Are you thinking about enrolling in Global Entry? Or are you stuck at the interview stage?

Then you’re in luck!

A new program launched by U.S. Customs and Border Protection is helping to expedite the process.

Instead of waiting four to six months for the Global Entry interview to wrap up your application, you can do it at the airport before boarding your next international flight.

Here’s how it works and whether or not you should get TSA-Pre and Clear as well.

What Is Global Entry Enrollment Upon Departure?

Earlier this month, the agency that runs Global Entry announced the first-ever “Enrollment on Departure” option at Dulles International Airport.

The program allows travelers with conditional approval for Global Entry to complete their interview process at the airport before boarding their flight.

What does “conditionally approved” mean?

It’s for travelers whose application and background checks have been cleared.

How Does Global Entry Enrollment on Departure Work?

Got conditional approval for Global Entry? Great!

You can visit the Enrollment on Departure office inside Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C. located in B concourse at gate B41, which is open from 12:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily. 

The best part? You don’t need an appointment.

All you need to bring with you is:

Unfortunately, passengers on domestic flights are not eligible. If you’re not traveling out of Dulles, you’ll need to use Enrollment on Arrival or schedule an interview at an enrollment center.

What is the Difference Between  TSA Precheck and Global Entry?

Are you confused between the two programs? Here’s a quick breakdown:

TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck expedites your security process when entering the airport. 

Most travelers get through security in 5 minutes or less. You no longer need to remove your shoes or belt, take out your laptops, or follow the 3-1-1 rule for liquids.

Global Entry

Global Entry eases your customs experience when returning to the U.S. 

You can expect reduced wait times with self-service kiosks or E-Gates using facial comparison technologies.

What I love about it is that most times, you don’t even have to pull out your passport!

The Cost

The cost of these two programs is also important.

TSA Pre is $78 and Global Entry is $100.

But here’s the kicker: Global Entry travelers qualify for PreCheck as a perk of their Global Entry Status.

So, for just $22 more, you can get both programs, which are valid for up to 5 years.

Tip: Take a look at your travel credit card. Some credit cards like Amex, Chase, and Capital One have perks that reimburse the cost of either TSA Pre or Global Entry.

Can Global Entry Cover Multiple Family Members?

The short answer? No.

Only Global Entry members can enter a Global Entry immigration line. This means that if you want your spouse or your children to go through a shorter immigration queue with you, they must enroll in Global Entry, no matter their age.

There is an exception for children under 12 who can accompany an enrolled parent to the TSA PreCheck lanes without restriction. 

Children between 13 and 17 can join enrolled adults in the dedicated lanes when traveling on the same reservation.

Remember: Getting Global Entry is a process. It can take months to set up an appointment, which is why enrollment on departure and arrival can make all the difference in expediting the process.

What is Clear? If You Have TSA PreCheck, Do You Need It?

Clear is similar to TSA PreCheck. It affects your arrival process at the airport and uses your biometrics (an eye scan or fingerprint) to identify you and shorten your wait time to get to security.

However, there are differences you’ll want to keep in mind:

  1. A private company owns Clear, while TSA PreCheck is a government program.
  2. Clear is only available at some airports.
  3. TSA PreCheck costs $78 for five years, while Clear costs $189 per year.

In my opinion, Clear is not always worth it.

It’s not a replacement for TSA PreCheck. It’s only an addition if the lines get long at your home airport. Newark, for example, has TSA PreCheck lines that are longer than regular security.

So, in that case, Clear can make a huge difference.  But in general, unless you’re flying a lot and it helps at your home airport—I say pass.

Top Tip: Check if your travel credit card will cover the cost for Clear. My AMEX pays for mine, which is why I have it.

Get Your Passport Ready

Enrollment upon departure isn’t the only good news for travelers this month.

Finally, the window for applying for a new passport or renewing one has shortened.

Instead of the routine 8 to 11 weeks, you can get your passport within 5 to 7 weeks.

If you haven’t already gotten your new passport, NOW is the time to do it!

Got any questions about TSA PreCheck or Global Entry? Let me know in the comments below!