Do you travel frequently between the United States and other countries? If so, you may have heard of or may even be a member of a program called Global Entry. If you are a member or thinking of applying to become a member, it is important to know what affect a criminal conviction will have on your membership or application.
What is “Global Entry?”
Global Entry is a U.S Customs and Border Protection program that provides expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. The program allows members to enter the United States through automatic kiosks. Members scan their passport and fingerprint at the kiosk and complete a customs declaration. In return the kiosk issues a receipt and directs you to the exit. The CBP lists various benefits of being a member of Global Entry including: no paperwork, no processing lines, reduced wait times, and access to expedited entry benefits in other countries.
Criminal Conviction effect on Global Entry
According to the CBP, you may ineligible to participate in the Global Entry program if you: have been convicted of any criminal offense; have pending criminal charges or outstanding warrants; violated customs, immigration, or agriculture regulations in any country; are subject of an ongoing investigation by any federal, state, or local agency.
It does not take a serious conviction to the denied Global Entry, even minor brushes with the law or customs that turn up during the background check can deem you ineligible. Ultimately, “any type of criminal conviction would disqualify” you, as noted by John Wagner, executive director admissibility and passenger programs for U.S. CBP. Furthermore, a criminal conviction following approval to the Global Entry program could result in revocation from the program. Even a conviction that appears unrelated to customs or immigration can be grounds for revocation as Global Entry applies a “risk-based” approach for member approval. Any conviction or even an investigation by a law enforcement agency increases your “risk” under Global Entry criteria.