Traveling Internationally Soon? Complete Your Global Entry Enrollment on Arrival—Here's How.

By Amanda Wowk

November 16, 2022

At the end of a 12-hour travel day, the last thing I wanted to do was wait in a long line to renew my Global Entry membership at JFK Airport. However, when I tell you, it was the easiest part of my half-day of travel, I mean it. It took all of—wait for it—six minutes to renew my membership (and with it, my TSA PreCheck membership) for another five years. 

Here’s how I did it. 

Let’s rewind to January 2022. I was newly eligible to renew my Global Entry membership (you can renew within the year leading up to your membership expiration date). I completed the necessary forms online, received conditional approval, and then, as a final step, needed to book an interview appointment at an enrollment center. 

Except there weren’t any appointments available—for the next year. Not at my local airport; not at any airports I would be flying into for the foreseeable future. Now what? 

Knowing I had time to figure it out—my membership was still valid for 11 months—I set the problem aside. 

It was when I booked my next international trip that I remembered I could, upon returning back to the U.S. from abroad, take advantage of Enrollment on Arrival and complete my interview—no appointment needed. 

If you’re also hoping to complete your Global Entry enrollment (first time or renewal)—and have an international trip coming up soon—here are the steps to take to make it happen. 
 

Step 1. Complete your online application 

If this is your first time applying for Global Entry membership, a step-by-step guide to the application process can be found on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website

You can also check out our beginner’s guide to Global Entry for a full overview of the program. 

If you’re renewing your membership, keep in mind that you are eligible to submit an application within one year from your expiration date. 

Membership costs $100 and is due when you submit your application. Some travel rewards credit cards issue a statement credit if you charge the $100 application fee to your card—this credit applies to renewing, as well. (Woohoo!)

Once you’ve completed your online application, you will soon receive an email confirming your conditional approval. With that conditional approval, you’re eligible to complete your Enrollment on Arrival. 

Related reading: A Beginner’s Guide to Global Entry


Step 2. Plan ahead for Enrollment on Arrival 

Remember when I said that I couldn’t book an appointment at my home airport, nor at any of the airports I’d be flying into? This was due, in part, to not every airport having an enrollment center; likewise, not every airport offers Enrollment on Arrival. 

That said, there are many airports—both in the U.S. and abroad—that offer it. And now’s the time to confirm that the airport you’ll be flying into (and passing through CBP) has an active enrollment center. 

At the time of publication, these airports offer Enrollment on Arrival: 

  • Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)
  • Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
  • Aruba Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA)
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
  • L.F. Wade International Airport (XKF)
  • Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF)
  • Calgary International Airport (YYC)
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
  • Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
  • Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) 
  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLT)
  • John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Denver International Airport (DIA)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Dublin International Airport (IDW)
  • Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
  • Fairbanks International Airport (FAI)  
  • Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)
  • Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
  • Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)
  • Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
  • Kansas City International Airport (MCI)
  • Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • General Mitchell International Airport, Milwaukee (MKE)
  • Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
  • Montréal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
  • Lynden Pindling Nassau International Airport (NAS)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK)
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB)
  • Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport (YOW)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Portland International Airport (PDX)
  • Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
  • Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO)
  • Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
  • San Antonio International Airport (SAT)
  • San Diego International Airport (SAN)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)
  • Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)
  • John Wayne Airport - Orange County (SNA)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • Shannon International Airport (INN)
  • St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
  • Tampa International Airport (TPA)
  • Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
  • Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG)


Step 3. Add a reminder in TripIt to complete Enrollment on Arrival

Since you’re not actually booking an appointment, here’s a little way to hack this step: Add a meeting in your TripIt itinerary and label it “Enrollment on Arrival”—or whatever will remind you of your actual last stop on your itinerary. 

Here's a screenshot of my TripIt itinerary with a reminder to complete Enrollment on Arrival.

Here’s why: After any international trip, you’re bound to be feeling, at best, a little worn out; at worst, still mentally in whatever time zone you traveled from. It would be very easy to autopilot your way through your normal routine of passing through CBP, collecting your checked bag, and heading for the airport exit—forgetting all about completing your Enrollment on Arrival. 

Thankfully, some airports provide signage to remind you of Enrollment on Arrival (signage at JFK Airport pictured below). 

But, do yourself the favor, and add a meeting to your TripIt itinerary. That way, especially if you have any of the TripIt widgets for iOS, you’ll have a visual cue right on your phone to head to complete your Enrollment on Arrival. 

 

Step 4. Get your documents ready 

So you’ve completed your online application, received conditional approval, and added Enrollment on Arrival to your next international trip itinerary. But, there’s one final step to make sure everything goes smoothly at the enrollment center—having the right documents with you. 

Thankfully, the list is pretty short. You just need to have a valid passport with you to complete your enrollment, as well as proof of residency, such as a driver’s license or utility bill. 

Make sure to pack these items with you for your trip—and have them handy when you land back at the airport where you plan to complete enrollment. 

 

Step 5. Head to the enrollment center 

Once you arrive back in the U.S. (or at one of the above-mentioned international enrollment centers), follow the signs to Enrollment on Arrival. 

Then, you’ll just need to answer a few final questions from a CBP agent, provide your documents, submit to fingerprinting—and you’ll be on your way to another five years of breezing through airport security (thanks, TSA Pre!) and customs and border protection as a member of Global Entry. 

Easy peasy.