Mobile Passport Control, A Free Alternative to Global Entry
Long lines at airports are one of the biggest hassles to air travelers, especially now as travel demand rebounds. There are some options to speed up the process, such as TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. These are services that you often get free with premium credit cards.
Global Entry provides expedited U.S. customs screening for international air travelers when entering the United States. With Global Entry you also get TSA PreCheck, which provides expedited security screening benefits for flights departing from U.S. Airports.
But singing up for Global Entry is not always a quick and easy process. You need to start the application online and then schedule an interview, which can take months or even as long as one year. There are some tricks that might get you a quick appointment, but it’s not guaranteed.
But if you are traveling abroad right now, there’s also another service that will help you speed up the entry process into the United States. And it’s completely free. So if you don’t want to pay for Global Entry, or just can’t get it soon enough, check out Mobile Passport Control (previously Mobile Passport).
What is Mobile Passport Control
Mobile Passport Control (MPC) allows eligible travelers to submit their passport and customs declaration information through a free, secure app on their smartphone or other mobile device. The use of MPC streamlines the traveler’s entry process into the United States by reducing passport control inspection time and overall wait time. Much like Automated Passport Control (APC), use of MPC is free and does not require pre-approval. Travelers who successfully use an authorized MPC app will no longer have to complete a paper form or use an APC kiosk. As a result, travelers may experience shorter wait times, less congestion and efficient processing.
After downloading the MPC Application from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, eligible travelers will be prompted to create a profile with their passport information, including the traveler’s name, gender, date of birth, and country of citizenship. Upon landing in the United States, travelers will select their arrival airport or seaport and terminal, take a self-photo, and answer a series of CBP inspection-related questions. Once the traveler submits their transaction through the app, the traveler will receive an electronic receipt with an Encrypted Quick Response (QR) code. Travelers then bring their physical passport and mobile device with their digital QR-coded receipt to a CBP officer to finalize their inspection for entry into the United States.
Up to 12 profiles can be created for family members. All authorized MPC apps allow for a single household to submit one MPC transaction, including answers to CBP inspection-related questions.
Where Does it Work
The Mobile Passport Control allows U.S. citizens and Canadian passport holders (on B1 or B2 visas) to submit their passport information and customs declaration information via their smartphone or tablet and bypass the regular line to enter the United States. The app doesn’t require pre-approval and is free to use.
The MPC Mobile App, is available to U.S. citizens and Canadian B1/B2 citizens visitors. MPC is currently available at the following 31 U.S. International airports and 4 seaports of entry:
- Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
- Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
- Dulles International Airport (IAD)
- Denver International Airport (DEN)
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
- Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
- William P. Hobby Houston International Airport (HOU)
- Kansas City International Airport (MCI)
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Miami International Airport (MIA)
- Miami Seaport
- Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
- Oakland International Airport (OAK)
- Orlando International Airport (MCO)
- Palm Beach Seaport
- Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
- Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
- Port Everglades Seaport
- Portland International Airport (PDX)
- Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
- San Diego International Airport (SAN)
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- San Jose International Airport (SJC)
- San Juan Airport (SJU)
- San Juan Seaport
- Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
- Tampa International Airport (TPA)
Mobile Passport Control is a free app that speeds your the process of re-entering the US. Even if you have Global Entry, it’s good to sign up for MPC as well, since Global Entry lines could be longer than the dedicated Mobile Passport lanes. These lanes are available at 31 major airports, so that should coved most people.
Let me know if you have used MPC recently and how it has worked out for you.