As a U.S. citizen and editor of the Keesing Platform, I wanted to test the US CBP Mobile Passport Control App before reporting on it. So, I gave it a whirl on a recent trip from Amsterdam to San Francisco International Airport. The app was easy to set up (which I did before I left the U.S.), and it streamlined my passport control inspection time considerably. The CBP MPC app will receive a workflow refresh next month to further enhance the traveler experience. I look forward to the refresh and will use the app on future international trips. Read on to learn more about this helpful and efficient app. ~ Kristin Stanberry

Mobile Passport Control (MPC) allows eligible travelers to submit their travel document, photo, and customs declaration information through a free, secure app on their smartphone or other mobile device. The use of MPC streamlines the traveler’s entry process into the United States by reducing passport control inspection time and overall wait time. Use of MPC does not require pre-approval. Travelers who successfully use the MPC app will no longer have to complete a paper form or use an APC kiosk. As a result, travelers may experience shorter wait times, less congestion and efficient processing.

The CBP Mobile Passport Control App

CBP’s MPC app is a free application that can be downloaded from the Apple App store and Google Play and is currently available for eligible travelers to use upon arrival at MPC approved sites. (For the full list of approved sites, visit the US CBP website.)

How Does MPC Work?

After downloading the MPC Application from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, eligible travelers will be prompted to create a profile with their passport or LPR card information. Upon arrival at eligible Preclearance locations users must select their mode of entry in the application as “Preclearance” before selecting their departing Preclearance Port of Entry. If a traveler is not using preclearance, upon landing in the United States, travelers will select “U.S. airport” as their mode of entry and then select their arrival airport or seaport and terminal. Travelers will then take a self-photo and answer a series of CBP inspection-related questions. Once the traveler submits their transaction through the app, the traveler will receive an electronic receipt with an Encrypted Quick Response (QR) code. Travelers then bring their physical passport and mobile device with their digital QR-coded receipt to a CBP officer to finalize their inspection for entry into the United States.

Cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity is required to send information and receive a receipt, but travelers may complete profile(s) without being connected to the internet.

CBP uses the Mobile Passport Control (MPC) application to streamline the processing of eligible travelers entering the United States. Eligible travelers with a smartphone or tablet may voluntarily download the Mobile Passport Control (MPC)-enabled mobile application (app) from a mobile application store (e.g., Apple App Store or Google Play Store).

The MPC mobile app, is available to U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, and Canadian B1/B2 citizens visitors. MPC is currently available at 48 sites, including 33 U.S. International Airports, 11 Preclearance locations, and 4 seaports of entry. (For the full list, visit the US CBP website.) More MPC sites will be added.

Where can eligible travelers use MPC?

CBP uses the Mobile Passport Control (MPC) application to streamline the processing of eligible travelers entering the United States. Eligible travelers with a smartphone or tablet may voluntarily download the Mobile Passport Control (MPC)-enabled mobile application (app) from a mobile application store (e.g., Apple App Store or Google Play Store).

What are the benefits of using MPC?

MPC provides a more efficient in-person inspection between the CBP officer and the traveler. Since the administrative tasks are performed by the traveler prior to the passport control inspection, MPC reduces passport control inspection time and overall wait times.

When will I be able to submit my information to CBP through an MPC app?

Travelers should submit their information upon arrival at the port of entry, including preclearance locations.

Does MPC replace my passport?

No, travelers must present a valid U.S. passport, U.S. lawful permanent resident card, or Canadian passport to a CBP officer upon arrival.

Will I still have to go through the processing lines if I use MPC?

Yes, travelers will still be processed by a CBP officer. Travelers using MPC will be directed to a specific processing lane for a streamlined entry process.

Do travelers still have to fill out a declaration form?

No. Travelers will answer CBP inspection-related questions electronically via their smartphone or tablet.  If a traveler has already filled out a CBP declaration form, it can be turned in to a CBP Officer.

Can families use MPC?

Yes, up to 12 profiles can be created for family members.  All authorized MPC apps allow for a single household to submit one MPC transaction, including answers to CBP inspection-related questions.

Is using MPC secure?

Yes, the traveler’s document information and answers to CBP inspection-related questions are submitted directly to CBP via secure encryption protocols. The information you enter on the authorized applications is securely transmitted to CBP which sends a response to the apps, generating the electronic receipt you display to the officer. The authorized apps provide the option to store your profile on your smartphone or tablet for future travel or deleting it after your trip. Please note that the photo taken on the application will need to be updated yearly. CBP recommends travelers review the application’s privacy policy prior to download and use. Only information entered after the traveler acknowledges CBP’s notices (i.e., CBP’s mobile privacy policy, Section 311 of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, Disclaimer Statement and the Paperwork Reduction Act Notice) is required to be compliant with CBP’s MPC business requirements.

What happens if my flight is diverted to a different airport?

Travelers will not be able to use MPC if their flight is diverted to a U.S. airport that does not utilize MPC processing. Upon arrival at the diverted airport, travelers will follow standard processing procedures. If you were processed by a CBP officer in Preclearance, you would land as a domestic passenger and can proceed to your destination or connecting flight.


U.S. Customs & Border Protection

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is one of the world's largest law enforcement organizations and is charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. while facilitating lawful international travel and trade. As the United States’ first unified border entity, CBP takes a comprehensive approach to border management and control, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection into one coordinated and supportive activity.

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