PHOENIX — Taking an international trip can be exhilarating, but having to face the uncertainty of Customs and Border Protection once you’re back in the States can cause a headache.
But a new mobile application aims to make the process a little smoother for international travelers arriving at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Mobile Passport Control is a free app that allows both U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors to transmit their passport information and inspection-related questions to Customs using their smartphones.
The process is similar to using a social media app: users can download the free app on both iPhone and Android phones, create a profile then submit their information and answers once they land in the U.S.
Once the information is submitted, the traveler should get a receipt with a special code, which the Customs officer will use to finish the arrival process.
Because the app will eliminate the need for travelers coming into the U.S. to fill out paperwork, it should then speed up the arrival process.
Teresa Small of Customs and Border Protection’s Tucson’s field office said the app has been proven to be quite popular with international travelers.
“It’s extremely fast and people just love the convenience of it,” she said.
Port Director Luz Galarza said in a press release the app will make the arrival process much more convenient without sacrificing security measures.
“Travelers arriving at Phoenix Sky Harbor…will have another processing option to use that has been proven to reduce wait times without comprising our important border protection mission,” he said.
The app was developed in 2014 by Customs and the Airports Council International and was first introduced in 2014 at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Now, the app is in 21 other international airports, not including Sky Harbor, and one cruise port in using the app.
KTAR News’ Sharon Mittelman contributed to this report.
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