A FastPass Thru U.S. Immigration

Did you know there’s an App for that?

I don’t even want to get into telling stories about coming home and getting delayed in Customs and Immigration. I’m sure we all have our stories.

We were excited some time ago with the self-service kiosks that were being installed at a number of locations. After a few times thru that system we realized this wasn’t the answer to our prayers. It just didn’t happen that fast. You had to scan your passport and everyone had to – not just the head of household. You had to get your picture taken by the kiosk than respond to CBP inspection questions and submit biographic information, whatever that was. After that you were given a printout strip and than you went and stood in line again.

While traveling we have come to realize that some other countries have figured out how to get people thru the process. Our favorite is Australia – scan your passport at a kiosk, tick off a couple answers and show the receipt to the nice person as you exit. Maybe the online visa Australia makes you get helps them with the process? Somehow going thru our CPB process doesn’t make me feel any safer coming into the U.S.

Recently we’ve read a couple of articles about the U.S. CBP App and so far the reviews are positive. First you have to download the Mobile Passport App on your iPhone or Android device, it’s free. Use the App to scan your passport and save the information.

Here’s what to do when you arrive back in the U.S. from the Mobile Passport website. Once you are at your port of entry (airport or sea port), connect to wireless or wi-fi and submit your data to CBP. Remember: when you submit, you are confirming under penalty of law that your information is correct. Within a few seconds, you will receive a CBP receipt with an encrypted barcode. Your receipt will be valid for 4 hours.

No more customs forms!

Next follow the Mobile Passport Control signs to the designated Mobile Passport Control line. Show your passport to the CBP officer and scan back the barcode on the digital CBP receipt. And that’s it!

The system is currently active at twenty-four U.S. airports and Ft. Lauderale’s, Port Everglades, with more coming soon.

We have one report that the system is a breeze. That may be because there aren’t that many users yet but hopefully CBP will expand to keep up.


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