Do you hate waiting in the US Customs and Border Protection line after a trip abroad as much as I do? Is the price of Global Entry too much for your budget? The Mobile Passport App may be your answer. I first learned about the Mobile Passport App back in October coming through Miami from my trip to Curaçao. Had I known the process was so quick, I probably wouldn’t have missed my flight home. (It wasn’t that big of a deal since they sent me to the airport closer to home).
What is the Mobile Passport App?
The Mobile Passport App is a free app available for iOS and Android devices. It enables travelers to submit their customs declaration form on their smartphone instead of the paper forms or electronic kiosks. This service is available for US citizens with a valid US passport, Canadian citizens with both a valid Canadian passport and B1 or B2 visa status and is authorized by US CBP. It doesn’t eliminate the process going through customs, but it makes it a lot easier.
How Safe is it?
The app uses best practices for privacy to protect data that is submitted. Much like electronic kiosks, the data securely submits your information to CBP to review. After going through, the app gives you the option to store your passport information for future use or delete.
How To Use It
The process to use the Mobile Passport App is very easy. After downloading from the Google Play or App Store, scan your passport or enter your passport information manually. The next step is to enter flight information. When everything is verified and submitted, you’ll receive an electronic receipt with a QR code that expires four hours after being issued. Bring your passport and digital receipt to a CBP officer to scan and you’re done.
Please note, you must have a Wi-Fi or a cellular network connection to use the app to submit the customs declaration form and receive the QR code receipt.
Where To Use It
The Mobile Passport App is not accepted at every US airport, but you can visit their official website to sign up for their mailing list and get alerted for when it is available at an airport near you. I used the app on my recent trip from Greece and was in and out in about 10 minutes. If you are traveling with a family, this can be a huge time saver since kids don’t like to wait in long lines.
Would you consider using the Mobile Passport App to expedite your wait in the US Customs and Border Protection line?