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Does tsa pre-check program help in travelling to europe

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TSA PreCheck

This convenient, time-saving option greatly reduces the hassle of domestic airport travel for frequent flyers and even those who only take the occasional trip.

What is TSA PreCheck?

The program is designed to expedite the process of passing through airport security. Though it was originally available only to frequent fliers of certain airlines, TSA expanded the program in 2013, making it available to all US citizens.

TSA PreCheck is designed for US citizens who fly primarily within the contiguous United States. In exchange for a small fee and a brief screening process, the federal government will run a few extra security checks on you for clearance. Once approved, you’re granted TSA PreCheck status.

What Are the Benefits of TSA PreCheck?

The largest benefit of PreCheck is the additional freedoms you’ll receive as you move through the often congested security lines at the airport. These freedoms include:

  • The ability to leave your shoes on
  • No need to remove your laptop from its bag
  • No need to show your liquids outside of your bag
  • No need to remove your belt
  • No need to remove your jacket

In addition, the TSA authority touts certain goals or promises to those traveling with pre-check that can be very valuable to you, especially if you’re a frequent flyer. These benefits include s security wait time of 5 minutes or less, as reported by 97% of PreCheck flyers. Wait times are supervised by TSA staff 24 hours a day at their national headquarters in Arlington, VA. If a line begins to get congested, officials will know and work to reduce congestion within hours. Furthermore, the program is available in more than 180 airports by 19 airlines, meaning that your fast pass through security will serve you pretty much wherever you fly.

How to Enroll in TSA PreCheck

Enrollment is incredibly simple and quick. The process begins when you submit an online questionnaire, available here. This form, which can typically be completed in about 5-10 minutes, generally gathers background information about you. Once you’ve completed the form you will be prompted to schedule an in-person appointment. These are conducted at TSA enrollment centers in cities across the US.

With nearly 400 enrollment centers nationwide, chances are you won’t have to go far to your nearest location. You can find the closest enrollment center by using the TSA’s website and the locator tool, you can search by zip code, airport code, or city name

If you live in a rural area, you may need to travel to the closest city offering enrollment. You’ll want to identify your local enrollment center and make sure that you can logistically keep the appointment that you make, as these appointments fill up fast, and canceling could significantly delay your Pre-Check clearance.

The in-person interview is a quick process, often lasting ten minutes or less. Typically you’ll be asked about your travel behavior and asked to confirm the facts you provided in your online application. You’ll also be asked to submit to a background check and volunteer your fingerprints. While the screening process is quick, you should plan on spending 45 minutes to an hour at the interview, as it’s not uncommon for the process to be running late or behind schedule.

Once the information is processed and your payment has been received, you will receive your official TSA approval and be able to begin using the accelerated lines at the airport. The timeline on this process can vary greatly depending on demand, but typically your clearance will arrive in the form of a letter in less than a month.

Cost of TSA PreCheck

The cost to apply for TSA PreCheck is $85 at the time of publishing. This is the cost you can expect to pay if you file for consideration through the federal government. This fee cannot be waived, as it covers the cost of the required background testing, identification verification, administrative costs, and fingerprinting. Forms of payment accepted include major credit cards, money orders, cashier’s checks, or certified checks.

A word of caution: you might encounter third-party companies offering to help you with your application process. In these instances, you can expect to pay a notable mark up from the base price of the program.

Who Is Eligible for TSA PreCheck?

While most Americans will qualify, certain individuals will not be considered eligible for acceptance, such as those with a criminal past, who are on a national terrorist watch list, or who demonstrate certain behavioral or health concerns. For those who do quality, the process is simple and straightforward; and unlike other security programs, you don’t need a passport to apply for PreCheck.

Many foreign citizens are also eligible to participate, so long as they meet certain pre-determined citizenship and residency requirements. The best way to determine your eligibility is to begin by reviewing all of the programs available that are similar to TSA PreCheck. These programs include Sentri, NEXUS, Global Entry, and TSA PreCheck. A full list of the different program options is available for review, here.

In addition, the following actions will disqualify you for consideration, and could result in suspension (either permanent or temporary)from TSA PreCheck eligibility:

  • Interference with security operations
  • Access control violations
  • Providing false or fraudulent documents
  • Making a bomb threat
  • Bringing a firearm, explosive, or other prohibited item to an airport or on board an aircraft

Pro Tips for Getting and Using TSA PreCheck

Most international airports have an interviewing location on the property. Why not schedule your interview for the next time you’ll be at the airport anyway? Do note that these offices are typically pre-security checkpoints, so you’ll want to schedule enough time to make it through security following your interview. While you won’t be able to use TSA PreCheck on the day of your interview, it may be the last time you have to wait in a traditional security line at your home airport!

