Global Entry is a must have for frequent travelers as Global Entry provides complimentary TSA Precheck and expedited entry to the United States at airports. Expiated entry is available at nearly every international airport with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In addition, the Global Entry ID card allows access to Sentri and Ready Lane when traveling by land. Global Entry is good for five years and costs $100.
I have been enrolled for nearly 10 years. I joined Global Entry before there was even precheck! Global Entry was still in the pilot phase and being tested at several airports. Over the years I have saved hours, if not days at airports with Global Entry and Precheck. As Global Entry has become more popular, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) cannot keep up with applications. The backlog continues to grow and now CBP is providing a complimentary one-year extension on every application.
Last time I reapplied for my Global Entry I was approved within a few weeks and did not require an in-person interview. This time I applied in December of 2019, knowing that the application would take close to 6 months to process. My Global Entry is good until October 2020, but I wanted to apply early. I did not want to risk not having Global Entry. Or Precheck for that matter. When I applied, I was informed that all Global Entry applicants will receive a 6-month grace period due to longer than normal processing times.
Global Entry Extending Grace Period
For several reasons the back log continues to grow. First, there was the government shutdown of 35 days. During that time people continued to apply and renew, but applications were not processed. Then came the redeployment of CBP officers. During the summer of 2019 CBP personnel were dispatched to the U.S. border with Mexico. Further slowing the application processing. Now, currently from March 19 to May 1, 2020 all application and interview centers are closed. This temporary closure includes all public access to Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST enrollment locations. The backlog will only continue to grow.
Yet, do not worry. As long as you reapply before your Global Entry expires, it will be extended for up to one year.
From the CBP Trusted Traveler website:
Due to a significant increase in application volume, we are extending the grace period from 6 months to 1 year for any submitted renewal application. This means you will continue to receive full benefits for 1 year while U.S. Customs and Border Protection is finalizing your renewal application.
The extension is good news as long as you re-apply before it expires. As of December 2019, CBP said there were nearly 350,000 application backlogged. If your trusted traveler profile say pending, do not fret. You’re with the rest of the 350,000 people, and your access to TSA Precheck and Global Entry Kiosks will not lapse.