United States: Traveling To The United States With Global Entry And NEXUS: Are My Wife And Me Trusted Travelers?

On January 19, 2015, my wife and me, Global Entry participants completed our NEXUS interviews at the Pearson Airport in Ontario, Canada, and were accepted into the program.

*          *          *          *          *          *

In an attempt to find the right balance between enforcement and service, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), part of the Department of Homeland Security, has initiated a series of trusted traveler programs for those who do not warrant extra security. Under the Sentri program (Secure Electronic Network Travelers Rapid Inspection) expedited lanes to ease border crossing on the United States southern border are made available to qualifying participants. Under the FAST program (Free And Secure Trade), certain U.S. — Canada and U.S. — Mexico partnering importers have available expedited release of commercial shipments. Under the NEXUS program, pre-screened travelers are allowed expedited processing at northern (Canada-United States) land, air and sea ports of entry.

The most comprehensive program, however, is Global Entry, which allows expedited clearance at a number of U.S. airports and international airports for pre-approved low risk travelers.

U.S. regulations at 8 C.F.R. Section 235.12(a) describes the program as follows:

The Global Entry Program is a voluntary international trusted traveler program, consisting of an integrated passenger processing system that expedites the movement of low-risk air travelers into the United States by providing an alternate inspection process for pre-approved, pre-screened travelers. In order to participate, a person must meet the eligibility requirements, specified in this section, apply in advance, undergo pre-screening by CBP and be accepted into the program. The Global Entry Program allows participants expedited entry into the United States at selected airports, identified by CBP at www.globalentry.gov. Participants will be processed through the use of CBP – approved technology that will include the use of biometrics, to validate identify and to perform enforcement queries.

Who is Eligible?

United States citizens and permanents residents of the United States (green card holders) are eligible to participate in the program.

In addition, certain non-immigrant aliens from countries that have entered into arrangements with CBP may participate.

Currently, certain citizens of Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, Panama, and the United Kingdom participate.

Is the Program Effective?

It certainly is! Global Entry participants can complete immigration processing and streamline the customs admission application process at kiosks in designated airports, which are activated by inserting your machine readable passport, followed by biometrics identification. At certain busy airports, you will have reduced your waiting time for completion of the immigration process from 45 minutes to 45 seconds!

In addition, Global Entry participants are generally eligible for TSA Pre-Check when going through security at American airports, so that you do not have to remove your shoes and belt (among other things) to get through security!

Qualifying for the Program and Remaining in the Program

It is in the sole discretion of CBP to determine whether the individual presents a potential risk for terrorism, criminality, or is otherwise not a low-risk traveler.

"Reasons why an applicant may not qualify for participation include:"

  • The applicant provides false or incomplete information on the application.
  • The applicant has been arrested for, or convicted of, any criminal offense or has pending criminal charges or outstanding warrants in any country;
  • The applicant has been found in violation of any customs, immigration, or agriculture regulations, procedures, or laws in any country;
  • The applicant is inadmissible to the United States under applicable immigration laws or has, at any time, been granted a waiver of inadmissibility or parole;
  • The applicant is known or suspected of being or having been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism; or
  • The applicant cannot satisfy CBP of his or her low-risk status or meet other program requirements.

CBP is extremely serious about enforcement and even the smallest of violations can result in termination from the program. There is a story of an individual traveler terminated from the program after discovery of an open food container, slipped into her briefcase by her young son.

Children, apparently, can cause problems. One father, with Global Entry, traveling with his young son, who did not have Global Entry, was terminated from the program after he completed his Global Entry processing, and filled out a regular customs form for his son. However, he presented himself at the CBP departure inspection point with his Global Entry receipt and the unstamped form for his son, bypassing the regular inspection point that would have been tasked to process his child's admission. The inspector was convinced that his actions were not inadvertent, even though this frequent traveler had no prior history of violations or problems at a port of entry.

In fact, we are writing to the CBP Trusted Travelers Ombudsman with reference to the father and his young son. We will let you know how it turns out.

Termination or Rejection – Can You Appeal?

The regulations provide for three possible methods of redress, for an individual whose application has been denied, or whose participation has been suspended or terminated.

"The applicant/participant may contest his or her denial, suspension or removal, by writing to the enrollment center where that individual's interview was conducted."

The "applicant/participant may choose to initiate the redress process through DHS Trip". The DHS Trip website is located at www.dhs.gov/trip.

"Applicants and participants may contest the denial, suspension, or removal by writing to the CBP Trusted Traveler's Ombudsman."

So What Happened to My Wife and Me?

My wife and I applied for Global Entry separately. She applied at JFK International Airport and I applied at Newark Liberty International Airport. We completed the appropriate applications online after registering on the appropriate website for the Global Entry program, (https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov) and appeared at the airports for interviews after completing extensive applications online, and bringing to the interview documentation, including our passports and proof of where we lived. We assume, of course, that they did security checks on both of us, prior to the interviews.

The officers were pleasant, courteous, and efficient in their interview and document review.

Sometime later, we decided to apply for NEXUS and went online to complete the necessary applications from within our Global Entry accounts. There was a wait in excess of two months before we were permitted to schedule our appointments at the Pearson Airport. We scheduled our appointments together at 12:30 p.m. We appeared together, we waited together, we were interviewed together, and we left together, but, we were not together in our assessment of the experience.

We arrived at the Enrollment Center about an hour early, at 11:30 a.m. We asked a very pleasant and courteous CBP officer whether we should sign the appointment list and wait, or come back later. She suggested that we might be able to get in earlier, if we signed up right away. There were only 4 names ahead of us on the list. However, between 11:45 and 12:10, at least another half a dozen people came in and signed up for their 12 o'clock and 12:15 appointments. Those individuals who had earlier appointments and did arrive "on time" for their appointments, were seen ahead of us, and we were not called in until about five minutes to one o'clock.

As an immigration practitioner, I am familiar with this policy and practice in place at many Centers and District offices and to my mind, being called up to be processed within a half hour of my appointment time and completing the process within a half hour thereafter, was excellent service. My wife thought that once our scheduled appointment time was reached, 12:30, we should have had priority and been called in before any other registrants who came after us. My wife and I have agreed to disagree. We both agree it's a wonderful program, and yes, our NEXUS cards came in the mail within two weeks.

Looking Ahead

CBP is continuing to negotiate in order to expand the Global Entry Program and look for other ways to provide preference to "trusted travelers".

Ironically, a pilot program, applicable in certain U.S. airports provides expedited processing through kiosks for any U.S. citizens, perhaps making all of this processing we went through to obtain Global Entry unnecessary.

Be that as it may, these initiatives by CBP are a commendable way to try to perform a very difficult mission, guarding our borders, while at the same time, accommodating the many low risk travelers seeking entry into the United States.

Traveling to the United States with Global Entry and NEXUS: Are my wife and me Trusted Travelers?

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

    Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of www.mondaq.com

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions