I'd like to get more information about SENTRI applications. Specifically, if the application is conditional, are the interviews only done at the centres listed on the website? This seems unlikely to me since it only lists CA/AZ/TX. (I'm in Australia)


Yes, the interviews are only done in these three states. That's because the SENTRI program is for land crossings into the US from Mexico. If you are in Australia, one of the following will be true:

  • you plan to be crossing into the US from Mexico on a regular basis, so these interview locations are not inconvenient, or
  • the SENTRI program is not appropriate for you.

Consider the following:

The Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Participants may enter the United States by using dedicated primary lanes into the United States at Southern land border ports.

(emphasis added; source: http://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/sentri)

  • sigh, they don't make the land part super clear on their website :( thanks for clarification – viraptor Feb 24 '16 at 4:25
  • @viraptor indeed. I suppose you've already looked into global entry and determined that you are not eligible. – phoog Feb 24 '16 at 4:35
  • yup, I'm not a citizen of the privileged part of the world – viraptor Feb 24 '16 at 4:36
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    If you're Australian, you may be interested to know that VWP travelers can use the automated passport kiosks If the port of entry is equipped with them. See cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/automated-passport-control-apc. – phoog Feb 24 '16 at 4:38
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    @viraptor That's a whole completely different issue to what you asked about here. And this is how you resolve it. – Michael Hampton Feb 24 '16 at 5:19

To clarify the other confusion I guess it is worth adding that, while the CBP web site is not very clear, I believe SENTRI membership is only open to US citizens and permanent residents and Mexican nationals. The SENTRI Eligibility page does say there are "no citizenship or age requirements", but is in fact referring to US permanent residents only. The SENTRI Benefits page suggests this when it says SENTRI members automatically get Global Entry benefits except for Mexican nationals, who must apply separately. This makes sense only because all the SENTRI members who aren't Mexican nationals are US citizens or residents. I also know GOES offers NEXUS members the option to add SENTRI to their membership if they are US citizens or residents, but doesn't if they are Canadian and not US residents.

Finally, with respect to the comments I'd note that anyone who, when entering the US, regularly gets singled out for secondary inspection or other attention for some reason is pretty certain to have an application for a US trusted traveller program turned down for the same reason. That needs to be resolved before applying or the $100 application fee will be wasted.

  • I would argue that the first part of this answer is incorrect (or outdated). SENTRI is available for any nationality, and nowhere in the process of application does it specify you need to be resident of US or Mexico. The website (now) says Access to TSA Pre✓® expedited security lanes at airports within the U.S. and U.S territories for U.S. Citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents, and also says Eligibility: U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents and all foreign nationals – Midavalo Dec 7 '19 at 20:55

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