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Surfergirl Apr 26th, 2018 01:21 PM

Passports and Visas and Global Entry, Oh My!
I will report on our 3 week trip to Australia in the Australia forum in due course. Just wanted to provide a tip or two here regarding my most recent experience with entering a country (both going from and returning to the U.S.)

First, if you are renewing your passport, forget about getting the passport with a zillion pages. As much as I loved getting my passport obliterated with stamps of places I've been, it's practically all online now, and nothing gets stamped. Not my entry to or exit from Australia, not my online Visa, not my return to the United States. Brand new passport devoid of anything related to me traveling anywhere. :cry: If you find that you really, really need to get some stamps in your passport, go to Berlin and to Checkpoint Charlie in the summertime. In summer they have a booth open where, for a paltry $7 US dollars, you can get 7 stamps in your passport.

Second, yes, United States citizens do have to get a VISA to Australia. And while I was there, I learned that other commonwealth countries (i.e. Canadians) are now also required to get Visas. Everything is, as stated above, done online. Takes about 10 minutes and $20 AUS. Just need your passport info to apply. You get emailed a confirmation that you are approved and that it will show up electronically when you submit your passport to the authorities in Australia. No more visa stamps.

On Global Entry: Don't make the stupid mistake I made. I've had Global Entry for well over 5 years. I've renewed it. Great. But last time I renewed it was BEFORE I renewed my passport. Needless to say, my passport was not recognized as valid when I tried going through the global entry kiosk. I kept trying it thinking I had screwed up somehow, and had my global pass with me, but it kept insisting I had no global entry rights. So I traipsed off to the customs officer sitting at the desk with a sign that said come here if the kiosk is giving you a problem. He looked at my passport, then me, then my global entry and told me I forgot to go to online global entry to update it with my new passport information. Then he let me go, with the warning: Go online and fix it!

schmerl Apr 27th, 2018 04:23 AM

Thanks for the reminder re: updating Global Entry.

Melnq8 Apr 27th, 2018 05:37 AM

We had to renew our passports at the last minute in December due to some conflicting info from various countries regarding length of passport validity necessary to enter said countries. It was stressful - the passport office didn't allow appointments until 10 days before departure, then mailed the new passports. Talk about a leap of faith. We too, were bummed that we couldn't get extra pages, as we've had to add pages to every passport we've ever had.

Fortunately, the passport agency saved the day, and we remembered to update the Global Entry before the trip.

I hope the rest of your trip went seamlessly and I look forward to reading your trip report over on the AUS forum. Get cracking lady!

HappyTrvlr Apr 27th, 2018 03:51 PM

Thanks for the wa ning as our passports are up for renewal soo.

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