First Global Entry “Enrollment on Departure” Option Now Available

Weary travelers, rejoice!

Cars pulling up outside an airport terminal. We look at the first Enrollment on Departure option opening, which could revolutionize the Global Entry process.
This could revolutionize the Global Entry enrollment process.
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To finish my Global Entry application, I had to interview at JFK’s Terminal 4…after a 12-hour flight from Tel Aviv. It’s not a long interview by any stretch of the mind, but after spending more than half a day in transit, every passing minute can feel like an eon. However, the only way to complete the interview requirement at that time was either to schedule an interview at a Global Entry enrollment center or to do the interview at a participating U.S. airport after arriving back in the country from an international flight. Being that there are no enrollment centers in the great state of New Jersey where I live, I was left with the latter option. Albeit worth it in the end, it was, if I’m being frank, a real slog.

The good news? That won’t be true for everyone moving forward, at least those flying out of D.C.’s Dulles International Airport. According to Condé Nast Traveler, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has just debuted a first-of-its-kind “Enrollment on Departure” option, which will allow travelers who are conditionally approved for Global Entry to finish the interview process at the airport prior to boarding an international flight.

Enrollment on Departure is now located inside the B concourse at gate B41 in Dulles airport, and will be open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Travelers will need to present a travel document, like a passport, as well as a physical document providing evidence of residency (e.g., a driver’s license, mortgage statement, rental payment statement, utility bill or any other document that shows a current address) and an airline ticket proving their international flight. It is not currently available to travelers departing Dulles airport on domestic flights, or anywhere else in the country for that matter, as the program is merely a pilot.

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For the uninitiated, Global Entry allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival to the U.S. According to CBP, the program currently has over 12.7 million members and is operational at 77 U.S. airports. More than 14.8 million trusted travelers used the Global Entry contactless portals and Global Entry mobile app last year. Further, more than 3.8 million new applications were processed in 2023 — a new record.

It stands to reason that the Enrollment on Departure program, should it prove successful, would only help that number grow. After all, until now, the interview requirement was the greatest barrier to entry with appointments notoriously difficult to secure. Enrollment on Arrival is a laborious affair for travelers who want nothing more than to get home already, but Enrollment on Departure? Before departure, travelers are still high on the anticipation of an international jaunt. They have all the patience — if not all the time — in the world.

That said, if you travel internationally even just a handful of times a year, it is unequivocally one of the best investments you can make. As it stands now, more than 50 major U.S. airports offer Enrollment on Arrival. If you must, I’d recommend knocking it out after a trip back from the Caribbean as opposed to, say, the Middle East.


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