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Some Global Entry Renewals Are Processing Without Interviews


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Whether you’re applying for access to the US Global Entry program for the first time or if you’re renewing your membership, you’re usually required to attend an interview at a Global Entry processing center (usually an airport or an embassy) before your membership is approved or renewed. Right now, however, some memberships are being renewed without the need for an interview.

Global Entry

Global Entry is the US CBP program that’s open to US citizens, legal residents of the US, and citizens of select nations around the world. The program gives members expedited entry into the United States via kiosks stationed at major points of entry (and at some preclearance centers) and removes the need for passengers to stand in seemingly endless immigration lines as they wait to enter the country.

Travelers who qualify for the Global Entry program are automatically enrolled in the TSA PreCheck program which offers expedited screening at domestic US TSA checkpoints. Passengers using the TSA PreCheck lanes don’t need to remove laptops or toiletries from their bags as they pass through airport security, nor do they need to remove shoes, belts, or lightweight jackets as they pass through the body scanners.

The program currently costs $100 for a five-year membership (a fee which is rebated by a number of credit cards) and having had membership of the Global Entry program for almost a decade, I can confirm that it’s worth every penny.

My Renewal Experience

My Global Entry membership is due to expire in a little under a year so with the program experiencing a well-documented backlog of applications, I got my renewal application in as soon as I was allowed to.

I filled in the Global Entry renewal forms online (the most time-consuming part was checking that I had listed all the countries that I’ve visited in the past 5 years correctly), I paid the processing fee with my Amex Platinum Card (review), and then waited patiently for ‘conditional approval’ to come through so that I could then go ahead and book my interview.

Yesterday, I got an email notification to let me know that my Global Entry application status had changed…

…and when I logged in to the Trusted Traveler Program website I was surprised to see a screen that suggested that my renewal was complete.

At this point I had never heard of anyone having Global Entry membership renewed without the need for an interview (a subsequent Google search has revealed that I’m definitely not unique) so I was more than a little confused and unsure as to what had happened.

There was no visible option to book an interview, my screen was showing “no application in progress”…

….and my Global Entry expiration year showed as 2026, but I was still finding it hard to believe that there wasn’t something that I was missing.

Fortunately, I noticed that I had a message waiting for me in the “notifications” area of the Trusted Traveler website, and this confirmed the good news.

I’ve had my Global Entry renewed for another 5 years and thanks to my Amex Platinum Card, it didn’t cost me a dime. Yesterday was a good day.

The Timing

If you’re wondering how long the renewal process took and if the well-documented backlog is still causing issues, I have good news for you. Things appear to be flowing well.

I know that I applied to renew my Global Entry membership on 3 February – because that’s when the fee posted to my Platinum Card account (the Platinum Card’s rebate posted just two days later).

So as the email confirming that my application status had changed arrived on 24 March, the renewal process took a total of 49 days (for someone who was not called to an interview).

As with a lot of things, people’s experiences will vary, but if you’re fortunate enough not to be called for an interview there’s no reason to suppose that your renewal process will take any longer than mine.

For anyone required to attend an interview, I’d guess that conditional approval is now being given after a similar length of time (any datapoints from readers would be welcome), but then applicants will be at the mercy of their local Global Entry centers – some will have a lot more interview slots than others.

Related Reading: Get Free Global Entry & TSA PreCheck With These Credit Cards

Bottom Line

I have no idea why I was selected to be one of the lucky ones who aren’t required to attend an interview to get their Global Entry membership renewed (perhaps it’s a combination of being a US citizen and the fact that this is my second renewal) but I’m very happy not to have to play the interview lottery at LAX or, worse yet, at the US Embassy in London.

Before yesterday I had no idea that it was possible to get a Global Entry membership renewed without having to attend some kind of interview (it looks like remote interviews are being performed now as well as in-person interviews), so this definitely ranks as one of the higher points in the last 12 months of my life 😁

Have you had your Global Entry memberships renewed without the need for an interview?

Featured image courtesy of CBP

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29 COMMENTS

  1. I had my renewal approved in one day after submitting the renewal application . This was about two months ago and got the new ID within 2 weeks. Didn’t cost me a dime because I paid with my CSR. Pretty sweet if you ask me.