In order to use your TSA PreCheck benefits, you’ll need to have your boarding pass reflect your status. There is no way to enter the Pre-Check line at security without this, and showcasing your acceptance letter at a TSA agent won’t work, either. In order to have your status reflected on your boarding pass, you’ll need to provide your “Known Traveler Number” or “KTN” during booking. This number can also be added after booking but before check-in, if you book your flights before your clearance arrives. You will find your known traveler number in the upper left-hand corner of the back of your card.

Not all flights qualify for PreCheck benefits. Your ability to use your status to speed through security will depend on if your chosen airline works with the program.

Your TSA PreCheck card can serve as a second form of government-issued ID. Since it showcases your photo, this extra benefit means that you can take just your passport and TSA card with you around town, leaving your driver’s license at your hotel. This offers many travelers a feeling of peace in the event of ID loss or theft.

FAQs About TSA PreCheck

  • How does TSA PreCheck work with International travel?
    • You can use your Pre-Check benefits when flying from an approved domestic airport (on a participating airline) to an international destination.
    • No, children 12 and under may use the PreCheck lane with a guardian. Children 13 and above will need their own PreCheck approval, however, or else they will need to use the standard security line no matter their parent’s status.

    Additional Details and Global Entry

    With more than 4 million Americans already enrolled in this program, TSA’s PreCheck is a trusted and thriving way to enhance your airport experience. This is exciting news, but it comes with a potential drawback. Appointments for interviews fill up quickly, often many months in advance. If you think PreCheck is something you want to have for your next vacation, you shouldn’t delay. It’s important to fill out paperwork and schedule your interview right away.

    Global Entry is a similar program to PreCheck that offers the additional feature of speedier entry times to the US from foreign countries. Offered for just $15 more, or $100 for a 5-year pass, this program is operated and screened by US Customs and Border Protection.

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    TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, NEXUS And CLEAR: What You Need To Know

    Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

    TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, NEXUS And CLEAR: What You Need To Know

    Getty

    Experienced travelers use three secret weapons to speed through airport security and make screenings less intrusive: TSA PreCheck, Global Entry and CLEAR®. For land crossings between the U.S. and Canada, NEXUS offers a similar speedy service. Each is designed to make travel easier, but the way each works differs.

    TSA PreCheck provides dedicated lines and expedited screening at domestic airports in the United States. Global Entry allows expedited entry into the United States for international travelers and includes TSA PreCheck. NEXUS provides dedicated lanes at select border crossings between the U.S. and Canada while also offering full TSA PreCheck and Global Entry benefits when flying. CLEAR provides identity verification and a shortcut through airport screening.

    In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between each program and help you decide which is the best one for your travel style.

    What Is TSA PreCheck?

    TSA PreCheck is a government-run membership program that allows travelers to use an expedited airport security line. In these dedicated lines, travelers undergo a less-intrusive airport security screening than other passengers.

    At airport security, members go through metal detectors instead of full-body scanning machines and can keep their shoes and light jackets on. Additionally, they can leave their laptops and 3-1-1 liquids in their suitcase or carry-on bag.

    Children 12 and under can use the PreCheck lane when traveling with a parent or guardian who has PreCheck without registering, but anyone 13 or older needs to register separately.

    Where Can I Use TSA PreCheck?

    TSA PreCheck is available at more than 200 airports throughout the U.S. with 83 participating airlines. This program is intended for domestic use only, so there are no international airport locations.

    What Is Global Entry?

    Global Entry membership is run by the federal government and is geared toward the international traveler and allows expedited immigration screening upon entry to the U.S. This benefit speeds up the entry process when international travelers are returning to the U.S. after visiting a foreign country. Global Entry membership also includes TSA PreCheck, so you can double up on benefits with just one program.Unlike TSA PreCheck, Global Entry membership is necessary for people of any age and families can not use Global Entry unless every single family member is a member.

    Where Can I Use Global Entry?

    Members can use Global Entry ports of entry in the U.S. and select pre-clearance locations around the world. Some international airports allow members to clear immigration and customs prior to departure instead of when you arrive in the U.S. These airports include Dublin and Shannon in Ireland; Aruba; Freeport and Nassau in The Bahamas; Bermuda; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg in Canada.

    What Is NEXUS?

    Unlike TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, NEXUS is designed for travelers who frequently travel between the U.S. and Canada and includes expedited crossings at land, marine and air borders.

