The Global Entry Interview – Infant Edition

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global entry infant

The Global Entry Infant Process

As many of you know, my wife and I had a baby girl back in March. Shortly after receiving her birth certificate, we sent away for her passport and then eventually applied for Global Entry using the credit on my Citi Prestige card.

My wife, son and I already have Global Entry and I think it is a very valuable service. I wrote a complete guide to the application and interview process last year if you are interested. (The process for an infant is IDENTICAL to the process for an adult.) Even if you don’t have a credit card that credits back the fee, I think $100 is worth it for the service.

Anyway, today was baby Elizabeth’s big Global Entry interview. I was interested to find out how the interview would differ for an infant compared to an adult or even my teenage son. In the end I was surprised at how quickly and easily it went.

The Global Entry Infant Interview

global entry infant

We arrived at 10:07am for a 10:30am appointment. Since no one else was waiting, we were taken back right away. In fact they took us back so fast that my wife was still in the bathroom with the baby’s passport. I told the officer and he eventually got the passport later from my wife.

Once we were back in the office he asked my profession (the same question they asked for my interview) and then if we have any immediate international travel plans. I then confirmed our address and then he went to the waiting room to get the passport from my wife. Surprisingly he never asked for my ID, although I was able to confirm all of the information.

After the questions it was photo time. He let the baby stay in her carrier for the photo which worked well. Then it was on to fingerprinting. Just like with adults, babies must have their fingerprints taken. It took a few tries, but we were able to get the computer to accept her four fingers on each hand. The officer then somehow overrode the thumb prints since they supposedly never work.

Does This Matter

The most interesting thing I learned was that apparently this whole process really doesn’t work for babies. Apparently the machines most likely won’t recognize her fingerprints and we will need a manual override. I guess we will see how it works eventually, but even with a manual override, just being able to avoid the main line when coming back into the country is worth it.

Conclusion

I thought the idea of a baby Global Entry interview was the cutest thing ever. In reality it was about as simple as a Global Entry interview for anyone else. In our case Elizabeth cooperated with the fingerprints so everything went super easy and took about 5 minutes. With a fussy baby it could be a little tougher, but it is still definitely something worth doing!


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9 COMMENTS

  1. As best as I can recall, our son went with us Turkey at age 6 months, and I think all we did was show his passport at a desk after the kiosks. THEN they added ability to register young children. When we took our 2 y.o. daughter out of the country recently, and came back, we just “acted dumb” and brought her along through the G.E. line and swiped our own passports at the kiosk. The supervisor had no problem waving us over to the desk and processing her passport by hand.

    I find it really dubious that we should NEED to fingerprint and background a small child anyhow. It serves no really useful purpose. IMO.

    • I agree it should just be something that is allowed. I’m glad the supervisor allowed it for you. I figure we travel enough that we are going to do it eventually and since it is covered by the credit card, it makes sense for us.

    • “Global Entry is open to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, citizens of Germany, the Netherlands, Panama, and South Korea, and Mexican nationals. Canadian citizens and residents may enjoy Global Entry benefits through membership in the NEXUS program.”

      It gives your TSA Precheck when traveling domestically and the ability to use kiosks and skip the lines when returning to the U.S.

  2. We recently received global entry and used it in Detroit. Your article seems to imply that fingerprints are checked at the global entry kiosk, but we didn’t find that to be the case. I think that the fingerprints are only to check that you don’t have a criminal record for the initial approval. And if course your baby would not have a criminal record.

    • I have used Global Entry many times. The kiosks have a fingerprint scanner and do require you to place your hand on there. I’m not sure why your experience would be different.

      • We specifically asked the attendant who was helping us “first timers” if we needed to scan our fingerprints. She said “no” and so we were on our way. This was in June. Maybe the procedure has changed?

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