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US CBP Global Entry Program: Guide for UK Nationals

US CBP Global Entry Program: Guide for UK Nationals

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Global Entry Program offers eligible citizens of certain nations, including the UK, pre-clearance and fast-tracked entry into the US.

Global Entry members bypass the traditional CBP inspection lines and use an automated kiosk to complete their admission to the United States.

There are a number of conditions attached to the application process and to maintaining CBP Global Program membership status, which individuals will need to understand to avoid issues arising when attempting to gain entry at the US border.


What is the CBP Global Entry Program?

Under the CBP Global Entry Program, individuals deemed ‘low risk’ benefit from expedited clearance at the US border at certain airports and pre-clearance locations outside of the United States.

Program members will usually not have to complete the declaration form when travelling to the US, or be vetted by a CBP officer at the US border. Membership lasts five years.

It’s important to emphasise that the CBP Global Entry Program is not a ‘free pass’ into the US. Program members are not guaranteed expedited entry and may still be subject to further checks at border discretion.

Travellers remain subject to US immigration rules and entry requirements. Appropriate entry clearance must be sought to prior to all travel to the US, whether that’s under a visa or the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

Note also that every traveler will need to be a member of the program to benefit from expedited entry clearance.

Are UK citizens eligible for the CBP Global Entry Program?

If your country has a reciprocated ‘trusted traveler’ arrangement with CBP, you may apply to participate in Global Entry.

These include:

  • US citizens
  • US lawful permanent residents
  • Citizens of the UK
  • Citizens of India
  • Citizens of Germany
  • Citizens of Colombia
  • Citizens of Panama
  • Citizens of Singapore
  • Citizens of Switzerland
  • Citizens of Mexico
  • Citizens of Canada (under the NEXUS program)
  • Global Entry is also available to
  • Citizens of the Netherlands enrolled in FLUX
  • Korean citizens who are Smart Entry Service members

Additional requirements may apply, depending on your nationality, so it is advised to seek guidance on your specific circumstances.

Why you might not be eligible for the program

You may not be eligible for participation in the Global Entry program if you:

  • Provide false or incomplete information on the application;
  • Have been convicted of any criminal offense or have pending criminal charges or outstanding warrants (to include driving under the influence);
  • Have been found in violation of any customs, immigration or agriculture regulations or laws in any country;
  • Are the subject of an ongoing investigation by any federal, state or local law enforcement agency;
  • Are inadmissible to the United States under immigration regulation, including applicants with approved waivers of inadmissibility or parole documentation; or
  • Cannot satisfy CBP of your low-risk status.

How to apply for the CBP Global Entry Program

Before you can benefit from expedited US entry clearance as a UK national, you’re required to make an application to enrol in the Global Entry Program.

For Britsh citizens, the first step is to apply to the UK Home Office via an online application. This costs £42 per application.

Successful applications will then be issued a unique ‘UK Access Code’.

The code needs to be entered into the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) when you apply for Global Entry. You will need to pay a further $100 application fee (also non-refundable) for your five-year Global Entry membership.

Your application will then be reviewed by CBP, and background security checks carried out.

If your application is conditionally approved, you will have six months to attend an interview with a CBP officer. At the interview, you will be required to bring your passport and another valid, acceptable form of ID. Your biometric information will be taken, and the CBP officer will ask you questions about your application and background.

A final decision will then be made on your application.

UK citizens will not be able to make their Global Entry application through GOES without first holding Home Office approval.

Note that global Entry does not in itself allow you entry into the US. You must ensure you hold a valid passport and valid visa or USCIS authorization (ESTA).

You are also expected to maintain updated visa information with CBP for example if you obtain a new visa.

The formal process to update is to attend in-person at a Global Entry Enrollment Center.

Failure to update your Global Entry information is likely to result in issues when trying to gain entry to the US.

How much does the CBP Global Entry Program cost?

After paying the £42 Home Office application fee, you will then need to pay $100 for the US customs check.

Are children eligible for Global Entry?

It is not possible for co-travelers who are not approved Global Entry members to utilise the designated automated kiosks. This includes children.

Each individual has to hold membership in their own right.

For minors under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must provide consent for the membership application. They will also need to accompany the applicant minor at the CBP interview.

This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.



Founder & Principal Attorney Nita Nicole Upadhye is a recognized leader in the field of US business immigration law (AILA) and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with both US and UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

Nita successfully acts for corporations and professionals, entrepreneurs, artists, actors, and athletes from across the globe, providing expert guidance on all aspects of US visa and nationality applications, and talent mobility to the USA.

Nita is an active public speaker, thought leader, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

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