What is the change? Beginning today, U.K. citizens may apply for the Global Entry program, which allows preapproved travelers to move through automated customs and immigration procedures at U.S. airports.

What does the change mean? Applicants must submit a registration request with the Home Office and undergo a background check before applying through U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: The Global Entry Program does not replace the need for a visa for visa-required nationals or an Electronic System Travel Authorization for visa-waived nationals.
  • Who is affected: U.K. citizens who travel frequently to the U.S.
  • Impact on processing times: The Home Office background check takes approximately 10 days. The provisional approval by CBP takes approximately two weeks, and an in-person interview with a CBP office must be scheduled within 30 days (although the interview may take place beyond 30 days).
  • Business impact: The streamlined entry procedures will ease travel for frequent business travelers.
  • Next steps: Applicants may go to the Register to Apply website to start the process with the Home Office.

Background: U.K. applicants for Global Entry must pay a U.K. government fee of £42 to the Home Office, and following a successful background check, will receive an access code to apply for Global Entry through the CBP’s Global Online Enrollment System. Once applicants receive provisional approval, they must sit for a face-to-face interview with a CBP officer. The CBP government fee is $100 and membership is valid for five years.

An estimated 4 million British citizens travel to the U.S. annually. The inclusion of U.K. citizens in Global Entry reciprocates the recent launch of the U.K. Registered Traveller program for select nationals, including U.S. citizens.

BAL Analysis: U.K. citizens preapproved for the program benefit from faster entry procedures at 46 U.S. airports and may qualify for preclearance by CBP when departing from participating international airports.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact

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