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Global Entry Interview

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After searching unsuccessfully for my prior comments, I decided to start a new thread. This is posted on the "Airport" forum also.

The Global Entry System ("GOES") essentially allows U.S. citizens to bypass the TSA folks. Not all airlines use it yet.

It took me about an hour to complete the online application. I think I did this in August 2013. After entering the info, they give you a list of possible places to go to be fingerprinted, photographed and interviewed. The first available date for me was not convenient and they did show a calendar with open dates. I chose October--so it was almost 2 months from when I first started the process.

You must bring your passport and driver's license. Online they also said bring some proof of our residency like an electric bill. I took that and the other bills that had come in the mail the day before the interview.

I'm in the Washington, D.C. area so Dulles and BWI airports were close as well as a D.C venue. If you choose BWI as I did, here's some helpful info:

Park in the Hourly lot. If you park in section D, you will be convenient to the overhead walkway but it will be about a 10-minute walk to section E. The GOES office is on the ground floor of section E ("Pier E") in the international flights end of the terminal. If you park in section E, try to get to the ground level where you will walk across to the terminal closer to Pier E.

From Pier D, once you pass the USO, start looking for GOES signs. The area had an air of being newly-furnished, but signage is good. Two Customs Agents were conducting the interviews while those of us waiting sat in the same room. It was quite informal. When it was my turn, no one else was there and the 2 agents and I talked alot about the financée of one of them! Looked at her pictures on his phone.

Anyhow, I was asked if I'd ever been arrested, my agent took my photo and fingerprints (that was done on a screen--no ink!) and pronounced mine perfect. He said he didn't need my bills but did compare passport and driver's to what was online. I was assigned my GOES number and was told I'd get my ID in the mail.

They agents said the BWI venue was relatively new and that the program was so popular that some places had waiting times of months to get appointments. At this writing, they told me most of the U.S. airlines were participating domestically also. Southwest will be joining next year?

Here's what you do: When returning from overseas, you politely refuse the returning form the steward/ess gives out and find an ATM-like machine after you deplane in customs. You complete your info on that machine and swipe your GOES card. Assuming all is complete, you go on your way. Now that I write this, I'm wondering if there is a special way out of customs. Can anyone add to this?

Oh, and each person in your family must apply separately. Hope this is helpful.

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