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Long Lines at Immigration? No Problem
Written by James “Jihun” Doh | Published. 2019.09.13 16:35 | Count : 863

If you are a foreigner traveling to the United States, don’t you ever get annoyed by the long lines at the airport immigration? Airport immigration in the United States can be irritating for foreigners—long lines that don't seem to end. Especially with the introduction of stricter immigration policy by the Trump administration, these lines have gotten even longer. As an international student studying in the U.S., I used to be one of the victims who waited for hours and hours to enter the country. I would start running toward the immigration area the moment I got off the aircraft just so that I could be in the front of the line. Going through the U.S. immigration no longer has to be like this—enter Global Entry.

[Long lines at John F. Kennedy 
International Airport. 
Photo taken by Denver Soekawan.]

Global Entry is a program by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that allows travelers, both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens, to enjoy expedited clearance in over forty airports in the United States. For those with foreign passports, this program is a wonderful option since they no longer have to wait in long lines and have long interviews with officers. Instead, they can simply proceed to Global Entry kiosks to have their passports and fingerprints scanned and answer a few customs questions to complete immigration. 

With this program, enrolled members also enjoy a faster security clearance through TSA Precheck, a corollary program that comes with Global Entry once approved. This means no more taking out computers out of the bags, taking off shoes, and standing in the cylindrical metal detector. 

[What it looks like when approved for Global Entry. Screenshot taken by James Doh]

While all this sounds great, getting the approval for Global Entry is a lengthy process. In addition to paying non-refundable $100, one has to submit a long application and even schedule an interview with a CBP officer. But considering the benefits of the program, one should definitely think about applying for Global Entry. 

Depending on one’s citizenship, the application process may vary. For example, as a citizen of South Korea, I first had to apply through Smart Entry Service, Korea’s automated passport control website, and actually had to print out a criminal record from the police station. So beware that, in applying for Global Entry as a non-U.S. citizen, one may need to check his or her country’s requirements and eligibility. 

I first entered the U.S. with Global Entry this August, and it was a great experience. Instead of running to the immigration area as I used to, I was able to mosey on down and still complete the immigration process very quickly. In fact, I arrived at the baggage claim even before the bags started coming onto the carousel, so one can clearly see how awesome this program is! 



James “Jihun” Doh, 
12th grade, 
Western Reserve Academy

James “Jihun” Doh  student_reporter@dherald.com

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