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TSA PreCheck allows pre-approved travelers expedited screening at US airport security, but can non-US citizens enroll in the program?

Fortunately, foreign nationals are eligible for TSA PreCheck under certain conditions.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer:

Non-US citizens from participating countries can enroll in TSA PreCheck by scheduling an appointment at an application center. You’ll need to provide citizenship documents and pay the application fee.

This comprehensive guide explains everything foreign visitors need to know about getting TSA PreCheck approval.

We’ll cover eligibility, application process, required documents, enrollment locations, costs, and tips for non-US citizens.

Eligibility Requirements

While TSA PreCheck is primarily designed for U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, it is also available for non-U.S. citizens who meet certain eligibility requirements.

Here are the key factors to consider:

1. Visa Status

The first requirement for non-U.S. citizens is to hold one of the following visa statuses:

  • B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa: If you are visiting the United States for business (B-1) or tourism (B-2), you may be eligible for TSA PreCheck.
  • F-1 Student Visa: Students studying in the U.S. are also eligible for TSA PreCheck.
  • J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa: Exchange visitors participating in authorized programs may qualify for TSA PreCheck.
  • H-1B Work Visa: Non-U.S. citizens employed in the U.S. under the H-1B work visa may be eligible for TSA PreCheck.

It’s important to note that not all visa statuses are eligible for TSA PreCheck. Make sure to check the official TSA website or consult with your immigration attorney to confirm your eligibility based on your specific visa status.

2. Trusted Traveler Programs

Non-U.S. citizens who are members of a Trusted Traveler Program may also be eligible for TSA PreCheck. These programs include:

  • Global Entry: This program allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.
  • NEXUS: NEXUS is a joint Canada-U.S. program that provides expedited processing for pre-approved travelers at designated ports of entry.
  • SENTRI: The SENTRI program allows expedited clearance for pre-approved members traveling between the U.S. and Mexico.

If you are a member of any of these Trusted Traveler Programs, you can include your Known Traveler Number (KTN) when booking your flights to ensure you receive TSA PreCheck benefits.

3. Background Check and Fee

Non-U.S. citizens applying for TSA PreCheck must undergo a background check, similar to U.S. citizens. This includes providing fingerprints and paying a non-refundable application fee.

The fee for non-U.S. citizens is currently $78, which covers a five-year membership. It’s important to note that this fee is separate from the fees associated with Trusted Traveler Programs.

By meeting these eligibility requirements, non-U.S. citizens can enjoy the convenience and efficiency of TSA PreCheck when traveling within the United States.

It’s always a good idea to check the official TSA website or consult with an immigration attorney for the most up-to-date information regarding eligibility and application process.

How to Apply

Applying for TSA PreCheck as a non-US citizen involves a few extra steps compared to US citizens, but it is absolutely possible. Here is a step-by-step guide to getting approved:

  1. Check your eligibility. You must have valid immigration status and documentation to be eligible.
  2. Schedule an in-person appointment at an enrollment center. Locations can be found internationally and domestically.
  3. Complete the online application in advance through the Universal Enroll System. You will need your biographic and passport information.
  4. Bring required documentation to your appointment like your passport, visa, I-94 form, and proof of address.
  5. Get fingerprinted at the appointment so the TSA can conduct a background check.
  6. Pay the $78 application fee. This can be paid online with a credit card.
  7. Check your status online via the Universal Enroll System. You should find out if you’re approved within 2-3 weeks.
  8. Add your Known Traveler Number to your flight reservations once approved so airlines know you have TSA PreCheck.

While it takes some extra preparation, non-US citizens agree the convenience of TSA PreCheck is well worth the effort!

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time as appointments may have availability several weeks out.

Required Documents

Non-US citizens who are interested in applying for TSA PreCheck should be aware of the required documents they will need to provide during the application process.

These documents are necessary to verify the applicant’s identity and eligibility for the program.

The following are the key documents that non-US citizens should have on hand:


A valid passport is an essential document for any non-US citizen applying for TSA PreCheck. The passport serves as proof of identity and nationality.

It is important to ensure that the passport is valid for at least six months beyond the intended travel dates.

Visa or Permanent Resident Card

In addition to a passport, non-US citizens will also need to provide a valid visa or a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) during the TSA PreCheck application process.

This document verifies the applicant’s legal status in the United States.

Biometric Data

As part of the TSA PreCheck application process, non-US citizens will be required to provide their biometric data, including fingerprints and a photograph.

This information is used for identity verification and to create a biometric profile that will be stored securely in the TSA’s system.