    By road, NEXUS members will find special lanes for their crossing that often have shorter lines than those available to the general public. Additionally, the questioning process at the border is often faster since their background check is already on file. When flying, NEXUS includes all TSA PreCheck and Global Entry benefits, as well as access to NEXUS kiosks when arriving in Canada (which works similarly to Global Entry when arriving in the U.S.).

    NEXUS is duly-run by both nations, which means applicants will need to speak to border patrol officers from both countries as part of the interview and approval process. Like Global Entry, all ages must register for NEXUS if you travel as a family.

    Where Can I Use NEXUS?

    NEXUS is available at 17 U.S.-Canada land border crossings, typically coinciding with the busiest crossing ports in New York, Michigan and Washington (with a handful of other locations). If approved for NEXUS, you can also report your marine arrivals by phone rather than in person and avail yourself of TSA PreCheck, Global Entry and NEXUS kiosk locations when traveling by air.

    What Is CLEAR?

    CLEAR is a privately-run program that helps accelerate airport scans by using your fingerprints and your eyes instead of traditional ID. It doesn’t include TSA PreCheck, so it won’t help you skip taking off your shoes or removing your laptop and liquids from your bags at security. If you want the benefits of TSA PreCheck as well, you’ll need to enroll in TSA PreCheck as well as CLEAR. Many airports offer a separate CLEAR checkpoint for those with TSA PreCheck or funnel those with TSA PreCheck through to the correct security line. While CLEAR registration is limited to adults over 18, children can use the service when traveling with a registered adult.

    Where Can I Use CLEAR?

    At the moment, CLEAR is available at 45 airports in the U.S. If you love attending sporting events and concerts, CLEAR may also help you skip the line there as well. Many stadiums have begun using CLEAR as an alternative to traditional ID checks.

    TSA PreCheck vs. Global Entry vs. NEXUS vs. CLEAR: What You Need to Know

    TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are two of the Trusted Traveler programs offered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. NEXUS is a joint-run initiative by the U.S. Trusted Traveler program and Canada Border Services Agency. CLEAR is a separate program, run by a privately-owned company and certified by the DHS.

    The Department of Homeland Security offers a number of other trusted traveler programs to expedite travel between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, including SENTRI and FAST (Canada and Mexico). Each of these programs allows travelers to get prescreened by the government and receive expedited screening while traveling.

    Another option is to use the free Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app offered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Apple, Android) to help speed up the U.S. Immigration screening process. Mobile Passport Control isn’t a substitute for Global Entry, but is not widely in use by the general public. Because of this, use of even Mobile Passport Control can expedite your entry into the U.S.

    Who Can Sign Up for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or CLEAR?

    Applications for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are available to U.S. citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents. In addition, citizens of the following countries are eligible to apply for Global Entry and may be granted the benefits of TSA PreCheck even though they can’t apply for PreCheck directly:

    • Argentina
    • Bahrain
    • Brazil
    • Colombia
    • Germany
    • India
    • Mexican nationals
    • The Netherlands
    • Panama
    • Singapore
    • South Korea
    • Switzerland
    • Taiwan
    • United Kingdom

    Additionally, Canadian and Mexican citizens and residents are eligible for Global Entry benefits when signing up for NEXUS.

    CLEAR, on the other hand, is only available to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents over the age of 18.

    Some people are automatically disqualified from participating in the Trusted Traveler programs. You are excluded if you:

    • Provided false or incomplete information on your application
    • Have been convicted of a criminal offense, have pending criminal charges or have outstanding warrants (including driving under the influence)
    • Have been found in violation of any customs, immigration or agriculture regulations or laws
      Are subject to an ongoing investigation by any federal, state or local law enforcement agency
    • Have been denied for the purchase of a firearm
    • Are inadmissible to the U.S. under immigration regulation
    • Cannot satisfy Customs and Border Patrol with evidence of your low-risk status

    How Do You Sign Up for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, NEXUS or CLEAR?

    To sign up for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or NEXUS, visit the Trusted Traveler portal to submit your application. During the application process, you’ll provide personal information that allows the Department of Homeland Security to perform a background check on you. In the case of NEXUS, a similar background check will be performed by the Canada Border Services Agency but only a single application is required.

    Once the Department of Homeland Security has performed its background check, you need to schedule an in-person interview. TSA PreCheck enrollment centers are located at many airports and other locations throughout the country, whereas Global Entry enrollment centers are usually located at international airports and land border crossings. Because of this, completing the TSA PreCheck interview process is easier for most applicants.

    Since there are fewer Global Entry locations available to perform interviews, some travelers choose to apply for TSA PreCheck instead. During the interview for either PreCheck or Global Entry, a Department of Homeland Security agent will verify your information, take your picture and process your fingerprints. Your fingerprints are used to verify your identity at Global Entry kiosks upon arrival from a foreign country.

