Travel Forum

Our Travel Forum was created to provide you with the opportunity to connect with other travelers who share your passion for travel. Sign into "My Account" and you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. Not yet registered? It’s simple to create an account, membership is free, and it only takes a moment to join. Once you do, you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. If you have a specific customer service or quality assurance question, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814. We value the contributions of our travelers. Please familiarize yourself with the guidelines for participation before you begin.

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2007

August 25, 2012
 Depending on which airport you enter the United States after completing a foreign trip, going through immigration when you reenter the Country can be a long affair.  For $100, you won't have to rush out of the airplane, run past everyone else in order to get to immigration as fast as you can, because you'll be able to bypass those lines and breeze right through, while everyone else on your flight( and maybe a couple of others which landed just before yours ), is waiting on line at immigration.  The US has a program called Global Entry which allows you to do just that.  Once you've been granted Trusted Traveler status, Global Entry, allows you to stick your passport in a special kiosk, complete your customs declaration as well, and go.  Takes about a minute to do, with NO lines.  In addition, being a trusted traveler allows you to participate in the TRS pre-screening program, where you no longer will have to remove your shoes,show your 3-1-1 compliant bag from your carry-on, remove your laptop fro its bag, remove your light outerwear/jacket and your belt.  Showing your status card also allows you go to the special area for these participants, again avoiding the line at security.  Unfortunately, the TRS pre-screening at this time only applies to domestic flights.  You do this by entering your Trusted Traveler number, called a PASSID in your boarding information with your airline, so that it is printed on your boarding pass.
Interested?  go to https://www.goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov  .  If you don't get there with this URL, try it again eliminating the www.
The application procedure MUST be completed on-line, and is cumbersome.  Be prepared to have the following information handy:  Your passport number, your document number from your birth certificate, your driver's license ID,  expiration dates of any of the above, if applicable, a list of every country you've visited in the last five years, a list of your employment history, even if you're retired.  You may or may not need all of the information depending on which prompt you get, but you could conceivably need all.  After completing the application, paying the non-refundable $100( which covers the initial background check ), in a few days, IF you're approved, you'll get a return e-mail inviting you to an interview, where any information you may have omitted from your application will be checked, be asked some questions about the information on your application, and be photographed and finger printed and shown how to use the system, if you are granted final approval.  There are interview sites located throughout the country, many at international airports, however, there are others.

If you're a couple, we recommend that you complete the application process for both of you at the same time.  This can take you a long time( it took us half a day ), because then you'll get conditional approval at the same time, and will be able to arrange for you personal interview at the same time( each ingterview slot can accommodate more than one person ).  The Trusted Traveler status is good for 5 years.  Since the program is new at this time, there are no guidelines as to how this can be transferred to a new passport if your current one expires before the five year Trusted Traveler expiration date.   If you travel enough, it may be worth your while, especially if you enter the country at LAX( which has notoriously long lines at immigration ). 

Author: ed watts

Joined: 3/30/2010
Posts: 143
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

All seven continents, 113 countries and all states except Idaho.Plus some interesting places that are not countries such as The azores, Antarctica, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, etc.

Traveler Since: 2010

August 25, 2012

It would be worth it if you did not have to deal with just JFK--that one is a nightmare!

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 277
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1999

August 25, 2012

You made two references to the TRS pre-screening process; did you mistakenly refer to TSA as TRS?  There is an entry in the Global Entry FAQs which states that passport information can be updated in your GOES account providing it does not include a name change. It was disappointing to not be able to find a list of information required for the application so that this information could be gathered before starting the application.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

August 25, 2012

We signed up with the GOES and got approved for NEXUS as well.  But, what they don't tell you is this.  If the nearest airport to you is notnow conducting interviews, you have to go to an airport where they are.  We signed up "early" upon reading in the newspaper that our city's airport would begin interviewing for these systems in May 2012.  Well, May has come and gone, but still no interviews being conducted here.  I talked with our Border Patrol (referred by TSA), and they know nothing about it.  I talked with   TSA  at the airport and they know about it but are not the agency that interviews. They did say our airport was trying to get interviews set up but it will be a long while yet.  What to do when we get weekly emails from GOES and NEXUS that tells us we are approved but need to schedule an interview.  To be interviewed we would have to spend about $1000 to get to an airport that does interview.   If we couldn't get interviews, we would lose the $100 we gave them! And they said "too bad."

