For almost two years now, Global Entry has been open to applications for Indian passport holders. That being said, the process has been nothing short of a cluster….
Having applied for Global Entry one year ago, and getting zero movement on the passport verification bit (which required a physical visit to multiple places while in India), I had pretty much given up on it.
Then on October 1st (Thanks to Peter, who left a comment on the above article and let me know), all Indian consulates in the US started taking in applications for the verification part: https://passport.in.ckgs.us/gep
Application Process for background check for GEP:
Step 1: Apply Online with U.S. CBP. Apply and complete application process at TTP website https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry
Step 2: Visit the Passport Seva website and complete the application form https://portal4.passportindia.gov.in/Online/welcomeLink
Step 3: After completion of online form, visit / ship the application form along with the fee of USD 46.95 (GEP Fee+ ICWF + CKGS Service Fee) to your respective CKGS Passport Application Center.
Note the following:
- You MUST have completed step 1 to be able to do this. Step 1 for me was completed on October 4th, 2018, and even though it was a year ago, it had been done, making me eligible.
- The above portal link provided is different from the portal link used to apply for the India verification. Even though I had applied for verification in India (the site begins with Portal2), this one is specifically for non-residents. So you have to register again and fill out the application (no payment here).
- Yeah, sadly you have to pay again, approx $47 per application. Payment methods are very specific. Payment: Payments must be made through Pay order /Cashiers/ Bankers check favoring “Cox and Kings Global Services USA LLC
- If you have Bank of America’s preferred Honors tier, they will waive fees to issue bankers checks (otherwise $10 per check)
I sent out the application October 4th for delivery Monday the 7th. I received an email back from the Trusted Traveler Program on Oct 17th saying my application had been conditionally approved and to schedule an interview. So, this is pretty damn fast compared to the time line previously, not to mention a whole lot less work.
Note that getting an interview slot is actually super hard now due to the reassignment of border patrol agents. Los Angeles doesn’t even have a center! The nearest one is Long Beach almost 40 miles away. Arrival on Enrollment is possible at LAX but is not operational 24 hours which is ridiculous for international arrivals. Enrollment shuts off at 9 am. I was due to arrive back in the states on the 19th but was unable to complete enrollment since my flight landed after 9 pm. From my research, the easiest place to get an appointment (pretty much next day) is at Albuquerque International (ABQ). Appointments there are plentiful and easily available. If you want a appointment in Long Beach (nearest center to LA), first available date is June of 2020!
Hope this helps you folks get your applications processed quicker!