If you need a “promotional code” for Global Entry registration, here’s how to get one

My last post described that certain citizens were now eligible for Global Entry in the USA. When I registered as a British Citizen it asked for a “promotional code”.

Over on Flyertalk, they've said that if you need a code you can get on from British Airways if you are a Gold member, or by emailing Larry.Panetta@dhs.gov explaining that you are a UK citizen, travel to the USA a lot and require the code. [Edit: As of December 2013, new applications from UK citizens for Global Entry are no longer eligible. Please do not send Larry Panetta any emails] 

So I tried emailing Larry and got an impressively swift reply:

Good Morning.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is in the process of launching a pilot program with the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA), which will allow invited UK citizens to apply for and participate in CBP’s Global Entry Program.  Global Entry is a program operated by CBP to allow for the expedited clearance of pre-approved low-risk air travelers into the United States.  This program, while maintaining the security of our borders, allows members to use automated kiosks at designated airports to bypass the regular Passport Control queues, and enter the United States without routine CBP questioning (unless chosen for a selective or random secondary referral).  Global Entry was announced as a pilot program on April 11, 2008 and began operations on June 6, 2008.  The program was made permanent on February 06, 2012, and has been expanded to a total of 34 Ports: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Dulles, Ft. Lauderdale, Guam, Honolulu, Houston, JFK, Las Vegas, LAX, Miami, Minneapolis, Newark, Orlando, Orlando-Sanford, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland (OR), Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Saipan, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan, Santa Ana, Seattle, and Tampa.  Full program details can be found atwww.globalentry.gov.

CBP would like to invite you to participate in this pilot program.  To apply, please go to the Global Entry web site (www.globalentry.gov) and click on the “Apply Now” button.  In order to submit your application, you will need a promotional code.  Your promotional code is [removed].  Please note that promotional codes are unique, and can only be used once.  The code will expire on December 31, 2013, so you must apply before that date.

All applicants will undergo a rigorous background check and interview by a CBP officer before enrollment. Applicant data will also be shared with the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) for vetting by the UKBA.  Enrollment is not guaranteed and a non-refundable application fee of US $100 will apply.  Due to data protection legislation, UK Citizens will be required to provide a “Police Certificate for Immigration Purposes” by the ACPO Criminal Records Office.  Additional information on ACPO certificates can be found at http://acro.police.uk/police_certificates.aspx.  The ACRO Disclosure Certificate will have to be obtained prior to applying online, as you will be required to enter the certificate number in the application (only the numbers).  The ACRO Disclosure Certificate will also have to be presented to CBP at the time of the Global Entry interview.  Only applicants with ACRO Disclosure Certificates that indicate “No Trace” will be considered for the pilot.


Larry Panetta

Global Entry Program Manager

Office of Field Operations

U. S. Customs and Border Protection


So not only do you get a code, it's also valid for another few months to allow you to plan your visit for the interview. Seems pretty reasonable to me!

[Update August 2015: It looks like the UK Government will make an announcement in early November 2015 about the re-launch of Global Entry for UK Citizens. See here for more details, and if you wish to be notified when it finally does open up, add a comment below making sure you put in your email address.]


About Tim

Tim is an engineer and a nerd who analyses every travel deal, travel hack. He has travelled to around 90 countries and also speaks Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin.

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  1. Tim,
    Thanks for posting this so quickly. I wrote to Larry late last night, and this morning, sitting in my Inbox, was the identical letter to the one you’ve posted. Incredibly efficient. Thanks very much indeed for the heads up. As you’ve pointed out, the code is valid till the end of the year, so this makes it much easier to plan ahead.

  2. Don’t bother with stupid BA. I’m a gold card holder with 8 US flights in the last 12 months, but they won’t give me a code – they’re saving them for their more precious Gold Guest List Customers.

  3. I sent an email to dhs asking for a ‘promotional code’ but never heard back, so I guess I won’t be joining the Global Entry program for a while.

  4. I sent a mail today & had this speedy response

    “I will be out of the office on offical travel until Monday, January 27, 2014 I will be monitoring my blackberry.

    If you are a UK citizen requesting a promotional code for Global Entry, please note that our pilot program has reached its quota, and we are no longer accepting applications from UK citizens at this time”

    • Too bad…I suppose he’s been flooded with emails asking for GE codes and has had to put that into his out-of-office replies. Let’s see what’ll happen in the near future.

  5. I tried to get the promotion code myself, but I believe they were reserved for those UK citizens who fly BA Club Class and above, not for the visitors who get off from the back of the plane.

  6. Is there any prospect of the Global Entry programme being re-opened for UK citizens. If ‘yes’, possible time?

    • Unfortunately I have no idea! I even asked the CBP Officer during my own Global Entry interview 2 weeks ago when it might be opened up again, but he had no clue.

          • Understood. Now it’s just a question of ‘wait and see’ when the system opens up to Brits again.

        • Yes, ‘wait and see’ I’m afraid. I’ve got a long list of people I need to inform if it ever comes back, so rest assured I’ll put out a blog post when it does. Best thing to do is to subscribe to my mailing list and hope one day it returns!

  7. Hi
    It looks like wait and see is the answer, I contacted the Home Office as I was bit peeved at the way the promotion codes had been allocated by the Airlines invited to participate. You can guess who the Airlines were and it seems that good old British snobbery won the day as they would only provide their premier customers with the promotion codes. Rant over, below is the gist of the response I received from the Home Office.

    “Invitations to join the pilot scheme are owned by the US authorities as it concerns their trusted traveller scheme, Global Entry, and facilitated entry through the US border. As part of the invitational process, they engaged with leading UK trans-Atlantic carriers to assist in identifying a number of prospective travellers who would benefit from being part of the pilot and who were then invited to apply to join the Global Entry scheme. This identification process focussed solely on the criteria that those travellers made frequent journeys to the US and there was no stipulation regarding the class of travel. The reasoning behind identifying frequent travellers was so that they could evaluate the market for any permanent arrangement as well as to identify patterns of usage.

