Managed by Customs and Border Protection, the Global Entry program can make it much easier for approved travelers to enter the United States. To qualify, you must submit an application, pay a $100 non-refundable fee and submit to an interview and fingerprinting at a participating airport.
Your background will be scrutinized to make sure you are a "low risk" traveler before you enter the program. Once in, each time you return to the United States or enter Canada who participates in the program, your background will be checked again.
You will not receive a card, but there are kiosks at 20 international airports in the United States. The closest to Alaska is the Seattle's SEATAC airport. Given our lack of international flights in and out of Alaska, most of us will go through one of the approved airports.
You also must attend your interview in person and once again Seattle is the closest spot. Acceptance into the Global Entry program automatically qualifies you for TSA's Precheck program that I wrote about in my last blog.
Your acceptance is good for five years and if you are a frequent international flyer, it certainly seems like a good idea. I've spent hours in immigration lines and hope that this new program works as smoothly as it is touted.
For an additional heafty fee, you can use a private agency called ImmigrationVisaForms.com to help you through the process. If nothing else, their website provides some good information for free.