    Global Entry also offers an option called “enrollment upon arrival.” Under enrollment upon arrival, applicants who have been conditionally approved can complete their interview upon arrival into the U.S. Over 60 airports offer Global Entry enrollment upon arrival, including over a dozen international locations.

    When you land at the international terminal, follow the signs and speak with a Customs and Border Patrol officer. They will direct you to their colleague who can help you complete your application. You will need to bring your passport, proof of residency and a permanent resident card (if applicable) with you to the appointment. This is not required for minors.

    The NEXUS interview process is slightly more involved, since you’re being approved by two agencies rather than one. Joint enrollment centers are few and far between and typically located in cities along the border, making it impractical for anyone who isn’t crossing by land anyway. Canada takes an iris scan, in addition to fingerprinting.

    Canadian enrollment centers are temporarily closed due to a dispute between U.S. and Canadian officials over whether American Customs agents can be armed in Canada but U.S.centers have reopened.

    Signing up for CLEAR is relatively straightforward. It can be done on the spot, in an airport. You also have the option to start the application process online, but you’ll need to go to a CLEAR center to register your biometric data. If you can’t find the time or don’t have a center nearby, you can register the first time you go to an airport that has a CLEAR office.

    The process only takes about 5 minutes and unlike registering for TSA PreCheck, there’s no need to set up an appointment.

    Remember that before you can register your biometric data, you’ll need to provide a valid ID, such as a passport, a driver’s license or a permanent resident card. Check CLEAR’s website for more information.

    How Do I Use My Benefits?

    You’ll be able to use your TSA PreCheck, Global Entry benefits as soon as you’ve completed your interview. Before you leave the enrollment center, you’ll receive a Known Traveler number and in the case of Global Entry your Trusted Traveler card will arrive in the mail within 7 to 10 business days after approval. Global Entry members do not need to activate this card to use your benefits for air travel. However, it must be activated to use for land border crossings.

    To use your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry benefits when you fly, your Known Traveler number needs to be attached to your ticket. Log into your airline loyalty program accounts and update your profile with your Trusted Traveler number. Future flights with your loyalty number attached will automatically attach your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry benefits when available. You can also manually add your Trusted Traveler Number during the booking process.

    Those approved for NEXUS can use their associated TSA PreCheck and Global Entry benefits immediately, but will need to wait for their physical card to arrive in the mail for use at NEXUS land border crossings or Canadian NEXUS kiosk locations in airports. That’s because you’ll be required to present the card to proxy card readers in order to proceed through immigrations processing.

    CLEAR is ready to use as soon as you’ve registered your biometric data. To use CLEAR, simply go to one of the CLEAR checkpoints at the airport and verify your identity by using your fingerprints or eyes. Once that’s done, you’re free to move on to the security screening line.


    How Much Do Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, NEXUS and CLEAR Cost?

    NEXUS is the cheapest option, despite being the most comprehensive background check, at a cost of $50 for a five year duration. TSA PreCheck costs $85 and Global Entry is $100, both of which are also valid for five years.

    Even though it’s the cheapest, NEXUS has so few interview centers that it may be impractical for many travelers to complete enrollment. For everyone else, Global Entry is likely the best option if you ever travel internationally because the cost is so similar to PreCheck alone. This is especially true if you have a credit card that reimburses your Global Entry registration fees, making your out-of-pocket cost $0.

    A proposed rule would increase Global Entry fees to $120 per five years if approved by the administration. If you are worried about this rate increase, you should sign up for Global Entry now before the price increases to lock in a lower rate.

    CLEAR® is the most expensive program of the three. It costs $189 per year and, unlike Global Entry, doesn’t include TSA PreCheck. CLEAR members can add up to three family members or friends for $60 per year each, lowering the per-person cost of the program. Children don’t need to enroll, as the program is free for those under the age of 18. Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus members are eligible for discounted rates, with free membership for top-tier elites.

    Which Credit Cards Reimburse Global Entry and TSA PreCheck Fees?

    There are numerous travel credit cards that will reimburse TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees up to $100. In most cases, the credit is available once every four to five years. Check your card’s policy for reimbursement details.

    Here are some of the most popular travel cards that reimburse your application fees via statement credits:

      (Terms apply, see rates & fees) (Terms apply, see rates & fees) (Terms apply, see rates & fees)

    Which Credit Cards Reimburse NEXUS Fees?

    Offering statement credits toward NEXUS application fees is a relatively new benefit that’s still only available on select cards.