Proof of Address

Non-US citizens will also need to provide proof of their current residential address.

This can be done by submitting a utility bill, bank statement, or any other official document that clearly shows the applicant’s name and address.

Application Fee

There is an application fee associated with TSA PreCheck, which non-US citizens will also need to pay. The current fee is $78 and it is non-refundable.

Payment can be made online during the application process.

It is important for non-US citizens to ensure that they have all the necessary documents and information ready before applying for TSA PreCheck.

This will help streamline the application process and increase the chances of a successful application.

Where to Enroll

If you are a non-US citizen and interested in enrolling in TSA PreCheck, there are a few options available to you.

While the program is primarily aimed at US citizens and lawful permanent residents, some foreign nationals may also be eligible to apply.

Global Entry Program

One of the most popular ways for non-US citizens to enroll in TSA PreCheck is through the Global Entry program.

Global Entry is a program offered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers entering the United States.

As part of the Global Entry application process, applicants are automatically enrolled in TSA PreCheck.

This means that if you are approved for Global Entry, you will also be able to enjoy the benefits of TSA PreCheck when traveling within the United States.

To apply for Global Entry, non-US citizens must meet certain eligibility criteria and complete an online application.

If your application is conditionally approved, you will need to schedule an in-person interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center.

During the interview, you will be fingerprinted and asked questions about your background and travel history.

If you pass the interview, you will be issued a Global Entry card, which will serve as your proof of enrollment in both Global Entry and TSA PreCheck.

Other Enrollment Options

In addition to the Global Entry program, some non-US citizens may be able to enroll in TSA PreCheck through other trusted traveler programs, such as NEXUS or SENTRI.

NEXUS is a joint program between the United States and Canada, while SENTRI is a program for expedited clearance at U.S. land borders.

If you are a citizen of Mexico, you may also be able to enroll in TSA PreCheck through the Mexican government’s Viajero Confiable program.

This program allows eligible Mexican citizens to enjoy expedited screening when traveling to the United States.

It’s important to note that the availability of these programs may vary depending on your country of citizenship and the specific agreements between your country and the United States.

Therefore, it is recommended to visit the official websites of these programs for more information on eligibility and enrollment.

Remember that enrolling in TSA PreCheck as a non-US citizen may require additional documentation and may involve a longer application process compared to US citizens.

However, the benefits of expedited security screening and a more efficient travel experience make it well worth the effort for frequent international travelers.

Cost and Application Tips

If you are a non-US citizen and interested in applying for TSA PreCheck, there are a few things you need to know about the cost and application process.

TSA PreCheck is a trusted traveler program that allows expedited screening at participating airports in the United States.

It is available to both US citizens and non-US citizens who meet the eligibility requirements.


The cost of TSA PreCheck for non-US citizens is $78 for a five-year membership. This fee is non-refundable and covers the cost of the application and background check.

Payment can be made by credit card, money order, or certified check.

It is important to note that this fee is separate from any other fees you may have to pay for other visa or travel-related expenses.

Application Process

The application process for non-US citizens is similar to that of US citizens. To apply for TSA PreCheck, you will need to complete an online application and schedule an appointment for an in-person interview.

During the interview, you will be asked questions about your travel history, citizenship status, and other personal information.

You will also have your fingerprints taken and undergo a background check.

It is recommended that you apply for TSA PreCheck at least three months before your planned travel to allow ample time for the application and approval process.

Keep in mind that the approval process may take longer for non-US citizens compared to US citizens due to additional security checks.

Documents Required

When applying for TSA PreCheck as a non-US citizen, you will need to provide certain documents to prove your identity and immigration status.

These documents may include your passport, visa, and any other immigration-related documents.

It is important to have these documents readily available and to bring them with you to your in-person interview.

Additional Tips

Here are a few additional tips to help you with your TSA PreCheck application as a non-US citizen:

  • Double-check the eligibility requirements before applying to ensure you meet all the criteria.
  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the date of your intended travel.
  • Arrive at your in-person interview on time and bring all the required documents.
  • Follow up with the TSA if you have not received a decision on your application within the expected timeframe.

Remember, TSA PreCheck can save you time and hassle at the airport by allowing you to go through expedited security screening.

It is worth considering if you are a frequent traveler or simply want a more efficient travel experience.


TSA PreCheck provides a major convenience for non-US citizens traveling frequently to the US.

By meeting eligibility criteria and submitting a proper application, foreign visitors can breeze through airport security.

Our guide provides everything you need to know to get TSA PreCheck approval with minimal hassle.

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