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Streamline Your U.S. Reentry with the Free Mobile Passport Control App

man's hand holding a smartphone filled with apps

On April 2, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced upcoming fee increases for a few of its popular Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP). However, the CBP’s new Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app is an alternative that can save you both time and money when crossing the American border.

What are the CBP Trusted Travelers Programs?

Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Trusted Travelers Programs are created for faster border crossings for Americans who frequently cross between the United States and Canada and/or the United States and Mexico. These programs include NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST, and the Global Entry Trusted Traveler Network

The Global Entry Program Just Got More Expensive

Global Entry is a U.S. program expediting traveler screening upon entry. It’s open to U.S. residents, Dutch citizens, Mexican nationals, and frequent U.S. travelers. The application involves an interview and a background check. Benefits include bypassing long lines upon return to the U.S. and expedited reentry service.

This shortcut does come at a cost. With the CBP’s most recent fee increase, Global Entry’s non-refundable fee has been raised from $100 to $120.

Be advised: Global Entry’s processing can take up to several months, so just like with getting a passport, you’ll want to plan ahead so your travel plans aren’t disrupted.

Mobile Passport Control (MPC) is a Free Alternative

The CBP’s answer to the recent fee increases and Global Entry’s long processing times is the Mobile Passport Control (MPC). An excellent alternative to Global Entry, the free MPC app streamlines the CBP processing experience at select U.S. entry locations.

How does the MPC app work?

The Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app enhances the entry process into the U.S. by speeding up the passport control inspection process and your overall waiting time. The MPC app eliminates the need for a paper form and may grant access to a dedicated queue, leading to shorter wait times, reduced congestion, and more efficient processing.

CBP offers the Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app to simplify the processing of eligible travelers entering the U.S. The MPC app is accessible to U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, Canadian B1/B2 citizen visitors, and returning Visa Waiver Program travelers with approved ESTA. MPC is currently operational at 50 sites, including 33 U.S. International Airports, 13 Preclearance locations, and 4 seaports of entry.

How can I get the MPC app?

The Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app can be installed from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. After installing the app, eligible travelers are guided to set up a profile with their passport or LPR card details. 

On reaching eligible Preclearance locations, users must choose “Preclearance” as their entry mode in the app before selecting their departing Preclearance Port of Entry. 

If not using preclearance, upon landing in the U.S., travelers will choose “U.S. airport” as their entry mode and then select their arrival airport or seaport and terminal. 

Travelers then take a photo of themselves and respond to a series of CBP inspection-related queries. After submitting their information via the app, travelers present their physical passport to a CBP officer to finalize their inspection for entry into the U.S.

The Advantages of Using The Mobile Passport Control (MPC) Over Global Entry

The Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app has several benefits over the Global Entry program:

  • Cost: MPC is free, whereas Global Entry charges a $120 fee for a 5-year membership. 
  • Simplicity: MPC is straightforward to install and use. Unlike Global Entry, it doesn’t require pre-approval or an extensive background check. 
  • Efficiency: MPC can decrease the time spent on passport control inspections and overall waiting. Users may be given a dedicated line, leading to shorter wait times and less crowding. 
  • Family-focused: MPC allows families of up to 4 members to submit a single customs declaration form, potentially making it more suitable for larger families. 
  • Availability: MPC is available at 50 locations, including 33 U.S. International Airports, 13 Preclearance locations, and 4 seaports of entry.

If you’re a frequent traveler, MPC app is a viable alternative to Global Entry. MPC is not only free, but it also simplifies your travel experience. Taking the time to install the app and familiarize yourself with its use can mean significant time savings and reduced stress at U.S. border crossings for you and your traveling companions.

Get started with the MPC App

With the recent fee increases for the Trusted Traveler Programs, Customs and Border Protection’s Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app emerges as a compelling alternative to Global Entry. Its cost-effectiveness, simplicity, time efficiency, family-friendly approach, and wide availability make it an attractive option for travelers. 

Whether you’re a frequent traveler or just looking for a smoother entry process into the U.S., the MPC app could be the solution you’ve been waiting for. Embrace the convenience and efficiency of traveling with CBP’s Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app.

For more tips for streamlining your international travel experiences and getting travel documents quickly, be sure to subscribe to our blog to get the latest updates and news.

Key Takeaways

  • CBP has created the free Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app as an alternative to Global Entry, providing streamlined processing at select U.S. entry locations.
  • MPC offers several advantages over Global Entry, including cost-effectiveness, simplicity, time efficiency, family-friendliness, and wide availability.
  • MPC is recommended as a viable alternative for frequent travelers or those seeking a smoother U.S. entry process.
  • Unlike Global Entry, the MPC app does not require pre-approval or an extensive background check and is straightforward to install and use.
  • MPC minimizes passport control inspection duration and overall waiting time, enhancing the entry process.
  • MPC is available to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, certain Canadian visitors, and returning Visa Waiver Program travelers.
  • MPC is available at 50 sites, including U.S. International Airports, Preclearance locations, and seaports of entry.
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About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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