    Currently, Chase is the only card issuer offering reimbursement (up to once every 4 years of card membership) when you charge your application fee to an eligible card including:

    Which Credit Cards Reimburse CLEAR Fees?

    American Express Platinum Cards (personal and business) will reimburse up to $189 for CLEAR® membership in the form of an annual statement credit. The Centurion® Card from American Express * also offers a CLEAR® membership to cardholders.

    The American Express® Green Card * offers partial reimbursement—up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year—of CLEAR fees. Finally, eligible Delta SkyMiles cards from American Express offer a discount on CLEAR fees—you’ll pay $109, instead of the normal $189. Terms and conditions apply.

    Do Children Need To Sign Up for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, NEXUS and CLEAR?

    The answer varies depending upon which Trusted Traveler program you are signing up for. Children 12 and under may use the PreCheck security line when accompanied by an adult who is a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry member.

    Global Entry requires children of all ages to have a valid membership in order to use its kiosks at U.S. Immigration.

    As part of the proposed fee increase for Global Entry, children under 18 will no longer be charged an application fee. This would be a big savings for families. Today, a family of two adults and two children would pay $400 to enroll the entire family. Under the proposed rules, they would only pay $240, which is a savings of $160.

    NEXUS requires children under 18 to apply for the program if they will be traveling with their parents, but on the bright side, children will be admitted for free.

    CLEAR doesn’t require children under 18 to enroll and the program is free for them, but they must be accompanied by an adult.

    Bottom Line

    TSA PreCheck, Global Entry and CLEAR give travelers several ways to speed through security at the airport; NEXUS also includes land and marine borders. TSA PreCheck gives domestic travelers a dedicated airport security lane. Plus, members can keep their shoes on their feet, laptop in their carry-on and 3-1-1 liquids in their suitcase as they go through security. Global Entry membership includes all of these benefits, plus provides expedited immigration and customs screening when returning from an international flight.

    CLEAR allows travelers to skip the long lines for ID verifications by using one of their dedicated terminals which use biometric data. It does not expedite security screenings in the way TSA PreCheck does.

    Currently, application fees are $100 or less for NEXUS, TSA PreCheck and Global Entry and provide benefits for five years. CLEAR is more expensive at $189 per year, which is why it isn’t ideal for occasional travelers. Frequent travelers, however, will most likely enjoy CLEAR’s benefits at airports with long lines.

    Many travel credit cards cover up to $100 in application fees for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, so cardholders can apply to either program and have the application fee reimbursed with the right card. Reimbursements for NEXUS are less common, but still included on several popular cards. Select American Express Cards offer full or partial reimbursement of CLEAR fees each year.

    Even if you don’t have a credit card that reimburses your application fees, the cost averages out to $20 or less per year for NEXUS, TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, and $15 per month for CLEAR. The time savings provided will be worthwhile for many travelers.

    To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express please visit this page.

    To view rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express please visit this page.

    To view rates and fees of Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card please visit this page.

    Get Forbes Advisor’s ratings of the best travel credit cards and helpful information on how to utilize travel rewards and benefits to get the best deals for your next adventure.

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    TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, NEXUS And CLEAR: What You Need To Know

    Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

    TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, NEXUS And CLEAR: What You Need To Know

    Getty

    Experienced travelers use three secret weapons to speed through airport security and make screenings less intrusive: TSA PreCheck, Global Entry and CLEAR®. For land crossings between the U.S. and Canada, NEXUS offers a similar speedy service. Each is designed to make travel easier, but the way each works differs.

    TSA PreCheck provides dedicated lines and expedited screening at domestic airports in the United States. Global Entry allows expedited entry into the United States for international travelers and includes TSA PreCheck. NEXUS provides dedicated lanes at select border crossings between the U.S. and Canada while also offering full TSA PreCheck and Global Entry benefits when flying. CLEAR provides identity verification and a shortcut through airport screening.

    In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between each program and help you decide which is the best one for your travel style.

    What Is TSA PreCheck?

    TSA PreCheck is a government-run membership program that allows travelers to use an expedited airport security line. In these dedicated lines, travelers undergo a less-intrusive airport security screening than other passengers.

    At airport security, members go through metal detectors instead of full-body scanning machines and can keep their shoes and light jackets on. Additionally, they can leave their laptops and 3-1-1 liquids in their suitcase or carry-on bag.

    Children 12 and under can use the PreCheck lane when traveling with a parent or guardian who has PreCheck without registering, but anyone 13 or older needs to register separately.

    Where Can I Use TSA PreCheck?

    TSA PreCheck is available at more than 200 airports throughout the U.S. with 83 participating airlines. This program is intended for domestic use only, so there are no international airport locations.

