US Immigration using "Mobile Passport" app

Jun 6th, 2019, 07:40 AM
  #1  
J62
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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US Immigration using "Mobile Passport" app

Quick "trip report" about my recent experience passing through immigration at Boston Logan airport.

- US Citizen, don't have Global Entry pass.
- arrived at Boston airport mid afternoon from Europe, around the same time as numerous other flights from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
- long lines at the kiosks to enter passport and customs info - this was my first trip where they didn't pass out paper customs forms on the airplane.
- before my trip i'd downloaded the Mobile Passport app onto my smart phone.

bottom line - using this app I completely bypassed ALL immigration lines, and walked directly up to the front of a line dedicated to "Mobile Passport" users.

The app has a free service (where they store you passport info for max 4hrs), and a paid service. I used the free service, and filled in my passport info, took a photo, and filled out the customs form in all of about 3 minutes. When we got to the gate & I had a LTE network signal, I hit submit and got a UR code receipt.

Immigration agent didn't ask to see it, just my passport. Once I got my bags from the baggage claim I simply walked out of the exit door. Voila. Couldn't have been faster, simpler or cheaper. Highly recommended that any US Citizen returning home use this app if you don't have Global Entry. It may be ok for citizens from other countries to use the app, but I don't know that answer.







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Jun 6th, 2019, 07:41 AM
  #2  
J62
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request to moderator - can you move this to the US board?
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Jun 7th, 2019, 06:57 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
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Question - I do have Global Entry - is Mobile Pass only for those who don’t? Are they equally time-saving/expedient?
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Jun 7th, 2019, 07:51 AM
  #4  
J62
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I don't know. I was head down & focused on following the signs for Mobile Pass, completely bypassed the kiosks & wasn't aware of any signs for GlobalEntry.

How does Global Entry work? If you still need to go to the kiosks to enter your info then I'd say the mobile passport is better. If you can bypass all the lines as well, then it's likely no different.
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Jun 7th, 2019, 09:42 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,557
no, you don't have to enter any info with Global Entry that I can recall. I think you may have to click on a few buttons about customs issues, but you aren't doing what I'd call entering info.

I don't really understand what this app even does, you still have to show your passport. It sounds like you are just saying you avoid having to use a kiosk to enter in info that you used to print while stay on the plane on the forms they pass out. with Global Entry, you don't have to do that. With Global Entry, you put your passport face down on a screen and it recognizes you and already knows everything about you, you check a few of the customs questions boxes, and I think it then prints out some slip you use to get out to the baggage claim area.

If they've eliminated the paper forms and now everyone without Global Entry has to type info in at kiosks and you have to wait for that, I can see how that would help if you don't have Global Entry. If you have GE, there would be no point to it. Yes, the GE people have kiosks, as you have to put your passport face down on the screen, but I've never encountered a queue or waited for them, you don't have to spend a lot of time typing anything in. I suppose that's because if you have Global Entry, a lot of the info is already entered in for you. So all you have to do is the check box thing about what you may have brought back, did you go to a farm, etc.

Without GE, this app sounds good to save time filling that stuff out, but obviously you can't prefill the customs questions as you answers to those change with every trip (or could). And for now, the line for those people is shorter than others, so you get to the passport control sooner. With GE, you don't even need passport control people.
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Jun 8th, 2019, 05:41 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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I'm glad you started this thread! Someone was just telling me about Mobile Passport and I was going to start a thread, so you saved me the trouble. We have Global Entry and the airport we fly into from overseas doesn't have a lot of international flights arriving around the same time but it sounds as if this may be even easier than GE. I'd much rather complete the information on the plane before landing than use the kiosk with who-know-how-many people behind waiting for you to finish.

Anyone else have experience using this? It might be good to have both and be able to choose which one you use depending on how busy.
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