  2. I had a similar experience after just renewing, but also did not have to interview for my last renewal (5 years ago) either.

    • That’s very interesting because I was working under the assumption that the interviews were being waived for some to prevent the backlog from getting any worse but if I remember correctly, there wasn’t really an issue with a backlog 5 years ago.

    • I applied for Renewal of GE in 4/25/2021. It took 24 hours to receive notification of approval in my dashboard. I read CP comment who said it took for him 2 weeks to receive the new “plastic”. Well, my only question got answered. P.D. I hold a Government card and gov clearence, reason why it took roughly 24 hours to get approved.

  3. I have Nexus and on my last renewal didn’t have to go for an interview either. Believe mine was renewed in 2019.

  4. “or if you’re renewing your membership, you’re usually required to attend an interview “.

    Usually? – where did you get this information or is this just your observation or assumption? I didn’t require an interview for my renewal back in 2018.

    • Based on everyone I know who has Global Entry and based on the fact that the Global Entry dashboard indicates that an interview is part of the process (as shown in the first screenshot of this post).

  5. My wife and I both had Global Entry to renew. We applied to renew well in advance of the expiration dates in March of 2020 by applying in October of 2019. Her renewal went through without an interview and received her new GE card good to 2025 early in 2021.
    My GE was ‘pended’ for several months and then I had to do an interview- first one available at PDX was February 25, 2021 which I took. Went for the interview, they had some minor question about why I had ‘rejected’ so many times going through the fingerprint screens- was result of poor fingerprints on the first GE application. Redid prints, new pix, and got the new card in early March. All of my interactions with in-person staff has been professional and very helpful- the long delay was due to getting caught in various CBP shutdowns and then CV shutdowns. Happy I finally got it done.

  6. I renewed shortly before COVID hit & didn’t need an interview. Neither did my two adult kids & they renewed last year when things started moving again. My husband renewed a few months ago & was required to have an interview. One difference we noticed was that the three of us had no change on our passports since our last interview/original application (actually I had to renew my passport a couple of years ago but went into an office in person when I updated the details). My hubby’s passport had been renewed since his Global Entry had originally been issued but had not gone into an office after he did. Wondering if that had anything to do with it?

  7. I saw your article and immediately applied for renewal. Was approved in 48 hours. No interview needed. Used first platinum. Will probably renew my wife’s now too!

  8. I just filled out my renewal two days ago and got approved the very next day…no interview. I was also confused. Glad to see it’s a real thing!!! 🙂

    • I think I received it in the mail a couple of weeks after approval (I can’t be sure but that sounds about right).

  9. Great to know, and confirming they sent you a renewal card with updated dates (when you mentioned “new ID within 2 weeks”)? So much easier to google and find this thread than call them!

  10. QQ…and thank you for the information. I know that the ID card is not required for air travel, but it does have the old expiration date on it. Do they automatically send out an updated card using the same photo or do you need to request a new card, which I suspect would require an appointment to have picture taken. I too am one of the fortunate ones that received notice that my renewal is approved without condition, nor need for interview.

    Thanks in advance

    • This is my question as well. I just received the renewal within 24 hours but the message says nothing about them sending a card. Not sure if I have to click the “replace card” on the TTP user dashboard or if the card gets reprinted and sent automatically.

  11. I came here from a google search while trying to figure out why I couldn’t schedule an interview, and the FAQ didn’t have any help either. Thank you for writing this.
    I applied for renewal on June 6th at 9:30 pm, and received an update for approval at 12:25 am on June 8th (27 hours).

  12. Haha, i came here too with the same question. Applied Jun 9, just got approval Jul 7. No interview!

  13. Reapplied June 22 after three years not having GE, approved today without interview. I’m German citizen and had to be background checked in 2013 by Germans airport police before I applied for GE. I now have a Greencard and was surprised not needing an interview !

  14. UK citizen. My GE ran out in March. Just renewed. Took 3 weeks for both UK police clearance and CBP clearance. No interview, which is fortunate as currently UK citizens are not entirely welcome in the US due to Covid, blessing my lucky stars as I had no idea how I would get an interview done within 3 months as required

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