    What Is Global Entry?

    Global Entry membership is run by the federal government and is geared toward the international traveler and allows expedited immigration screening upon entry to the U.S. This benefit speeds up the entry process when international travelers are returning to the U.S. after visiting a foreign country. Global Entry membership also includes TSA PreCheck, so you can double up on benefits with just one program.Unlike TSA PreCheck, Global Entry membership is necessary for people of any age and families can not use Global Entry unless every single family member is a member.

    Where Can I Use Global Entry?

    Members can use Global Entry ports of entry in the U.S. and select pre-clearance locations around the world. Some international airports allow members to clear immigration and customs prior to departure instead of when you arrive in the U.S. These airports include Dublin and Shannon in Ireland; Aruba; Freeport and Nassau in The Bahamas; Bermuda; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg in Canada.

    What Is NEXUS?

    Unlike TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, NEXUS is designed for travelers who frequently travel between the U.S. and Canada and includes expedited crossings at land, marine and air borders.

    By road, NEXUS members will find special lanes for their crossing that often have shorter lines than those available to the general public. Additionally, the questioning process at the border is often faster since their background check is already on file. When flying, NEXUS includes all TSA PreCheck and Global Entry benefits, as well as access to NEXUS kiosks when arriving in Canada (which works similarly to Global Entry when arriving in the U.S.).

    NEXUS is duly-run by both nations, which means applicants will need to speak to border patrol officers from both countries as part of the interview and approval process. Like Global Entry, all ages must register for NEXUS if you travel as a family.

    Where Can I Use NEXUS?

    NEXUS is available at 17 U.S.-Canada land border crossings, typically coinciding with the busiest crossing ports in New York, Michigan and Washington (with a handful of other locations). If approved for NEXUS, you can also report your marine arrivals by phone rather than in person and avail yourself of TSA PreCheck, Global Entry and NEXUS kiosk locations when traveling by air.

    What Is CLEAR?

    CLEAR is a privately-run program that helps accelerate airport scans by using your fingerprints and your eyes instead of traditional ID. It doesn’t include TSA PreCheck, so it won’t help you skip taking off your shoes or removing your laptop and liquids from your bags at security. If you want the benefits of TSA PreCheck as well, you’ll need to enroll in TSA PreCheck as well as CLEAR. Many airports offer a separate CLEAR checkpoint for those with TSA PreCheck or funnel those with TSA PreCheck through to the correct security line. While CLEAR registration is limited to adults over 18, children can use the service when traveling with a registered adult.

    Where Can I Use CLEAR?

    At the moment, CLEAR is available at 45 airports in the U.S. If you love attending sporting events and concerts, CLEAR may also help you skip the line there as well. Many stadiums have begun using CLEAR as an alternative to traditional ID checks.

    TSA PreCheck vs. Global Entry vs. NEXUS vs. CLEAR: What You Need to Know

    TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are two of the Trusted Traveler programs offered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. NEXUS is a joint-run initiative by the U.S. Trusted Traveler program and Canada Border Services Agency. CLEAR is a separate program, run by a privately-owned company and certified by the DHS.

    The Department of Homeland Security offers a number of other trusted traveler programs to expedite travel between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, including SENTRI and FAST (Canada and Mexico). Each of these programs allows travelers to get prescreened by the government and receive expedited screening while traveling.

    Another option is to use the free Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app offered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Apple, Android) to help speed up the U.S. Immigration screening process. Mobile Passport Control isn’t a substitute for Global Entry, but is not widely in use by the general public. Because of this, use of even Mobile Passport Control can expedite your entry into the U.S.

    Who Can Sign Up for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or CLEAR?

    Applications for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are available to U.S. citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents. In addition, citizens of the following countries are eligible to apply for Global Entry and may be granted the benefits of TSA PreCheck even though they can’t apply for PreCheck directly:

    • Argentina
    • Bahrain
    • Brazil
    • Colombia
    • Germany
    • India
    • Mexican nationals
    • The Netherlands
    • Panama
    • Singapore
    • South Korea
    • Switzerland
    • Taiwan
    • United Kingdom

    Additionally, Canadian and Mexican citizens and residents are eligible for Global Entry benefits when signing up for NEXUS.

    CLEAR, on the other hand, is only available to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents over the age of 18.

