Why the Mobile Passport Control app should be on your radar

A free service with the potential to speed up entry at a number of U.S. ports and airports, the Mobile Passport Control app (MPC app) should be on your radar. The program essentially generates the required customs form on your Apple or Android iPhone and expedites your processing time when re-entering the country. MPC streamlines the traveler’s entry process into the United States by reducing passport control inspection time and overall wait time.

Travelers can download the MPC app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.  Once you land or otherwise have internet service, you select your arrival airport or seaport (yes, it works for cruises), take a self-photo, and answer a series of questions.  The app generates a QR code you can present to a Customs Border Patrol agent at the point of entry, often in a special MPC line allowing you to bypass the longer lines for inspection. As a result, travelers may experience shorter wait times, less congestion, and efficient processing.

The system is an alternative to the Global Entry program, which has a price tag of $100 for a five year membership. For the MPC program, there is no fee, and up to 12 family members on the same flight or cruise can use it. 

For more information and an extensive list of entry ports where the app can be used, visit https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/mobile-passport-control.