The technology will be used at the Club World Cup in Tokyo in December, the Confederation Cup in 2013 and also the World Cup in 2014.
The decision by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) -- custodians of the game's laws -- followed a vote at the Zurich headquarters of FIFA, the international association of football federations on Thursday.
It means footballing authorites around the world can introduce the technology into their competitions, using either the Hawk-Eye or GoalRef systems that have been undergoing tests
The development comes after FIFA president Sepp Blatter lent his weight to calls for the technology to be introduced after Ukraine was denied an apparent goal against England in the recent Euro 2012 championships, losing 1-0.
"After last night's match (GLT) is no longer an alternative, but a necessity," Blatter Tweeted.
Replays showed that Marko Devic's shot in the 62nd minute had crossed the goal line before being cleared by England defender John Terry.
Fans have called for years for the football world to embrace the technology which would eliminate human error, citing its use in other sports including tennis and cricket.
Al Jazeera's Lee Wellings, reporting from London, says FIFA is hoping today's announcement will assuage fan concerns.
FIFA "wants to eradicate those big decisions in big games that cause so much controversy", our correspondent said.
The English Premier League, he said, has been a big supporter of the technology.
Wellings said the Premier League very much wanted GLT for the start of their season, but will instead have to wait midway through in order to implement the technology.
But opponents to GLT included UEFA president Michel Platini, who said he preferred the system of five match officials, implemented for the first time at the Ukrainian championships and also agreed on by IFAB at Zurich.
Our correspondent said Platini is "hugely against technology" and that "Blatter and Platini remain at different ends of what they approve of" in order to curb potential decision-making errors.
Prior to the IFAB vote on GLT, even Platini stated that he expected it to get the go-ahead.
Individual associations may yet decide whether to use the technology in their competitions. That means UEFA could still decide not to implement the system.
Also today, football's rules-making panel has approved the use of headscarves for female Muslim athletes.
IFAB gave its approval on Thursday after FIFA's medical committee approved designs for two scarf designs they said do not threaten player safety.
Our correspondent said the overturning of the headscarf ban was not a surprise and that "there really was a movement towards that being sorted", starting in 2007, when Prince Ali of Jordan, a FIFA vice president, led a year-long campaign to overturn the ban