Passengers returning to the United States from overseas can now easily breeze through customs thanks to the new Global Entry mobile app, which has been launched in seven major airports across the country.
In an official statement released earlier this month, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed that the Global Entry app would be available from September 19.
It claimed it would “enhance the secure and efficient travel experience” for the more than 12 million members of the Global Entry program, one of the Trusted Traveler Programs offered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that allows for efficient screening processes for low-risk travelers entering the U.S.
Members must take a selfie for biometric identity verification against the app’s photo gallery to use the app.
After the passenger submits their photo and their identity is confirmed, they will receive a digital receipt on the app. They can then show this receipt to a CBP officer when they arrive at the customs inspection area, bypassing the often lengthy lines of people waiting at the Global Entry portals.
“The new Global Entry mobile application leverages the latest technologies, in order to enhance the security while further improving the travel experience for CBP’s trusted travelers,” said Troy A. Miller, the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner for the CBP.
The app is now available and free to download on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
It can currently be used for quick entry to the U.S. at seven major international airports: Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Miami International Airport (MIA), Orlando International Airport (MCO), Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT), Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), and Washington-Dulles International Airport.
The CBP said that the use and efficiency of the app will be monitored and evaluated at these seven airports before being rolled out to further points of entry up and down the nation.
However, frequent flyers hoping to use the new app by becoming a Global Entry member could face lengthy delays due to application processing times, according to recent reports. The CBP says on its website that new applicants may have to wait up to 11 months to become a member due to high demand.
“CBP’s Global Entry program currently has over 12.3 million users, including 9.7 million enrolled directly in GE and an additional 2.1 million other trusted traveler members with GE benefits,” said a spokesperson for the CBP.\
One of the biggest reasons for the delay in the application process is due to the final step, which requires an in-person appointment at dedicated enrollment centers nationwide.
Michael Millich, director of the Trusted Traveler Program (TTP), said: “Given the unprecedented demand and continued interest in TTP, CBP is at an inflection point, where we must provide consistent, efficient, and accessible processing methods for applicants to select an appropriate enrollment option. This includes ensuring a coordinated release of interview appointments on a recurring basis.”