    Some people are automatically disqualified from participating in the Trusted Traveler programs. You are excluded if you:

    • Provided false or incomplete information on your application
    • Have been convicted of a criminal offense, have pending criminal charges or have outstanding warrants (including driving under the influence)
    • Have been found in violation of any customs, immigration or agriculture regulations or laws
      Are subject to an ongoing investigation by any federal, state or local law enforcement agency
    • Have been denied for the purchase of a firearm
    • Are inadmissible to the U.S. under immigration regulation
    • Cannot satisfy Customs and Border Patrol with evidence of your low-risk status

    How Do You Sign Up for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, NEXUS or CLEAR?

    To sign up for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry or NEXUS, visit the Trusted Traveler portal to submit your application. During the application process, you’ll provide personal information that allows the Department of Homeland Security to perform a background check on you. In the case of NEXUS, a similar background check will be performed by the Canada Border Services Agency but only a single application is required.

    Once the Department of Homeland Security has performed its background check, you need to schedule an in-person interview. TSA PreCheck enrollment centers are located at many airports and other locations throughout the country, whereas Global Entry enrollment centers are usually located at international airports and land border crossings. Because of this, completing the TSA PreCheck interview process is easier for most applicants.

    Since there are fewer Global Entry locations available to perform interviews, some travelers choose to apply for TSA PreCheck instead. During the interview for either PreCheck or Global Entry, a Department of Homeland Security agent will verify your information, take your picture and process your fingerprints. Your fingerprints are used to verify your identity at Global Entry kiosks upon arrival from a foreign country.

    Global Entry also offers an option called “enrollment upon arrival.” Under enrollment upon arrival, applicants who have been conditionally approved can complete their interview upon arrival into the U.S. Over 60 airports offer Global Entry enrollment upon arrival, including over a dozen international locations.

    When you land at the international terminal, follow the signs and speak with a Customs and Border Patrol officer. They will direct you to their colleague who can help you complete your application. You will need to bring your passport, proof of residency and a permanent resident card (if applicable) with you to the appointment. This is not required for minors.

    The NEXUS interview process is slightly more involved, since you’re being approved by two agencies rather than one. Joint enrollment centers are few and far between and typically located in cities along the border, making it impractical for anyone who isn’t crossing by land anyway. Canada takes an iris scan, in addition to fingerprinting.

    Canadian enrollment centers are temporarily closed due to a dispute between U.S. and Canadian officials over whether American Customs agents can be armed in Canada but U.S.centers have reopened.

    Signing up for CLEAR is relatively straightforward. It can be done on the spot, in an airport. You also have the option to start the application process online, but you’ll need to go to a CLEAR center to register your biometric data. If you can’t find the time or don’t have a center nearby, you can register the first time you go to an airport that has a CLEAR office.

    The process only takes about 5 minutes and unlike registering for TSA PreCheck, there’s no need to set up an appointment.

    Remember that before you can register your biometric data, you’ll need to provide a valid ID, such as a passport, a driver’s license or a permanent resident card. Check CLEAR’s website for more information.

    How Do I Use My Benefits?

    You’ll be able to use your TSA PreCheck, Global Entry benefits as soon as you’ve completed your interview. Before you leave the enrollment center, you’ll receive a Known Traveler number and in the case of Global Entry your Trusted Traveler card will arrive in the mail within 7 to 10 business days after approval. Global Entry members do not need to activate this card to use your benefits for air travel. However, it must be activated to use for land border crossings.

    To use your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry benefits when you fly, your Known Traveler number needs to be attached to your ticket. Log into your airline loyalty program accounts and update your profile with your Trusted Traveler number. Future flights with your loyalty number attached will automatically attach your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry benefits when available. You can also manually add your Trusted Traveler Number during the booking process.

    Those approved for NEXUS can use their associated TSA PreCheck and Global Entry benefits immediately, but will need to wait for their physical card to arrive in the mail for use at NEXUS land border crossings or Canadian NEXUS kiosk locations in airports. That’s because you’ll be required to present the card to proxy card readers in order to proceed through immigrations processing.

    CLEAR is ready to use as soon as you’ve registered your biometric data. To use CLEAR, simply go to one of the CLEAR checkpoints at the airport and verify your identity by using your fingerprints or eyes. Once that’s done, you’re free to move on to the security screening line.


    How Much Do Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, NEXUS and CLEAR Cost?

    NEXUS is the cheapest option, despite being the most comprehensive background check, at a cost of $50 for a five year duration. TSA PreCheck costs $85 and Global Entry is $100, both of which are also valid for five years.

    Even though it’s the cheapest, NEXUS has so few interview centers that it may be impractical for many travelers to complete enrollment. For everyone else, Global Entry is likely the best option if you ever travel internationally because the cost is so similar to PreCheck alone. This is especially true if you have a credit card that reimburses your Global Entry registration fees, making your out-of-pocket cost $0.

