Here’s Why People are Losing Global Entry

Melanie Lieberman offered several reasons that someone might have their Global Entry participation revoked: bringing snacks into the U.S. that you fail to declare, being investigated for or convicted of a crime, or bringing people with you through Global Entry who aren’t in the program.

This is a good summary of general categories, but lets revisit some of the actual things that Customs and Border Protection has used to kick people out.

Global Entry is Valuable

Global Entry is fantastic skipping the immigration and customs queues when you return to the U.S.

I didn’t love the fingerprinting or background check that went along with it, but I figured all my cell phone data was being logged anyway long before Edward Snowden was cool. So if the surveillance was inevitable I figured I might as well at least get the convenience.

Now that I have it, it’s hard to imagine life without it — and not just queuing up at immigration, but also that I always get PreCheck at TSA now (except when I’ve been “SSSS’d”) rather than having it be hit-or-miss through my airline elite status.


Copyright: andreyuu / 123RF Stock Photo

Four Programs Provide Expedited Airport Security

Nexus is the cheapest and most comprehensive. It’s expedited immigration for Canada, but gets you Global Entry and TSA PreCheck. It’s $50. But credit card and other fee credits don’t advertise rebating the signup cost. It takes approvals on both the US and Canadian sides and while appointments aren’t super-tough to get, it can take 2-4 months to be approved.

Global Entry is expedited immigration. The fee is $100 and comes with TSA PreCheck. It’s open to US citizens and permament residents, UK citizens, German citizens and Mexican nationals. UK and German citizens have pre-registration requirements through their home country.

TSA PreCheck is $85 and doesn’t come with any border benefits.

Sentri is for US-Mexico land crossings, costs $122.50, and includes Global Entry (and PreCheck).

Most US citizens want Global Entry because it includes PreCheck, for an extra $15 gets expedited immigration (of decreasing importance as immigration kiosks roll out), and is reimbursed by more premium credit cards than PreCheck.

Frequent Canadian visitors should get Nexus, and it’s cheaper, but the waits and dual approvals may discourage. If you don’t have a US passport you can still get TSA PreCheck.


Copyright: prestonia / 123RF Stock Photo

You Can Lose Your Global Entry

US Customs and Border Protection responded to a FOIA request detailing each instance where Global Entry was revoked between November 6, 2016 and June 6, 2017.

They don’t provide details of who lost it, just the date, citizenship, country of birth, and reason.

Here are some examples of reasons why Global Entry was revoked:

  • They uncovered a conviction for a misdemeanor after approving Global Entry.

    In my understanding you want to disclose everything on your application, and usually incidents like DUIs are fine if they’re over 10 years old. However some older convictions are permanently disqualifying,

    You do not meet the requirements for this program due to 1985 weapons-related conviction

  • Conviction while in the program. (“A recent criminal conviction disqualifies you from this
    program.”) Some people had DUIs, others beat up someone or were found with child porn.

  • Derogatory information from another government. A US citizen born in Japan is flagged as “Canadian Cancel Membership Message was received…”

  • Breaking program rules or rules in the immigration hall such as failing to declare items or bringing ineligible family members with you into the Global Entry queues.

    On 11/6/2016 you attempted to bring your spouse who is not a member of the Trusted Traveler Program through the Global Entry lines at Philadelphia International Aiport without her being cleared by a CBP officer. In addition, you failed to properly declare purchases made overseas. Both constitute violations of program rules and your membership is therefore revoked

  • Don’t steal liquor from the plane and then not declare it. “Failure to declare liquor from aircraft- Crewmember”

While it’s not obvious why a DUI makes someone more likely to violate US customers laws, the US government views themselves as bestowing a privilege rather than respecting a right and there’s little scrutiny of the criteria used for approvals, denials, or revocations.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I posted a comment Oct 25, 2019 detailing my “offense” and noting that an appeal written/mailed to ombudsman was underway. The appeal was successful. No explanation.
    Note that I had contacted multiple court/police agencies in an attempt to discover what the record was of the misdemeanor incident where charges were dropped at preliminary hearing some 40 years ago. No luck. But my fingerprints had been taken when I was charged and I’m guessing they must continue to exist in some database. Only in that very final step of the GE process where they do the fingerprinting did my application get flagged.

  2. I saw many people got revoked for this:
    ===============================
    We regret to inform you that your membership in Global Entry has been revoked for the following reason(s):

    You do not meet the program eligibility requirements.

