A short shout-out to the Global Entry Program of the US Customs and Border Control, which offers an applicant who is considered a “trusted traveler” a 5 year pass that allows expedited entry into the US through Customs without waiting in the traditional lines at airports or, I’m told, through border control entry points by motor vehicle. The Global Entry pass includes as well, which allows expedited screening at airports without having to take off shoes and remove computers from bags. If you fly often enough, no doubt you have drooled with envy at the TSA Pre lines which are shorter, faster and less cumbersome than traditional TSA screening points at airports.
Domestic travelers may find it more convenient to apply for just since it is less expensive than Global Entry but at $100 for 5 years, anyone entering the US from out of the country a couple of times over the duration of the GOES pass, especially if you fly domestically from time to time, may find that applying for Global Entry has its benefits.
The online application is easy and painless and in our case, our conditional acceptance into the program was communicated to us within 2 weeks of application and our interviews with US Customs and Border Control were scheduled shortly after.
Passes in hand, we hope that our travel to the US for semi-annual visits when we expatriate to Panama will be as easy and painless as obtaining the pass.