Is there anything worse than getting off of an international flight tired, cranky, and hangry, only to be met with a ridiculously long custom’s line, that inches forward at the slowest pace known to man?! Of course, the person right ahead of you will have forgotten to sign their paperwork and the agent will probably have about 17 extra questions for them. These are all first world problems, I know. But coming home from international travel and dealing with customs is by far my least favorite part of traveling. Unless you have Global Entry, you’re stuck- until now.
Enter Mobile Passport. Music to my globe-trotting ears.
This incredible new app allows travelers to submit their passport control and customs declaration information via their iPhone or iPad and then breeze right by all of the hangry and tired passengers standing in the regular lines to enter the United States. It’s officially authorized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and is currently active in 16 U.S. airports, with more being added in the near future. And it’s FREE!!
How it works in 5 easy steps
Step 1: Download the app to your smartphone
Grab the app off of the App Store or Google Play. This is also going to require you having your phone charged by the time you arrive at your home airport, so don’t let the battery die listening to music for 10 hours!
Step 2: Set up your profile
Enter your profile information as it appears on your valid, official passport. You can set up profiles for your entire family. Your information will be encrypted and shared only with CBP.
Step 3: Answer a few questions
Answer CBP’s four brief questions about your trip, and carefully review all of your information for the trip.
Step 4: Submit to CBP
Once you land, you’ll have to connect to your cellular network or wi-fi and submit your data to CBP. Within a few seconds, you will receive a receipt with an encrypted barcode. Your receipt will be valid for 4 hours.
Step 5: Skip the line and save time
Follow the MOBILE PASSPORT CONTROL signs and skip the lines! Show your passport to the CBP officer and scan the barcode on the CBP receipt. Wave goodbye to all the people giving you the side eye in the normal lines.
So, what cities can immediately start jumping for joy?
Atlanta . Boston (coming soon) . Chicago . Dallas . Denver . Fort Lauderdale . Miami . Minneapolis . New York JFK . Newark . Orlando . Raleigh Durham . San Francisco . San Jose . Seattle . Tampa . Washington Dulles
If this was new information for you and you live in one of these cities, I hope you are getting extra excited for your next international trip, and can report back how easy it was to use!