In its most recent foray into utilizing technology at the border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) expanded Mobile Passport Control (“MPC”) to Miami International Airport. MPC is an authorized app available via both the Google Play and Apple iTunes stores that allows eligible travelers to submit their passport and customs information to CBP prior to inspection. Thus far the app is only available to U.S. citizens and Canadian citizen visitors arriving at either Miami or Atlanta.
Travelers arriving at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport have been able to use the app since August 2014. When both the app and the airport kiosk are working, the process has received very positive reviews. However, as recently as March 2, 2015, the app experienced upgrade bugs requiring users to re-register. At least one user complained in a review that the single kiosk at Atlanta was broken with no information provided when he tried to utilize the app.
Although CBP is expected to expand MPC to more airports this year, the limited roll-out and limitations of MPC still leaves plenty of benefit in applying for fee-charging CBP programs such as Global Entry. While MPC is only available to U.S. and Canadian citizens, Global Entry is available to otherwise eligible U.S. permanent residents and visa holders from Germany, the Netherlands, Panama, and South Korea, and Mexican nationals. However, up to four profiles can be created for families traveling together in the MPC app, whereas each individual needs to submit and pay for a separate application for Global Entry.