Global Entry, TSA CLEAR and
Mobile Passport

Trust me when I tell you that having one or some of the above is going to make your life so much easier when you are flying, especially to international destinations.

What Do I Do First?

Global Entry: We just talked about the processing times for passports and the delays that area is experiencing. Global Entry is not untouched by this either. Remember my Costa Rica debacle? Well as soon as I was back at my desk, the first thing I did was sign up all 6 of my family members for Global Entry. With Global Entry, it does not matter the age, every person has to have their own, including babies. It is just like having a passport- if you have a passport, you need your own Global Entry.

However, Global Entry processing is severely delayed right now. So back in June 2022, I applied for myself, my husband and my 4 kids. My husband and I were approved right away and set up our appointments for August. My twins- I was able to get them into an appointment for March 2023 once they were both finally approved in October 2022. My older two? Still pending approval.

Not only is the processing for “Conditionally Approved” significantly delayed, but once approved, you still need an appointment for your final interview which seems near impossible to get anymore.

I was speaking with the very nice Immigrations Officer at the Las Vegas Airport where the Global Entry is processed, and asked her about these delays. She explained how it all happens: You complete the application. The application gets pushed to many facilities around the country, and they are sent individually, not as a “family”. So even if you applied as a family, it doesn’t matter, each person is treated as an individual. Based on where your application is sent will determine the amount of time it takes to get “Conditionally Approved”. If one facility is lacking employment, it could take a reaaallllllyyy long time for the application to get through the system.

Don’t worry- you have 2 years from your application date for it to still be considered relevent, and 2-years from your Conditionally Approved status to make an appointment. Hopefully, it doesn’t take that long.

The good news is that once you take your interview, you can use your Global Entry right away (I mean give it like 24-hours to upload into the system, but then you are good to go!)

Global Entry is the number you need in order to by-pass the Customs lines when returning to the USA. There are many restrictions and rules you must follow if you receive Global Entry, and it is no joke. They will take your card and you will not be able to apply again for another 5 years if you do not follow the rules. I have used mine twice now, and it really is lovely to have.

What Do I Do Next?

Since Global Entry is taking so long to turn around approvals, I recommend making sure you have TSA and CLEAR while you wait.

Technically speaking, if you have Global Entry, you do not need TSA as Global Entry will also help you “skip the lines” so to speak at security when traveling domestic as well. Most likely though, it will take you about 6 months to 2 years to obtain your Global Entry. If you are traveling only domestically that time frame, I would also get TSA.

TSA applications are super easy. You can go to TSA.gov, or you can google your nearest Staples and get the job done on your next Target spree or grocery run.

With TSA, you can complete applications for those 13 and over for $75 per person. If you have children under 13, they can go with you through the TSA, but it is encouraged for everyone to have their own. This actually comes in handy if you are waiting for Global Entry for your under 13 year old- they can still travel with you and you do not need to get them their own. Keep in Mind: if your under 13 year old will be flying without you, they will not be able to utilize TSA under another adult.

The double whammy is if you have both TSA and CLEAR. CLEAR basically operates like TSA. You sign up (there are family memberships available), they scan your retinas and fingerprints at the airport, then they walk you to the front of the line. If you have TSA, they walk you to the front of the TSA line. CLEAR is becoming more widely available throughout the US, but different airports allow for different privileges, and not all airports have CLEAR.

BONUS: All three of these services- Global Entry, TSA Pre-check and CLEAR, could be available to you at no cost through one of the major credit cards in your wallet right now. Check to see if any of your cards offer a reimbursement on your fees when you apply.

So you have none of that or you do not have the time to get any of that…what to do next?

The next best thing then would be the Mobile Passport Control App from Afar. Read what Upgraded Points travel site has to say about utilizing this service in lieu of the others.

Spotlight on
Itinerary Services

Listen, I get it. You have points. Or a special discount for a hotel. Or your company is paying for your hotel. Etc. Etc. But you need an itinerary put together so you enjoy your time in said destination.

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New York City
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Hawaii: Oahu/ Maui
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Cabo San Lucas

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This fee includes a professional itinerary with all services confirmed: transfers, dining, tours and activities, and suggested activities.

Fee will be based on the amount of customization required for the trip.
**Fees start at $250 per itinerary.**

***Bookings that include a combination of hotels, air, transfers and meet a $5000 trip minimum have itinerary building built into the cost.***

Call or email me to get started!


Updates on Passports, Global Entry, TSA and
How to Get it all Done

I have been advising my local Las Vegas and Henderson clients to utilize the “Secret Weapon” of passport applications and process- The Henderson City Clerk.

Apparently, y’all let everyone else know about it, and it is now craziness.

This week alone, I had two clients reach out to me to explain the process, because yes, there is now a process, in order to submit your passport application through the Henderson City Clerk.

New Process:
— Call ahead and make sure you have all of the proper documents pertaining to your needs for your passport. This could be for a new passport, renewal, change of name, children’s passports, renewing expired passports. Call this number first: 702.267.1400 and make sure you have everything you need.
— Next, arrive at 5am to 240 S. Water Street, Henderson, NV 89015, and be one of the 85 people to get an appointment for that day. Yes, 85 per day. And, yes, it fills up before their offices open at 7:30am.
— If you make the cut, you will be given a ticket in line order. Typical wait time for your appointment is 1.5-2 hours. There are places nearby for coffee and lunch while you wait.
— Money Orders is the preferred method of payment as checks will delay the processing system (most likely for account verification).
— You can expidite your application with the Henderson City Clerk.

— It is suggested to have your passport photo taken there to avoid any rejections from the Passport office.

— Expired passports over 5 years, and children under 16 will need to go to the USPS.

What is my back-up?

If you know you have the time, then the US Post Office will be your next best bet. The USPS accepts appointments on-line 30-days in advance.

And, same with the Henderson City Clerk, it is best to have the Post Office take any photos, and come prepared with all of your docs pertaining to your passport needs, as well as a Money Order.

Of course, there are other services out there just for Passport Application expediting. I can assist you with finding a reputable company.

Passport Application Processing is now 8-11 weeks.

Makes sense since the City of Henderson is capping out at 85 people per day, Monday – Thursday. Obviously, the demand for international travel has not slowed down. Keep in mind back logged processing is partially due to the major layoffs during 2020, and many of these companies are struggling to hire and train employees fast enough. This is also something we, as Travel Agents, see with our suppliers, tour operators and hoteliers. Even though COVID is over, the effects of massive layoffs, are still being felt in a continuously booming industry. Make sure you are allowing yourself plenty of time to not only get your passports processed in a timely manner, but to plan your trips as well!