If you frequently travel by air, you may have heard of programs like Global Entry, TSA Precheck, Clear, and NEXUS. These programs are designed to make the airport security process faster and more convenient for travelers. In this article, we will explain the differences between these programs and help you decide which one is the best option for you.
Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. It is available to citizens of the United States, as well as citizens of certain other countries. With Global Entry, you can use automated kiosks at select airports to clear immigration and customs quickly and easily.
TSA PRE is a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) program that allows pre-approved travelers to access expedited security screening at participating airports. TSA PRE allows eligible travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case, and keep their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on bag.
Clear is a private company that provides its members with expedited security screening at participating airports. Clear uses biometric identification, such as fingerprints and iris scans, to verify a member's identity. This allows Clear members to bypass traditional ID and boarding pass checkpoints and proceed directly to the TSA security checkpoint.
NEXUS is a joint program between the United States and Canada that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to use expedited lanes at the border crossing between the two countries. NEXUS members can use dedicated lanes at land border crossings, as well as self-serve kiosks and designated airport lanes at participating airports. NEXUS membership also includes Global Entry benefits, so members can use automated kiosks at select airports to clear immigration and customs quickly and easily upon arrival in the United States.
How to decide which program is best for you?
So, the main difference between these three programs is the type of services they provide.
Global Entry is a CBP program that provides expedited clearance for travelers upon arrival in the United States, TSA PRE is a TSA program that provides expedited security screening at participating airports, and Clear is a private company that provides its members with expedited security screening using biometric identification.
Who can apply for each program?
Each program has its own eligibility requirements and application process.
Global Entry is open to U.S. citizens and citizens of certain other countries.
TSA PRE is open to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
Clear is open to anyone, but you must be invited by a current member or sign up for a 30-day trial.
To apply for NEXUS, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or Canada, and pass a background check and interview.
How much does each program cost?
Each program also has its own fees and benefits.
Global Entry costs $100 for a five-year membership, and includes TSA PRE benefits.
TSA PRE is free for Global Entry members, and costs $85 for a five-year membership for non-Global Entry members.
Clear costs $179 per year for a individual membership, or $50 per year for a family membership.
NEXUS membership costs $50 for a five-year membership, and can be used by the member and any family members included on the application.
In summary, Global Entry, TSA PRE, and Clear are all programs that provide expedited travel services to eligible travelers. Global Entry provides expedited clearance for travelers upon arrival in the United States, TSA PRE provides expedited security screening at participating airports, and Clear provides expedited security screening using biometric identification. NEXUS is a convenient and cost-effective option for frequent travelers between the United States and Canada. Each program has its own eligibility requirements, fees, and benefits, so it's important to carefully consider which one is right for you.
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