I applied for the Global Entry program a couple of days ago, and I noticed a few mentions throughout the application process to an interview that I would need to schedule as part of the process.

What should I expect at the interview? Who will be conducting the interview and what sort of questions will be asked?

I see that I will need to bring my proof of citizenship (e.g., passport) with me; are there any other documents that I should bring (even if not required)?


4 Answers 4


Checked with a few colleagues that have been through the interview...

The interview is done by CBP (Customs and Border Patrol). The questions seem to vary, but mainly cover your travel patterns, countries you've been to, employment/employer, etc. Total time for the interview was around 15-20min, including watching a short video, and a sample of how to use the GE kiosk.

None took any other documentation, and none were asked for any. It sounds like a business card may not hurt if you have one, but that's about it.

  • Thanks for the info. My interview went just about exactly the way you described above (:
    – user82
    Apr 26, 2012 at 3:59

My interview was this past Monday, and I am now a member of Global Entry (:

I had my interview at DFW International Airport in Dallas. I arrived first thing in the morning, located the office and signed in. There were already 8-12 people waiting for their appointments. After 15 minutes or so, a CBP officer called my name and led me to his cubicle.

We exchanged a few pleasantries, I gave him my conditional approval letter, my passport and my driver's license.

I also gave him my CHL (Concealed Handgun License) and informed him that I was unarmed (of course). In Texas, this is (usually) required when a CHL holder is showing identification to a police officer. Although it was probably not required for me to do this with the CBP officer, I wasn't 100% sure, and anyway I figured it couldn't hurt to show some proof that I'm "one of the good guys" (:

The officer asked me about my past and future travel plans ("Were your trips to the countries listed on your application for business or pleasure? Are you primarily going to use your Global Entry membership for business or pleasure?").

He then asked me a series of questions about whether I had ever been convicted of a crime, whether I had ever violated customs laws, etc. These were all the same questions as the ones on my application form, so I'm assuming that the point of this was to establish that I was who I said I was and/or to make sure I wasn't lying on my application form.

Then he registered my passport, took my photo and recorded my fingerprints (using a digital reader). He put a special sticker on the last page of my passport and gave me a few booklets with more information on the program and US customs laws.

I collected my documents, thanked the officer for his time and got on with my day.

The whole process took 30-45 minutes. I spent 10-15 minutes waiting for my turn, and then the interview lasted about 20 minutes.

  • I was a little disappointed that there was no video/demo, but I had more important things to be doing with my time anyway :P
    – user82
    Apr 26, 2012 at 4:16
  • 3
    Since when does having a CHL = "one of the good guys"
    – Kermit
    Sep 25, 2014 at 1:22
  • 8
    @Kermit In order to qualify for a CHL in Texas, you must have never committed a felony – ever – have not committed any misdemeanor within the last 5 years, not be delinquent on tax nor child support payments, and not be chemically dependent (more than 2 DUIs in 10 years). In short, a CHL is proof that you are in good standing with the law.
    – user82
    Sep 25, 2014 at 7:52

I did mine about a year ago -- I'm an Indian-American US citizen and was just starting grad school at the time. I had over the summer before the interview visited a bunch of countries in Asia. The interview was fairly straightforward, but they did ask me about every country I had visited (what cities did I visit, what were the dates, why did I go, who did I stay with, did I work, etc.) even though I'd only been at each one for a few days.

The CBP person didn't really seem to care about the answers, though, and after we were done she basically immediately started explaining how to use global entry and pointed me to the demo kiosk.

Overall the process was fairly smooth -- I did not have to wait long (was on time for my appointment), didn't get asked any hard questions (though I was annoyed that they were all just duplicates of what was already on my application), and there weren't any strange holdups. I did not get my card right away, but it was sent to me promptly (I think that's probably true for everyone).

This experience is pretty much the same as the above two folks; figured people might be interested in what it was like from someone who had visited some countries who weren't on the state department's "friends" list and who has brown skin, though ;)

  • The duplicate questions are useful for two cases: If the form was completed by someone else, the applicant may not remember what it says. If an answer turns out to be false, "X told me this in the interview" is stronger than "X apparently signed a form saying this". Aug 25, 2016 at 17:48

As of December 2015, UK citizens who aren't US permanent residents are now allowed to apply for Global Entry, joining the list of about half a dozen allowed countries. I think the interviews may be slightly different depending on if you're a US citizen or Permanent Resident vs not, but I'm not certain.

When you get the conditional approval letter through, it will say on it what things you need to bring to the interview. For a UK citizen + resident, it said you needed to bring your Passport, proof of address, and the approval letter itself. All of those were required, including a printout of the approval letter. Proof of your ESTA would've sped things up, but they can (and will, eventually...) look it up. Obviously US citizens and those with visas won't need their ESTA details. Exactly what counts as proof of address isn't quite clear, but a UK driving license worked fine for myself and the person before me.

In terms of questions, it does appear to vary, based on what I overhead from others while waiting my term. Confirming your name, address, date of birth and email address seem to apply to everyone, as does the request for letter + passport + proof of address. After that it varies. You may be asked about some of the countries you've listed as having visited, including if the trip there was for business or pleasure, what you did there, that sort of thing. You may be asked about your current and previous employer and job role. You may be asked to reconfirm that you haven't been in trouble with the law, nor with immigration / customs anywhere in the world. You may (based on reports on FlyerTalk) have to educate the CBP officers on some aspects of the program, if you're the first person from your country they've seen yet! Towards the end, you'll need to have fingerprints taken, and then have the Global Entry machine + process explained.

Quickest I spotted was a US citizen completing their interview in about 5 minutes, most people seemed to take 10-15 minutes. Sample size was about 10 people, but only in one location at lunchtime while having my own interview done!

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