Some Global Entry applicants are reporting waits of six months or longer for a Global Entry interview. That’s a long time for conditionally approved travelers to wait for the speedy immigration-line benefit.
But, there are two little-known ways you may be able to complete your Global Entry interview before your far-off appointment:
Global Entry Interview Appointment Alternative #1: Try a Walk-In
There’s no official list of Global Entry Enrollment Centers that accommodate walk-ins for conditionally approved applicants, but the Customs and Border Control website notes that Enrollment Centers “may accommodate walk-ins at their discretion.” Try calling the office nearest you to see if they might accept a walk-in Global Entry interview. Ask for tips about increasing your chances of scoring a successful walk-in appointment (hint: it will likely involve getting there early and waiting patiently for a long time).
Global Entry Interview Appointment Alternative #2: Use the Enrollment on Arrival Option
If you’re conditionally approved (you’ve filled out the forms, paid the fee, and received an email stating you’re approved pending an interview) and you happen to be returning from an international trip through a participating airport, you can complete your Global Entry interview without an appointment: while you’re clearing immigration and customs.
The Enrollment on Arrival option is only offered in some airports. After deplaning from an international flight at a participating airport, simply follow signs to the designated Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers, who you can ask to tack your Global Entry interview onto their usual admissibility inspection. You’ll still have to wait in line, which you were going to have to do anyway. But Enrollment on Arrival saves you a trip back to the airport to complete your interview.