Global Entry for Traveling to Mexico and Beyond

For travelers wanting to expedite through land and airport customs checks, Global Entry cards are the best option. Completing the application process and receiving approval means you are a low risk traveler who can move quickly through customs in special lines. It means lower wait times and fewer headaches for those who enter and exit the United States frequently.

The benefits also extend to domestic travel and any situation with federal security checks. It’s well worth the effort to apply as you can skip security lines and essentially check yourself in by scanning your own passport at the airport. 

How to Complete a Global Entry Application

It’s important to understand the purpose of this program before applying. It’s used as an extensive background check tool to pre-approve individuals for expedited security clearance. If you have a criminal record or any major issues in the past, acceptance becomes less likely. The application process requires personal questions, interviews, fingerprints and more.

Individual Eligible for Global Entry Cards:

  • United States Citizens
  • Mexican Nationals
  • Permanent Resident Holders in the United States

What You Need to Apply:

  • Get started by creating a Trusted Traveler Account. This is the same account you would need for Sentri applications as well.
  • Begin the application by paying the $100 Global Entry application fee.
  • Fill out your application and press submit for review. You will wait at this point as every application undergoes a manual review.
  • If approved for next steps, you will be notified and prompted to schedule an in-person interview. Choose a date and time at an approved enrollment center to move forward.
  • Bring your appropriate ID’s and paperwork to the interview. If things go well and you receive approval, getting your card and activating it through the online account. The card lasts for five years. 

How does it benefit drivers in Mexico?

For driving specifically, you could get a Sentri Pass and have all the benefits needed to drive (or walk) across the border into the United States. The Sentri Lanes are the fastest, highest level clearance options. Opting for Global Entry is fantastic however because it qualifies you for fast entry at most customs points regardless of how you travel.

With your Global Entry Card, drive into the Sentri Lanes and present your card and passport. The wait times are minimal and drivers are often cleared immediately. Customs officers can still perform checks and direct you to secondary if desired. It’s not a free pass but it certainly moves you through the red tape quickly.

Global Entry & TSA Pre Checks

While our focus is the Mexico border, it’s worth touching on the TSA checkpoint benefits. If you fly much, pay attention to the line where individuals breeze past security and pass the lines and wait times. They can use kiosks to declare items, present a passport and to clear a number of the normal security checks. 

It takes some time to complete your application and interviews. The rewards are well worth that initial investment. Approval means you have 5 years to save hours and hours of wait times at border crossings and customs checks.