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Long-haul flights can take a toll on you. It’s even more disheartening to land at your destination only to find long, snaking queues at customs desks. To make things move quickly, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection introduced the Mobile Passport. With this app, you don’t have to wait in ridiculously long queues when checking in at U.S. airports.

Mobile Passport is an excellent option for travelers who are returning to the U.S. from overseas. Despite being around for close to five years, many Americans don’t know about Mobile Passport, or how to use it. Therefore, it’s essential to understand what the Mobile Passport app is about, and how it can help you go through customs desks at U.S. airports quickly.

Who Can Use Mobile Passport?

Currently, only U.S citizens who hold valid passports can use Mobile Passport. However, you should keep in mind that the app doesn’t replace your passport. Instead, it helps with typical customs requirements such as sorting declaration forms, and other administrative tasks. A customs agent will still need to check your physical passport at the desk.

How Mobile Passport Works

It’s quite easy to use the app. Once you download it from the AppStore or Google Play Store, you have to launch it. You will also need to create a profile containing a slew of your private information. You shouldn’t worry about the privacy of your data since Mobile Passport is encrypted. Therefore, your data will only be shared with Customs and Border Patrol.

After setting up your profile, you will be asked a couple of questions about your trip. This includes the airport that you are flying to and your arrival time. When you land at airport locations where Mobile Passport can be used, launch the app to submit your trip information.

An encrypted barcode, which is valid for up to four hours, will be sent to you. Scan the barcode and wait for your turn to hand over your physical passport at the customs desk. Currently, Mobile Passport can be used at 27 U.S. airports.

Mobile Passport and Family Travel

Indeed, traveling with family members can be tiresome, especially when checking in at customs. Thanks to Mobile Passport, families can complete their forms on one device and make a group submission. This helps you save time.

Mobile Passport lets you create up to 12 profiles on your app. Therefore, it comes in handy when traveling as a household. You only need to add each person’s passport details and photo to the app.

When checking in at an eligible U.S. airport, such as Pittsburgh International Airport, the app will only require one transaction for every trip. This saves you the headache of inputting the same trip information for everyone in the traveling party.

Mobile Passport has been described as the best-kept secret for American aviation travelers, and it’s easy to see why. It speeds you through customs and immigration, thus helping you find your way home as soon as you land from your trip.