When Global Entry first launched, it was a revolutionary way for frequent international travelers to quickly get through immigration upon returning to the U.S. To join, applicants had to pay $149.99 as a one-off payment and the $100 membership fee, to be renewed every five years. This trusted traveler program has gotten great reviews since it debuted.
But earlier this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection released its new Mobile Passport app, which could completely change the game by giving travelers a unique QR code—for free. The app, much like APC, streamlines the traveler inspection process and enables CBP officers to focus more on the inspection and less on administrative functions. This first-of-its-kind app was developed by Airside Mobile and Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) in partnerships with CBP.
Per the CBP website: Eligible travelers with a smartphone or tablet can download the Mobile Passport Control app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Travelers will be prompted to create a profile via the app with their passport information. The profile includes the traveler’s name, gender, date of birth and country of citizenship. Upon landing in the United States, travelers will complete the “New Trip” section by selecting their arrival airport and airline, taking a self-photo and answering a series of custom declaration questions. Once the traveler submits their customs declaration form through the app, the traveler will receive an electronic receipt with an Encrypted Quick Response (QR) code. This receipt will expire four hours after being issued. Travelers then bring their passport and mobile device with their digital bar-coded receipt to a CBP officer to finalize their inspection for entry into the United States.
Earlier this month, US Customs and Border Protection released its new Mobile Passport app, which could completely change the game by giving travelers a unique QR code. On a recent trip to New York from Auckland (AKL) via Sydney (SYD), I decided to test it out. Even though I already have Global Entry, which is usually a go-to method when returning to the US, the Mobile Passport option seemed like it was worth a try — and it’s free for everyone to use. As of right now, it’s only available at 18 airports across the country — ATL, BWI, BOS, ORD, DEN, FLL, MIA, MSP, JFK, EWR, MCO, RDU, SFO, SJC, SEA, TPA and IAD, with plans to open soon in IAH and HOU.