Global Entry is a program through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that allows approved travelers to have expedited entry into the U.S. on arrival from abroad. After submitting an application, applicants undergo a background check and interview. Once approved, members can generally get faster entry into the country through airports, border crossings, or ports.
U.S. Citizens, lawful permanent residents, and citizens of a number of foreign countries are eligible to apply for Global Entry. However, approval will depend on the background check and follow-up interview. Any history or criminal convictions may be cause for denying Global Entry status. Even dismissed, expunged, or sealed records may be brought up in an interview. Even after getting approved, an arrest after having Global Entry could result in having approval revoked.
If you are someone with Global Entry who has been arrested in California, you need to fight to keep a conviction off your record and make sure the arrest does not result in revoking your membership. Contact your experienced East Bay criminal defense attorney to understand your rights.
How can an arrest affect my Global Entry membership?
According to the CBP, there are a number of reasons for ineligibility for Global Entry. This may include past arrests or getting arrested after having Global Entry. Reasons for ineligibility may include:
- Providing false information (or incomplete information) on the application;
- Criminal convictions;
- Pending criminal charges;
- Outstanding warrants;
- Violation of any customs, immigration or agriculture regulations or laws (in any country);
- Subject of an ongoing investigation by any federal, state or local law enforcement; or
- Inadmissibility to the U.S. under immigration regulations, including applicants with approved waivers of inadmissibility or parole documentation.
Even if there is no active reason for denying approval, the CBP can determine an applicant is not eligible if they cannot be satisfied with the applicant's low-risk status.
Can I get Global Entry if my record was sealed or expunged?
In most cases, when an individual's record is sealed or expunged, it is sealed as far as the public is concerned. Generally, law enforcement and government agencies can still see your criminal record even if it is no longer available to the public. Just because you were not “convicted” of the crime does not mean that CBP won't consider the event.
Even juvenile records and offenses may be the subject of questioning at a Global Entry interview.
When applying for Global Entry, individuals should bring any disposition papers or court records related to any arrest. The interviewing agent or officer will likely have access to any criminal records and may ask about any:
- Prior arrest,
- Nolo contendere,
- Diversion program,
- Withdrawn charges, or
- Other dispositions.
It is important to answer any questions honestly because withholding information or misrepresenting information is cause for a denial.
Can an arrest or conviction cause my Global Entry to be revoked?
Even if an individual already has Global Entry, that right can be taken away of the above reasons, including a criminal conviction or pending criminal charges. Depending on the types of charges, even an arrest before a conviction can be cause for revoked Global Entry status.
Any criminal conviction can be cause for revoking Global Entry, even if it doesn't seem to be related to customs or a security threat. This includes a minor drug conviction, assault charges, or drunk driving.
In some cases, CBP finds out about a past conviction or arrest after Global Entry was approved. This can result in a revocation even if the individual has records to clear up the incident. Instead, he or she may have to appeal the revocation to get Global Entry reinstated.
Can I lose Global Entry even if there was no criminal charge?
Yes, you can lose your Global Entry membership even if there was no criminal charge. The most common example of this would involve alleged customs violations. Even a minor or accidental customs violation could mean the loss of your Global Entry status.
For example, the CBP has revoked Global Entry membership for individuals who have not declared a couple of food items, like fruit, meat products, or marijuana candies. Even if the individual was not charged with any offense or the incident was an accident, this simple oversight can mean the loss of Global Entry.
If my Global Entry is denied or revoked, can I make an appeal?
Generally, individuals who are denied Global Entry or have their Global Entry revoked can make an appeal through a few channels. This includes:
- Make an appointment at a trusted traveler enrolment center to speak to a supervisor.
- Contact the CBP ombudsman.
- File a complaint through the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program.
East Bay Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are a frequent traveler who relies on the convenience of Global Entry to get through airport customs or across the border, having a revoked Global Entry can be a major barrier. If you are arrested for any criminal offense in California, contact your criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Lynn Gorelick has more than 30 years of criminal defense experience defending her clients facing criminal charges in Alameda or Contra Costa County. Contact East Bay Criminal Defense Attorney Lynn Gorelick today.