Global Entry is a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) trusted traveler program that allows members to get through airport customs faster when entering the United States. Global Entry members can ‘skip the lines’ because their eligibility for entry has been prequalified.
Applicants need to meet qualifying low-risk standards to be granted Global Entry status. Prior criminal history or pending criminal charges are reasons that ‘may’ disqualify an applicant. Having a DUI could result in a Global Entry denial. However, a persuasive argument favoring low-risk status despite a prior criminal history can reverse a CBP denial.
If you’ve had a DUI and you want to apply for Global Entry or have had your application denied, a free case evaluation with a Los Angeles DUI Attorney can help you put together the strategy you need to convince the CBP to approve your application.
Why Global Entry Is Nice to Have
There is nothing less appealing to a weary traveler than to step off an international flight only to stand in line for an hour or more to get through US Customs. Global Entry is a way for travelers to avoid endless waiting and clear customs with minimal delays.
Global Entry has been a very successful program for CBP. Between 2015 and 2018, Global Entry membership grew from 2.1 million to 5.1 million. In April of 2022, CBP reported Global Entry enrollment close to 8 million with kiosks available to travelers at 61 US airports. CBP encourages low-risk travelers to apply for Global Entry because they will gain the following benefits:
- The program is available at most major US airports
- You get access to expedited entry
- There are no processing lines
- You don’t need to complete any paperwork
- Waiting times are greatly reduced
Another benefit of Global Entry is that members also qualify for TSA PreCheck®. TSA PreCheck® is a trusted traveler program administered by the Transportation Security Administration to help expedite security screenings for air travel within the United States. TSA PreCheck® passengers do not need to remove shoes, belts, or jackets and can keep liquids and electronics in their bags.
Travelers do need to remember that trusted traveler status is still a privilege and not a right. It does not guarantee a traveler won’t be subject to random security checks and other security-related inquiries. Trusted traveler memberships are good for 5 years and can be renewed thereafter.
How the Global Entry Application Process Works
Participation in Global Entry is open to US citizens, nationals, and permanent residents. An application can be completed online at the Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) page on the Department of Homeland Security website. A non-refundable $100 fee is collected prior to submitting the application.
Applicants need to have some names and dates ready. Five years of history will be requested for residence, employment, and international travel. The application also asks for information about any criminal arrests and convictions. Once an application is submitted, it can take from 4 to 6 months to be processed.
Required Background Check
During processing, a background check will be done by CBP that can include credit and criminal histories, citizenship and birth verification, travel history, education, employment, and military service.
It is from the background investigation that information may surface about a prior or pending DUI. Disclosing the DUI in the application and providing mitigating information about it will have been more helpful than not, but it may still not be enough to avoid an initial denial.
There is no limitation on how far back a background check can go. The longer ago a DUI occurred and the cleaner the record since, the more likely the CBP can be persuaded to approve Global Entry.
A DUI does not have to keep you from being approved for Global Entry. Contact a Los Angeles DUI Attorney if you need help qualifying for a trusted traveler program.
Notice of Conditional Approval or Denial
If CBP conditionally approves an application, a short in-person interview is arranged to verify the information in the application. Fingerprints and a headshot will be taken during the interview to complete the process.
If CBP chooses to deny an application, it will provide the applicant with a written notice explaining why the application was denied.
Reasons You May Not Be Eligible for Global Entry
The CBP has the sole discretion to decide whether or not a Global Entry applicant is a low enough risk traveler to qualify for its program. The risk assessment is based in part on the applicant’s history of compliance with laws, regulations, and policies.
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) provides the following reasons applicants may not qualify for Global Entry status:
- False or incomplete information provided on the application
- Any criminal arrest or conviction
- Any violations of customs, immigration, or agricultural laws
- Applicant is under government investigation in any country
- Applicant is not admissible into the US under immigration laws
- Applicant is suspected of engaging in terrorist activities
- Applicant is unable to convince CBP they are a low-risk traveler
What to Do if Your Global Entry Is Denied, Suspended, or Removed Because of a DUI
Global Entry applicants who receive denial notices may have their applications reviewed if they believe the reason for the denial was based on incomplete or inaccurate information. A request for reconsideration is made through the TTP website to an Ombudsman and must include the following documentation:
- The date of the denial and the reasons for it
- A summary of information explaining or clarifying the incident, arrest, or conviction that was the basis for the denial
- Court documents showing the disposition of all arrests and convictions – even if expunged
- Any other documentation that may help influence the Ombudsman’s decision
If a DUI arrest or conviction is the reason your application for Global Entry was denied, there may be a good chance of persuading the Ombudsman you are not a high-risk traveler. When your trusted traveler status is in jeopardy, get the best results with a Los Angeles DUI attorney exclusively focused on DUI and related legal matters.