Australians are finally in line for US Global Entry

Hour-long wait times at US passport control could soon become a thing of the past: at least, for those who join Global Entry.

By Chris Chamberlin, January 9 2020
Australians are finally in line for US Global Entry

Australian passport holders are one step closer to qualifying for the United States’ Global Entry program, unlocking fast-track processing at passport control when entering the United States as well as access to TSA PreCheck for expedited security screening at US airports.

The coming months will see the Department of Home Affairs launch a trial – albeit one previously planned for 2019 – allowing 500 travellers to apply for and enrol in the Global Entry scheme.

“The Australian Border Force (has) agreed with the United States Customs and Border Protection the detailed steps required to support a 500-person pilot for the Global Entry program," a department spokesperson has confirmed to Executive Traveller. "We anticipate that the pilot will run for approximately six months."

More crucially, the ABF says it "remains committed to rolling out the Global Entry program more broadly shortly after successful completion of the pilot."

Global Entry applications involve both a background check of the applicant and an in-person interview – both of which are conducted by the United States – but the approval of the traveller’s home country is also required before Global Entry membership is granted, being one of the issues that the Australian Government is working through.

Citizens and permanent residents of ten countries around the world – ranging from the UK, Germany and Singapore to India and Colombia – are already eligible for Global Entry membership.

Applying for US Global Entry

Once Australians are eligible to apply for Global Entry, that process begins online with the payment of a non-refundable US$100 fee and the completion of an application form, which US Customs and Border Protection will review.

If no issues are found, the traveller is then ‘conditionally approved’, and is then ready to schedule an in-person interview to finalise their membership.

Interviews take place at Global Entry Enrolment Centres, but in many cases, this can be at passport control on the traveller’s next arrival into the United States, including at Preclearance locations such as in Canada, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates.

Should the interviewer sign off on that membership, it’s valid for five years, and the traveller can then use Global Entry kiosks and lanes at passport control on all future visits to the United States, where available.

At busy airports like Los Angeles (LAX), this can reduce the wait time at passport control from over an hour to just a few short minutes.

TSA PreCheck via US Global Entry

Being a Global Entry member also unlocks TSA PreCheck, making security screening in the United States less of a hassle when travelling with a participating airline.

Those with PreCheck can usually leave all laptops and liquids inside their carry-on bags at the screening point, don’t need to take off belts and shoes, and are most often screened via a metal detector rather than a body scanner.

In many airports, PreCheck flyers also have a dedicated screening line.

Global Entry members will receive a Known Traveller Number (KTN), which must be entered into each airline reservation – or attached to a person’s frequent flyer profile, for the airlines that permit it – to help facilitate their access to PreCheck.

Those eligible will spot "TSA PreCheck", "TSA Pre" or similar on their airline boarding pass, although from time to time, these travellers may still be directed through the 'regular' airport security screening.

Airlines that currently support PreCheck include Alaska Airlines, American, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian Airlines, Qantas, United, Virgin Atlantic and more – although Virgin Australia is not yet on board.

Also read: Fast-track at passport control in these eight countries

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

18 Nov 2015

Total posts 122

Have the 500 people for the pilot been selected already? Is anyone on here part of the pilot? I wish I could volunteer (I do a lot of travel to the USA). Can't wait to be able to use Global Entry. Flying into LAX is just horrible. Last trip it took two (2) hours from getting off the plane until I had my bags, and that was even traveling on a repeat ESTA. Absolute nightmare. My traveling companion was on a first visit ESTA and it took them three (3) hours from off the plane until they had their bags.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Jan 2020

Total posts 1

I believe it is available for the first 500 Aussies to sign up to the program.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 127

Is there way you guys can get some of those spots for ET customers?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 489

They're not accepting applications yet.

Be good to know when they open for registrations

05 Dec 2018

Total posts 153

After reading allot on the forums and previous experiences in US, I prepped my wife for the worst airport experience in the US last year.

Surprisingly at every airport LAX, SFO, OGG & HNL we just walked through without any ques.

Our flight times must of been all off peak lol.


16 May 2016

Total posts 68

Regarding Aidan and Travell99's's a lottery. LAX has the worst reputation, however, I have found SFO to be terrible on several occasions. Having said that, I have also breezed through both in under 20 minutes recently. 20 mins!!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 516

VA had better get off their collective backsides and "get with the program".

10 Jan 2020

Total posts 2

The other option is if you can qualify for an ABTC APEC Business Travel Card. I have used this card in LAX, EWR, DFW, MIA and JFK and reduced my waiting time significantly as I am able to use the diplomats special lane to go through immigration. 99% of the time they don't even bother to check my APEC card where in Asia Pacific when travelling they always check validity against passport and expiry date. I

Etihad - Etihad Guest

20 Jun 2019

Total posts 9

Seems like at the moment it's not live. I'm only getting access to apply for Sentri?

Etihad - Etihad Guest

20 Jun 2019

Total posts 9

Sorry... jumped the gun. Didn't read through... been waiting for this for a long time. Wondering if it's worth getting the APEC card in any case.

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