This Free App Can Shorten Your Wait Time When You're Re-Entering the U.S.

by Natasha Gabrielle | Published on Oct. 24, 2021

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A crowd of people in front of a sunny airport window.

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Do you want to spend less time at the airport? This mobile app allows you to wait in a shorter line -- and it's completely free to use.

After traveling internationally, the customs process to officially enter back into the United States can be lengthy. That's especially true if several other international flights are arriving at the same time as yours. While Global Entry is an excellent paid service included with many travel credit cards, there is a nice free option that can help you shorten your wait time. The Mobile Passport Control app is free to use and is available for Android and iOS devices. Find out more about this app so you can save time at the airport without spending extra money.

After a lengthy international flight, the last thing you want to do is wait in a long line. When travelers enter the United States after being abroad, they have to go through the customs process. You will have your passport checked, you'll be asked if you have any items to declare, and an agent may ask you questions about your travels. Sometimes this line can be quite long, especially if you're traveling through a busy airport.

Many travelers choose to invest in services that help them get through the airport faster. For example, travelers with Global Entry can speed through the customs process faster. Many airports have a dedicated Global Entry line. If you have a credit card for international travel, it may cover the cost of the Global Entry application fee. If you don't have this perk or have yet to fill out the application paperwork, you may be looking for another way to save time so you don't have to wait in a long customs line. We have a solution for you.

Use the Mobile Passport Control app to save time

The Mobile Passport Control application is free to use and download. It's currently accepted at 30 U.S. airports. Before your next trip, download the app so it's ready to use. Travelers can enter their passport and customs declaration details within the app. You'll be asked a few simple questions and will need to upload a selfie photo of yourself. To save more time, you can enter your details before landing and submit the form later.

After landing, you can submit your form, and you'll be given a receipt with a QR code. It's important to know that your receipt will only be valid for up to four hours, so keep that in mind before you hit the submit button. You'll need Wi-Fi access or cellular data to submit the form.

Once you're off the plane, head to the customs area. Make sure you enter the line that says Mobile Passport Control. This line will likely be shorter than the general line full of other travelers. You'll need to show the receipt within the app and show your physical passport to the agent. It's quick and easy to do.

The next time you have an international trip planned, check if the airport you're flying through supports the Mobile Passport Control application. If it does, you may be able to get through the customs process faster and you won't have to spend extra money to do so!

You can spend less time at the airport and wait in a shorter customs line without paying extra. Why spend more on your next vacation if you don't have to? If you want to earn rewards for your travel spending, take a look at the best travel rewards credit cards.

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