Global Entry is rising in popularity for travelers looking to skip long airport lines when entering the US. Although the Global Entry program is expanding with new interview centers, some have experienced difficulty scheduling an interview with Customs and Border Protection due to the growing number of travelers signing up for the program. For U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors without Global Entry, there’s still hope for avoiding some of the long lines. The Mobile Passport, available for iPhone and Android, allows you to skip ahead to a Mobile Passport Control express lane.
The Mobile Passport process is simple. Upon downloading the app, enter your profile information. You’ll confirm the details of your trip and answer a few brief questions on the app. Once you land in the U.S., you submit this information, through the secure encryption of the app, to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). You receive a receipt on your phone with an encrypted barcode that will be valid for four hours. Following Mobile Passport Control signs, you’ll skip long customs and entry lines. A CBP officer will scan the barcode on the CBP receipt, and you’ll be on your way!
Mobile Passport does not replace the Global Entry program, and it does not eliminate passport lines. However, for U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors, it can be a major time saver upon entering the U.S.
International visitors also have line-reducing options. For international visitors from Visa Waiver Program countries who have visited the U.S. at least once since 2008, the automated passport control (APC) kiosks minimize their wait. APC does not require pre-registration or membership. Eligible travelers simply proceed directly to APC kiosks in the passport control area. Scan your passport, take a photograph using the kiosk and answer a few CBP questions. From there, the kiosk prints a receipt that the traveler can take to a CBP officer to quickly finalize the inspection.
Currently, Mobile Passport is available at the following airports: ATL, BOS, BWI, DEN, DFW, EWR, FLL, IAD, IAH, HOU, JFK, MCO, MIA, MSP, ORD, RDU, SEA, SJC, SFO and TPA. For more information and FAQs about Mobile Passport, please refer to this website.