It is by chance we are going to Canada on a 5-day visit  that I got airline tickets for in January, and upon executing the pull-down for a list of airports doing interviews, we found that the airport  we fly into and out of does the interviews.  

By going on line and selecting the airport, the immediate message came up that there were no vacant interview slots at that airport, the earliest several months away from our scheduled travel there.  I called the Nexus office at that airport and they said they had no vacancy interview slots for us during the time we were going to be there, look for cancellations by checking morning and evening at their site.  Ho-hum.  But about a week later, I decided to go beyond the page that gave the date of the first available interview date (by selecting "Schedule an Interview", then going to the next screen by the prompt.  When I did that, a calendar came up that showed me there were indeed interview dates available, lots of them for the month we will be there, (5-days only), and I was able to schedule both of us, at two different times as required, 1 hour apart.  The date for the interview has been confirmed on line immediately, and where we are to go, etc.   The interview takes only 20  minutes

They do interviews Saturday and Sunday as well, but Friday, Saturday and Sundays are all booked for the month and into the next month.  The weekdays were almost totally available.  The Available date is marked with a A in blue color, the not available date/time is marked with a N in light gray.  We adjusted our tour schedule for the city we are visiting and will be able to get the interviews.     Had we not been going there for a visit, we would not have been able to get interviews.  So, frustrating, since March 2012 that we  have been approved and waiting for our airport to get with it.  We feel lucky we just happened to be going to a place where we could finalize our application.

 

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2007

August 25, 2012

 Sorry for the typos.  All references should be TSA.  Global Entry is available at a number of airports and is growing regularly.  The web site will provide a list, as well as a list of interview sites( there are others besides at airports, although the airport sites will generally have many more slots and dates available ).  Eventually, Global Entry will be available at most airports, although it is not at this time.   There is even reciprocity at Amsterdam, if you pay another fee, which was quoted to us at 250 Euros.  We don't visit  Amsterdam that much to make it pay, but we do take 2-4 trips a year and have to enter the U.S. that many times to make it work.  Whether the TSA pre-screening exemption will be applied ti international flights is not known.  Likely, it won't be, since reciprocity will have to be extended to exempting foreign nationals from pre-screening on the other end, and some foreign governments don't take the screening seriously enough to do the thorough background checks. 

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

August 25, 2012

This to respond to Janice on what info is needed  to apply.

You go to the site svcontinents indicated. Create a user ID password and proceed to the next sites.  The application page is done on line and asks for the following info, among other info.:

Driver's license number, state, city.      Birth Certificate Number state, country, name, DOB    

Passport No, issue date and expiration date, where issued

Physical and Mailing adresses.    Eye color, height, gender

Countries you have visited in last 5 years

Any criminal convictions/arrests 

The form is actually user friendly  BYW, svcontinents did mention this info, most of it, in their first thread.

 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 973
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

August 25, 2012

I'm going to try this.  But your entire employment history?  Going back how far, does it say?

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2007

August 26, 2012

Pauline-we've already answered this.  It's on the OAT site.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

August 26, 2012

Pauline,

I couldn't find how to get to OAT site, but I'll answer this anyway.

Yes, the form ask for employment history.  We did not answer this. We've been retired over 10 years.  The only one we answered was the Travel History of last 5 years.

under Current Employment History, we showed Retired and date of retirement.   At our interview if they ask for employment  history, we can provide, but I think they wanted only back 5 years.  They also want current physical address and if separate mailing address, provide that, too.  They want all ways to contact you, home phone, mobile, work phones.

Just have your passport info available, drivers license, and birth certificate number.  Under driver's license, they want Y or N, is your drivers license an enhanced drivers license.  If  you don't know or if it isn't clear on the license, call your local motor vehicle dept. for that answer

Good luck

 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 973
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

August 26, 2012

Thanks for the help.  What's an enhanced license?

FYI, I have been in the process of getting myself signed up and am totally frustrated!  It started off easily enough.  I said I had not previously registered for anything like it.  I put in my name, including my absolutely disgusting middle name which I never use, DOB, etc.  Then I created an ID, checked that it was available, and then created a password.  Clicked on Next, and the system said the ID was no longer available.  What?  I looked at it, and it met the specs.  OK  -  create another one.  The same thing happened about a dozen times.  These are not words that I have used before in creating an ID or password.  And how are all of these available one minute and unavailable the next?

