In my giveaway last week of Express Passes into Australia, I mentioned that you can also enter Australia quickly if you have Global Entry. I want to give a little more information about the process because it’s another reason to get Global Entry in you haven’t already. See Why and How I Got Global Entry.

The process is very simple. To be able to use Australia’s SmartGate entry program, you need to be 16 years or older, have Global Entry, and have a USA ePassport. All USA passports issued after 8/2007 are ePassports.

To use SmartGate, simply find the SmartGate kiosk upon arrival, which sounds identical to a Global Entry kiosk. After answering the declaration questions at the kiosk, you get a SmartGate ticket.

Next you use the ticket to access the SmartGate. A camera compares your photo to the digital photo in your ePassport. Go through the gate, collect your bags, and head to customs.

The whole process looks really simple.

The SmartGate and Global Entry combo does not change the fact that you have to apply online for a visa before traveling to Australia and pay a $20 fee.

This is another great reason to get Global Entry, which gets me from airplane door to curb at LAX in seven minutes. Global Entry costs $100. The process includes a cumbersome application form and a twenty minuted interview at an international airport.

The $100 fee is rebated if you pay with your American Express Platinum. The best AMEX Platinum offer right now is the Mercedes-Benz version of the card. (Don’t worry; you don’t have to drive a German car to get the card.)

The full SmartGate information is here.

Does anyone have any experience with SmartGate?

11 COMMENTS

  1. Will try the Aussie smartgate in two weeks. Worth noting that Auckland lets Global Entry users through a special line (shared with diplomats). Had us through in ~4 minutes.

    • Very true. You must have that ID card that came with your Global Entry package. Passport is not enough, at least that’s what they told me in NZ when I tried to enter.

  2. I’d love to see this expanded to many countries, and it seems logical it would be. For me the interview at MIA may have taken all of five minutes, not 20. It’s really worth it for making connections rather than potentially missing them, getting on your way out of the airport, or just to have more time to relax or work in a lounge or gate area between flights rather than standing in long lines.

  3. Is there ONE card where I could travel in the US and EU quicker and @ what cost per year ?

    Thank You
    Homeless Person

  4. my young children (2 and 5) have global entry passes. presumably they would need to stand in the regular line in Australia? why the 16 and older rule? Heading to Australia next year. Hopefully we can all use our passes for the fast lane.

    • Not sure why, probably something to do with the biometric data in the photos. Maybe until you turn 16 your looks change so rapidly that the photo matching won’t work.

  5. […] Having Global Entry allows you to skip the immigrations and customs queues when arriving in the US. Instead of spending time in line and talking to an agent, you tap a few buttons at a kiosk and get to the curb in a few minutes. Global Entry membership is valid for 5 years. Scott raves about it. And having Global Entry also lets you skip immigration queues in Australia and New Zealand. […]

  6. United also reimburses the fees for Global Services, 1K, and possibly Premier Platinum members. Just apply for GE using their link, which is easily accessible from united.com.

  7. […] Having Global Entry allows you to skip the immigrations and customs queues when arriving in the United States. Instead of spending time in line and talking to an agent, you tap a few buttons at a kiosk and get to the curb in a few minutes. Global Entry membership is valid for 5 years. And having Global Entry also lets you skip immigration queues in Australia and New Zealand. […]

  8. […] Having Global Entry allows you to skip the immigrations and customs queues when arriving in the United States. Instead of spending time in line and talking to an agent, you tap a few buttons at a kiosk and get to the curb in a few minutes. Global Entry membership is valid for 5 years. And having Global Entry also lets you skip immigration queues in Australia and New Zealand. […]

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