Global Entry versus Mobile Passport (we recommend Global Entry)

Anyone who has traveled internationally has experienced long lines at US Immigration checkpoints (US Customs and Border Protection – CBP) after returning home from overseas travel. Global Entry is a US government program that lets you whisk through the immigration process bypassing the long lines. I’ve been using Global Entry for years and over time have watched the process move faster and faster. At many entry points, facial recognition has been implemented so the process is a couple of seconds to a few minutes long.

As a free alternative to Global Entry, the government also offers Mobile Passport Control. This is a smartphone app where you enter all the required entry information in advance and then use a special “Mobile Passport Control” line at immigration to speed up the process.

Primary difference: Global Entry is an expedited pre-screened security program allowing users to move quickly through immigrations and customs. Mobile Passport Control is an automated system for processing customs declaration forms. Users of Mobile Passport Control are not pre-vetted or pre-screened.

Global Entry

Cost: $100 every 5 years

Process: Complete an application. Requires in-person interview and background check.

Use: Global Entry line

Locations: Global Entry kiosks are located at the following airports:

Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)*

Anchorage – Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC)

Aruba – Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA)*

Austin – Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)

Bermuda International Airport (BDA)*

Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS)

Burlington International Airport (BTV)*

Calgary International Airport (YYC)

Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT)

Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)*

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)

Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW)

Denver International Airport (DEN)

Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)

Dublin Airport (DUB)*

Edmonton International Airport (YEG)

Fairbanks International Airport (FAI)

Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL)

George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston (IAH)

Grand Bahamas International Airport (FPO)*

Guam International Airport (GUM)

Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)

Hartford – Bradley International Airport (BDL)

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

Honolulu International Airport (HNL)

Houston – Hobby International Airport (HOU)

Indianapolis International Airport (IND)*

John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York (JFK)

John Wayne Airport (SNA)*

Kansas City International Airport (MCI)

Lambert – St. Louis International Airport (STL)

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas (LAS)

Miami International Airport (MIA)

Milwaukee – General Mitchell International Airport (MKE)

Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP)

Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL)

Nashville International Airport (BNA)

Nassau – Sir Lynden Pindling International Airport, Bahamas (NAS)*

New Orleans International Airport (MSY)

New York – Stewart International Airport (SWF)*

Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

Oakland International Airport (OAK)*

Ontario International Airport (ONT)*

Orlando International Airport (MCO)

Orlando-Melbourne International Airport (MLB)*

Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB)

Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)

Portland International Airport (PDX)

Providence – T.F. Green International Airport (PVD)

Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)*

Sacramento International Airport (SMF)*

Saipan International Airport (SPN)*

Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)

San Antonio International Airport (SAT)

San Diego International Airport (SAN)

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

San Jose International Airport (SJC)*

San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU)

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport-SeaTac (SEA)

Shannon Airport (SNN)*

South Bend International Airport (SBN)*

Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)*

Tampa International Airport (TPA)

Toledo Express Airport (TOL)*

Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)

Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG)

*There are no enrollment centers at these locations.

Mobile Passport Control

Cost: Free

Process: Download the app. The first time you open the app, it will ask for a headshot and you’ll enter your passport information. To use the app you can choose to require a PIN or allow it to use your fingerprint if your phone supports that functionality. Then, once you arrive back in the US and have a WiFi connection, complete all the required customs declaration information for your trip in the app. Once you submit the documents, within about 1 minute you’ll receive a QR code you can show to immigrations.

Note: While the program is called Mobile Passport Control, it is not a substitute for your passport. You must carry your passport with you, even while using this program.

Use: Mobile Passport Control line.

Locations: The MPC mobile app, is available to U.S. citizens and Canadian B1/B2 citizens visitors.  MPC is currently available at the following 31 U.S. International airports and 4 seaports of entry:

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)

Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)

Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Denver International Airport (DEN)

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)

William P. Hobby Houston International Airport (HOU)

Kansas City International Airport (MCI)

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Miami International Airport (MIA)

Miami Seaport

Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

Oakland International Airport (OAK)

Orlando International Airport (MCO)

Palm Beach Seaport

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)

Port Everglades Seaport

Portland International Airport (PDX)

Sacramento International Airport (SMF)

San Diego International Airport (SAN)

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

San Jose International Airport (SJC)

San Juan Airport (SJU)

San Juan Seaport

Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

Tampa International Airport (TPA)

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