    A proposed rule would increase Global Entry fees to $120 per five years if approved by the administration. If you are worried about this rate increase, you should sign up for Global Entry now before the price increases to lock in a lower rate.

    CLEAR® is the most expensive program of the three. It costs $189 per year and, unlike Global Entry, doesn’t include TSA PreCheck. CLEAR members can add up to three family members or friends for $60 per year each, lowering the per-person cost of the program. Children don’t need to enroll, as the program is free for those under the age of 18. Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus members are eligible for discounted rates, with free membership for top-tier elites.

    Which Credit Cards Reimburse Global Entry and TSA PreCheck Fees?

    There are numerous travel credit cards that will reimburse TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees up to $100. In most cases, the credit is available once every four to five years. Check your card’s policy for reimbursement details.

    Here are some of the most popular travel cards that reimburse your application fees via statement credits:

      (Terms apply, see rates & fees) (Terms apply, see rates & fees) (Terms apply, see rates & fees)

    Which Credit Cards Reimburse NEXUS Fees?

    Offering statement credits toward NEXUS application fees is a relatively new benefit that’s still only available on select cards.

    Currently, Chase is the only card issuer offering reimbursement (up to once every 4 years of card membership) when you charge your application fee to an eligible card including:

    Which Credit Cards Reimburse CLEAR Fees?

    American Express Platinum Cards (personal and business) will reimburse up to $189 for CLEAR® membership in the form of an annual statement credit. The Centurion® Card from American Express * also offers a CLEAR® membership to cardholders.

    The American Express® Green Card * offers partial reimbursement—up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year—of CLEAR fees. Finally, eligible Delta SkyMiles cards from American Express offer a discount on CLEAR fees—you’ll pay $109, instead of the normal $189. Terms and conditions apply.

    Do Children Need To Sign Up for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, NEXUS and CLEAR?

    The answer varies depending upon which Trusted Traveler program you are signing up for. Children 12 and under may use the PreCheck security line when accompanied by an adult who is a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry member.

    Global Entry requires children of all ages to have a valid membership in order to use its kiosks at U.S. Immigration.

    As part of the proposed fee increase for Global Entry, children under 18 will no longer be charged an application fee. This would be a big savings for families. Today, a family of two adults and two children would pay $400 to enroll the entire family. Under the proposed rules, they would only pay $240, which is a savings of $160.

    NEXUS requires children under 18 to apply for the program if they will be traveling with their parents, but on the bright side, children will be admitted for free.

    CLEAR doesn’t require children under 18 to enroll and the program is free for them, but they must be accompanied by an adult.

    Bottom Line

    TSA PreCheck, Global Entry and CLEAR give travelers several ways to speed through security at the airport; NEXUS also includes land and marine borders. TSA PreCheck gives domestic travelers a dedicated airport security lane. Plus, members can keep their shoes on their feet, laptop in their carry-on and 3-1-1 liquids in their suitcase as they go through security. Global Entry membership includes all of these benefits, plus provides expedited immigration and customs screening when returning from an international flight.

    CLEAR allows travelers to skip the long lines for ID verifications by using one of their dedicated terminals which use biometric data. It does not expedite security screenings in the way TSA PreCheck does.

    Currently, application fees are $100 or less for NEXUS, TSA PreCheck and Global Entry and provide benefits for five years. CLEAR is more expensive at $189 per year, which is why it isn’t ideal for occasional travelers. Frequent travelers, however, will most likely enjoy CLEAR’s benefits at airports with long lines.

    Many travel credit cards cover up to $100 in application fees for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, so cardholders can apply to either program and have the application fee reimbursed with the right card. Reimbursements for NEXUS are less common, but still included on several popular cards. Select American Express Cards offer full or partial reimbursement of CLEAR fees each year.

    Even if you don’t have a credit card that reimburses your application fees, the cost averages out to $20 or less per year for NEXUS, TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, and $15 per month for CLEAR. The time savings provided will be worthwhile for many travelers.

    To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express please visit this page.

    To view rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express please visit this page.

    To view rates and fees of Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card please visit this page.

    Get Forbes Advisor’s ratings of the best travel credit cards and helpful information on how to utilize travel rewards and benefits to get the best deals for your next adventure.

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    Source https://www.getours.com/expert-travel-advice/planning-your-vacation/tsa-pre-check

    Source https://www.forbes.com/advisor/travel-rewards/tsa-precheck-and-global-entry-what-you-need-to-know/

    Source https://www.forbes.com/advisor/credit-cards/travel-rewards/tsa-precheck-and-global-entry-what-you-need-to-know/

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