s the truth. I hear a lot of people complain about the lack of appointments and when I ask them if they considered one of the following options, they always seem to answer that they didn’t have the time or were too lazy to try looking around. You really don’t have to spend all day searching the Global Entry appointment website….take 30 seconds, load the page and just see what pops up on a work break. You never know!
I hope this post helps you out a little and will help make your traveling a little easier. Until next time, happy travels!