After a long flight there’s nothing less fun than waiting in a long immigration line at passport control. There is however a way to speed up the entire process using an app provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Here’s how to use Mobile Passport Control (MPC) to skip the long lines.
How MPC Works
MPC is a free app available for iOS and Android created by the U.S. government. The MPC app lets you digitally fill out a customs declaration form, upload a picture of your passport, and your photo of yourself as you would with a passport agent. In this case though the MPC app lets you bypass the manual process of having your passport looked over by an agent.
Who Is Eligible?
The MPC app can be used by U.S. citizens, legal residents, Canadian B1/B2 citizen visitors and returning Visa Waiver Program travelers with approved ESTA. This includes most of the European Union citizens, Australian, and Japanese citizens, among several others who are eligible to use MPC after their initial U.S. visit.
Set Up Before You Fly
A lot of people realize there’s a faster way through immigration using the MPC app when the airline staff announce it’s an option. By that time though uploading everything and getting your account created might be too tight, assuming you have an Internet connection at the airport at all. Therefore it’s best to set up the MPC app before you take off on your trip and it only takes a few minutes to get everything ready.
Then once you land, find the MPC line, scan the QR code on your phone shown in the app, and enjoy waiting for your luggage. But hey, at least you didn’t spend any unnecessary time looking at people’s back in immigration lines.