    The Home Office has not been directly involved in the invitational process by issuing promotional codes to participate in the pilot and has not set any stipulations for participation. Our role within the pilot is to assist in the risk assessing of applicants, although the final decision on admittance to join US Global Entry lies wholly with the US authorities.

    In terms of the scheme itself, the pilot has exceeded its limit of 1000 applications and additional applicants are not being actively solicited at this current time. We are looking at the possibility of allowing additional participants to the pilot as well as the timescales under which the agreement may transition to a business-as-usual agreement, should both parties agree this.

    Once further applications are being invited to participate in the pilot, then this will be communicated by the US authorities who retain ownership of the invitational process.”

    I hope my post has been informative.



  8. Please can you add me to your mailing list/blog also as I am a 1K with UA flying over 120,000 miles a year and a but peeved that I couldn’t get invited through a carrier other than BA!

    Many thanks

    • Do you mean for UK citizens? If so, I have not heard anything sadly. This is despite my efforts contacting the US embassy to UK and also contacting the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

  9. Just got as far as the Promo Code problem, then found this post.Thanks for your efforts and please update me on any developments.

    • Hi George, the promo codes are very scarce now as they stopped accepting UK citizens since last year. However there’s a nice big mailing list for those who want it so rest assured I’ll let you know if there’s another opportunity.


  10. Was told by a German colleague that she had just got global entry into the US. I am a BA Gold member and go to the US often but have never been offered a code so am a bit fed up. Would very much like to know when any more become available.

    • Hi Stella, unfortunately I’ve been trying to get through to the US Embassies, the UK Home Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office etc., but they all seem to ignore me. I’m trying my best to get any information too!

  11. Hi, Tim.

    Please add me to your list. The lack of information on this is unconscionable. The CBP allows you to go all the way through the process without any explanation that UK citizens are no longer even eligible.

    Thanks for doing this!

  12. Hi Tim

    Please add me to your ever growing list of UK citizens who are fed up with US immigration and would love to have GE.



  13. Hi,

    Thank you for the very informative information on GE, it really is a minefield! I live both in the UK and the US as well as work in both countries and this year alone I am already on 17 return transatlantic flights yet alone my trips to Canada and Mexico, so you can see how nice it would be for me to have GE. Could you please add me to your growing list. Do you feel it is worth talking to Delta as I am a Platinum card holder as well as a Gold member with Virgin!
    Thank you

    • You could ask Delta though I don’t think there’s much you can do. You may be eligible for GE if you have the right kind of visa to live there though. Best to check on GE’s site to see if you qualify

  14. Hi there,

    Could I please jump on the GE update list…as a frequent visitor to the US I’m keen to be done with the INS line lottery!


  15. Hi Tim

    Please add me to the list of interested parties.
    I made the mistake of not following through with the process in 2013 & need to reapply.

  16. Hi Tim,

    Good to hear that something might be moving on GE for UK citizens. Please add me to your UK GE “waiting list”.


  17. Please add me to your notification/waiting list too – and thanks for your efforts. I look forward to hopefully spending many fewer hours of my life waiting for US immigration in the near future!


  18. Please add me to the waiting list and email me with further news on enrolling in the Global Entry card for a UK citizen. Thanks.

  19. I am desperate to get global entry as travel regularly to the US for business and was gutted to miss it last time! would be very grateful if you could notify me if you hear anything next month victoriahesketh@me.com many thanks

  20. If you can keep me informed of any updates / reintroduction of the Global Entry for UK citizens would be much appreciated

  21. Sounds hopeful, it will certainly make a difference and allow tight connections.
    please put me on your email list for the Nov update

  22. Thanks for your efforts – I travel to US every 6 weeks and have a 5 year visa but still end up in the nightmare queues at JFK and Chicago.
    lets hope the reciprocation comes soon –)

    • I just came through Tampa yesterday and despite not on any system was guided to use automated machines as a visa waiver/ESTA person.

      No one could explain why nor knew of GOES

  23. Hi Tim,
    Would you add me also to your list and update with any info? I am a UK Citizen living and working in the US and traveling over 300 days per year for work. Global Entry would be amazing.


  24. Tim please add me to the information list.
    I live and work in NY and travel overseas at least twice a month.
    I am on a w working visa but still it seems I cannot get on the program.

  25. Please can you add me to your mailing list/blog also for when the announcement has been made? This would be a game changer! I very much hope they reinstate this.

  26. On 3 Nov 2015, it was announced that UK citizens will soon be able to apply for Global Entry starting in Dec 2015. Initial applications for an ‘access code’ will need to be made via the Home Office. I would be very interested to hear when this becomes available.

  27. I went onto the Home Office Gov UK site and located the “register to apply” however it then brings up a page asking for an invitation code…how does one obtain an invitation code?

  28. Hi
    If you hear of GE opening up again and the source for a promo code would love to know we travel to USA 3/4 times per year
    We have applied for the police Certs in just in case
    Many thanks

  29. Please add me to the waiting list and email me with further news on enrolling in the Global Entry card for a UK citizen. I have been sifting through all the recent news but no luck so far. Thanks a lot.

  30. Hello
    I’m a german citizen visiting the US 3-4 times a year – my wife is a US citizen.
    I would like to obtain a so called promo code to apply for the global entry program.
    If you could help me further I would appreciate this.

  31. It seems Germany is no longer on the list of eligible citizens for Global Entry. As ABG Plus is being replaced by EasyPass, it is not clear to me how Global Entry will result from that.

    Your wife should still be able to do Global Entry though.

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