    If you believe the decision was based upon inaccurate or incomplete information, you may be eligible to request reconsideration through the Trusted Traveler Program application website: https://ttp.dhs.gov/.
    ===============================
    Basically, CBP just revoked for no reason at all.

  3. This looks like an old article, but in 2020 NYers lose Global Entry when it expires. They can’t renew because of DHS restrictions targeting NYers.

  4. I’m losing my goes this month…Covid hit, my passport expired with no way to renew it due to Covid, and now I can’t start the goes renewal because my passport is expired. Oh well, time to just renew the passport then buy a ticket to ABQ, their goes interviews were plentiful a couple of years ago so we did this same thing for my wife…

  5. @Robert – The passport agency is processing passport renewal. They received my passport back in March, and just got the new passport 2 days ago.

  6. My name is Don Babin and the last two trips from Kenya to the USA, my Global entry was canceled. Please let me know the issues.

  7. Had Global interview today. Had my passport, license with me. Had prints taken. I had a 1986 arrest for possession of a firearm and no foid card. They need my records, the case was thrown out, gun was not mine. After reading all these cases, it looks like I dont stand a chance
    So disappointed.

  8. My Global Entry was revoked on 10/27/20 one day after returning from a trip to Jamaica. I am almost 50 years old and have never been arrested in my life. I requested reconsideration and my request was denied with the same generic reason:
    We regret to inform you that your membership in Global Entry has been revoked for the following reason(s):

    You do not meet program eligibility requirements.

    I’m really perplexed as to why this occurred and would love to know the reason, but the website is not helpful at all.

  9. Tramo927, Just to be clear. So you sent a request to the ombudsman and they responded with the same non-answer? I guess its a catch-22: your appeal to ombudsman is supposed to give detail on why the determination was incorrect. But if they won’t give any clues then it can be pretty hard to challenge. In my case I was able to guess as to what the reason was since I had had an arrest/charge which was later dropped which I didn’t recall at the time of my application but had since remembered. If that memory/recall didn’t occur to me then I’d be in the same boat I guess. (My appeal resulted in overturning the rejection.)

  10. My son’s sentry was also taken away, he has never had any arrests only one citation which was taken care of. He did sent letter do appeal to the ombudsman , replied with the same generic as everyone else. He requested FOIA with no luck. This happened in 2017. Then his friend had his taken away that same day, without good reason. He was a student and worked with international d.j.’s never had anyone cross with him. They never stated why it was taken away. His case went no where. He felt like a criminal in the way he was treated. This happened via crossing the border from Tijuana to San Diego. He was constantly sent to secondary inspection. The frustration of not knowing why is tireying. He just let it be. Then a couple of months later my husband’s sentey was taken away. No reason given. He is a deputy sheriff for san diego County, no criminal history nor citations. Never crossed with anything in his car. there was no one we could talk to after appeal was denied as well. So now I think, how is it that the president Trump can have his son in law in the white house no need for clearance knowing his father has been convicted of felonies. And people that have done everything by the book are treated in such a way? This would be ideal for class action suit. I can only imagine how many people’s lives have changed because of the cancelation of their global entry or sentry. As one of the rules they have you cannot have a close family member and ir friend that has been arrested or convicted because they will take it away. Why should they punish the holder of this privilege for something someone else did? how does that make sense. Is it tell me who you hang out with and I’ll tell you who you are? Trump personally know many people with felons convictions and yet there he is. Double standards need to be eliminated in such instances.

  11. Some people are under investigation by CBP or other agencies. If there is a current lookout…then you would not meet the program requirements.
    CBP is NOT going to tell you that are “under current investigation”. Neither will the Ombudsman.
    People need to go to the website and go though the FAQs. They explain a LOT.

  12. Regarding the above comments, there seem to be about a dozen incoherent and not cross-referenced “no fly lists” so it’s possible that a similar name popped up on any one of these, screwing everybody else. Or it could be any other list anywhere…not sure if that could be the basis for a Dylan song or an Orwellian novel. I got lucky, forgot to mention some packaged cheese as food I was bringing in and was politely told to be more careful or else could lose it too. Heard about someone who lost it for one forgotten orange….

  13. My friends boy friend has a felony, can I lose my sentri benefits. If we cross together in the same car in the regular lane ?

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