So I went back a screen or two and found the word Help.  I have now written a plea on my Hotmail account, which is only used for situations like this when that's what the recipient requires.

Pauline

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2007

August 26, 2012

 Pauline-without knowing exactly what you did, we cannot offer any assistance.  All we can say is for you to check the requirements for creating an ID and password.  The ID can usually be your name.  There are specific rules for passwords, which you should check.

An enhanced driver's license is a license which can be valid for entry into the United States in lieu of a passport when traveling to certain countries, such as Canada and Mexico( there are others ).  Your state's epartment of motor vehicles should provide you with specific details.  If you haven't signed up for it, and paid the additional fee, likely you don't have one.  But again, you cah verify your status with your state's department of motor vehicles.

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2007

August 26, 2012

For singsling:  The OAT web site is:  www.oattravel.com .

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 973
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

August 26, 2012

Or you can go down to the bottom of this page, and under Contact Us you'll see Overseas Adventure Travel.  They added that after we pointed out that the new home page didn't allow for us to go from the GCT website to the OAT website.  Although you could still do the reverse, since that page hasn't been updated.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 973
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

August 26, 2012

Update. 

I have entered different words, including my own name,  lower and upper case and initial caps.  Each time, I click on Check Availability, and each time the system assures me that my choice is available.  But after I click on Next and it runs through its little procedure, it comes back and tells me that it is not available and to try again.

Does anyone have a possible telephone number that will take me to a real live person?   Clicking on any of the "Help" possibilities doesn't.

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 277
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1999

August 26, 2012

Pauline, I tried it just because I was curious and got the same results as you. Even after I get the message that the ID is unavailable, it tells me the ID is available when I click Check availability. Go figure! I think they have some bugs to work on. If you click GOES Support near the bottom of the page, you will get a page with an email address and a telephone number. Personally, I'm not going to pursue it at this point. Good luck.

Singsling, thanks for your earlier response to my post. Actually, I didn't intend my post to be a request for information. Rather, it was just my observation on what I think should be included on the website.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

August 26, 2012

Pauline, on the first GOES page where you are supposed to select your user ID, go to bottom of page where it says:

Technical Support      FAQ    .  Contact:  GOES Support

Select GOES Support

 

 Next screen gives you ways to contact them.  At the bottom of that page is a toll free number.

I talked with them once using this number regarding an issue and they were very nice and helped me.  Have to keep calling though as the number was busy quite a lot.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

August 26, 2012

Thanks to all who provided OAT's contact and web page.  I had already figured it out earlier today. 

To Janice, sorry I didn't read all your response to Pauline that you  had already provided her the way to contact GOES. 

I think I had the same situation as Pauline in getting a user ID.  I think I figured it out that selecting Check Availablility a few times, it finally came back and said IS available.    We're good now, we are approved.

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2007

August 26, 2012

 We did our some months ago, and had no trouble getting our password and userid.  We let it slide for a few months until we decided we'd be home long enough to go for an interview, and our password had expired, so we had to change it, again with no problem.  We then completed the application and the process.  For us, everything went quite smoothly.  We should have posted this previously when we completed the process, but it just slipped our minds.  We had our memories jogged when we saw an article in International Travel News describing this process, so we posted it.  We thought it might be useful to Grand Circle/OAT clients who do travel a bit.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 973
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

August 26, 2012

I think I'll try again tomorrow to see if they've got their act together.  If not, I'll try calling.  If that doesn't help, I'll give up.  After all, Boston is still fairly easy to enter from abroad. 

I should add that I'm also having trouble with my Verizon e-mail set-ups.  And those robotic helps are of absolutely no use. 

Thanks to everyone for your help.

Pauline

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 973
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

August 27, 2012

I did it!  Whatever the problem was yesterday, it is now solved.  This has taken me most of today, off and on.  Now I just have to keep checking for updates and scheduling.  The only place in Massachusetts for interviews seems to be at Logan Airport.

You cannot Post or Reply, please sign in

Rules of Use:
Be Relevant

Please stick to the topic of travel when posting in our Forum. Stay on the relevant topic and do not disrupt a discussion in progress. If you have a specific customer service question or issue, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814.

Be Respectful

Use of any inappropriate language, personal attacks, and hate speech are not permitted. Respect others’ opinions and suggestions.

Be Mindful of Privacy Issues

Please do not post the personal information of other members (full names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc).

Help us help you

Please click on the ‘Report Abuse’ button if you see an inappropriate posting.