If you’re an visa holder in the United States (H1b,L1,B1,L2 or H4 or any visa holder), you’re likely familiar with the challenges of international travel, especially when it comes to long immigration lines and security checkpoints at airports. However, there’s good news – you have the option to streamline your travel experience by obtaining Global Entry and TSA PreCheck. These programs can significantly reduce your wait times and hassles at immigration and security checkpoints. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps to successfully obtain these benefits and answer some common questions.So next time when you enter US , you can directly scan your passport and enter the country , no questions asked. No more immigration lines and long queues.In addition you get TSA for domestic security which enables you to breeze through domestic security checkpoints 

Understanding Global Entry and TSA PreCheck

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to expedite their entry into the United States through automated kiosks at select airports. It not only grants you faster immigration clearance but also includes TSA PreCheck, which enables you to breeze through domestic security checkpoints without removing your shoes, laptops, liquids, belts, and light jackets.

The Application Process:

  • Start Your Global Entry Application and Fees: Visit the Trusted Traveler Programs website (ttp.dhs.gov) and choose “Global Entry.” Complete the application form and submit it. Fees is 100$ .The following credit cards offer reimbursement for Global Entry fees are Chase Sapphire Reserve,Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card,Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express. Your application will enter the “Pending Review” stage. Once submitted You can’t edit the application after submission, but changes can be made during the interview.Once you submit you get an automatic email from passport.admin@passportindia.gov.in with subject Regarding U.S. Customs and Border Protection Global Entry Program (GEP). The email has two options as shown in the image below.
  • Register for Background Verification: Register on the Passport Seva at Indian Embassies and Consulates website (https://embassy.passportindia.gov.in/) and apply for background verification for Global Entry.
  • Pay Verification Fees: Pay the verification fees (around $95 including new photo service) through the VFS Global website to initiate the verification process.
  • Submit Documents to Consulate: Prepare the documents as per the checklist form and verify the below documents as per the image below before sending the application.
  • Undergo Police Verification: A police verification will be conducted at your home address in India. This usually involves providing documents like passport copies and aadhar card mostly. The verification process might take a few weeks. For me the police verification happened after 4 weeks the documents has been sent to VFS global.
  • Clearance from India: Your application will undergo clearance from various ministries, which can take several months. You cannot get any update on your status through sms or email. You have to wait for 9-10 months.
  • Receive Conditional Approval: Once all clearances are obtained, your application status will change from “Pending Review” to “Conditional Approval.” You will receive a notification from CBP.
  • Schedule an Interview: Use your conditional approval to schedule an interview at a CBP office. You can either do this online or during your next entry into the United States.There is a twitter bot to find out the appointments at SFO office
  • Attend the Interview: Attend the interview at the scheduled CBP office with mostly your DL and Passport with Visa Stamp.
  • Final Approval and TSA PreCheck: After the interview, your approval status should be updated on the website within a day or two. Once approved, you will also be granted TSA PreCheck benefits. Once you login in global entry portal you see PASS ID which is your known Traveller number which you can enter while booking domestic flights. There is no global entry card issued for US visa holders.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • TSA PreCheck with out Global entry: Foreign nationals can’t directly apply for TSA PreCheck; Global Entry is the route to access TSA PreCheck.
  • Updates for visa changes.: If you get a new visa , you need to update your global entry based on new visa that can be done by entering the global entry line in the next arrival to United States and informing the CBP officer that you have to update visa in your global entry
  • Photos to VFS: VFS global introduced Digital Photograph Service for your application .With digital photograph service, you can ensure your photograph adheres to these specifications without the need to send a physical photograph.
  • Validity: Validity of global entry is 5 years and you can renew it starting from 4th year, so by the end you will get your global entry renewed as it takes 8-10 months
  • Application Criteria and Fees: Each member on any visa should complete their own global entry application which is 100$ each. Each application is per person . There is no family application for all the members of the family .Even kids should have their own application.
  • Process for Green card holders and Citizens: First step is the same application in global entry portal. Immediately in a week to 10 days you can get conditional approval and you follow the same steps from this steps in the post “Receive Conditional Approval
  • Time Taken for the entire process: Around 8-10 months, but its worth
  • Using global entry at Kiosk during immigration: There is no global entry card issued to US visa holders. You have to place the passport in the kiosk with the photo page to get started at kiosk.


Obtaining Global Entry and TSA PreCheck can greatly enhance your travel experience as a visa holder in the United States. By following these steps and guidelines, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the application process and enjoy the convenience of streamlined entry and security clearance. Remember that patience and careful attention to each step will ultimately lead to smoother travels and reduced stress during your journeys.