Does TSA Precheck Work on Foreign Passports?

February 13, 2020

Travelers can opt for expedited security screening at the airport by applying for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Precheck program. According to the Department of Homeland Security, one of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to this program is if TSA Precheck works on foreign passports. The short answer is yes if the U.S. citizenship/residency requirements are met. However, flyers with foreign passports should understand the differences between Precheck and Global Entry and what forms of identification are acceptable for each.

Trusted Traveler Programs

Travelers can save time when checking in at the airport by participating in the TSA Precheck program, one of five Trusted Traveler Programs. Membership in any Trusted Traveler Program is valid for five years.

TSA Precheck Benefits

Once an application is submitted and approved, the applicant will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN), which they can then use when booking reservations online or with an agent. Those with a KTN can speed through designated Precheck lanes and avoid removing their shoes, laptops, liquids, belts, and light jackets. According to TSA, 93 percent of TSA Precheck passengers waited less than five minutes in December 2019.

TSA Precheck Eligibility

To be eligible for TSA Precheck, applicants must have proof of citizenship or a Permanent Resident Card. Applicants must also provide documentation to prove any other citizenships, along with information including:

  • Email address and phone number
  • Address, employment history, and international travel history for the past five years
  • Court documents if convicted of a crime other than a traffic violation

Although applicants must present proof of U.S. citizenship or residency at the time of application, once their application has been approved, they can use a foreign passport for identity checks once at the airport. U.S. passports, as well as foreign passports, are both acceptable at TSA security checks; it does not matter which passport members of the TSA Precheck program use when checking in at the airport or boarding the plane.

Global Entry Program Benefits and Requirements

Pre-approved, low-risk travelers may also apply for the Global Entry program, which is run by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. Global Entry affords travelers the benefits of TSA Precheck along with expedited customs screening when traveling internationally. Eligibility requirements for this program are generally more stringent than TSA Precheck; applicants must undergo a thorough background check and in-person interview, in addition to fingerprinting and an ID check.

Once accepted into the Global Entry program, travelers may present a machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card at a Global Entry kiosk in the airport. They will also be required to scan their fingerprint and complete a customs declaration. As with TSA Precheck, travelers can use a foreign passport for identification purposes at the airport once they have been admitted into the program.

Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at the Mc Law Group, LLC Handle All Types of Immigration Cases

If you have questions regarding your eligibility for TSA Precheck, contact a Philadelphia immigration lawyer at the MC Law Group, LLC. We will review your documentation and make sure you have everything in order. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout the tri-state area, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-496-0690.