It will soon be faster to clear customs and security for millions of travelers in the United States.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced a brand new smartphone app that will help speed up the security process. The app is now available for the more than 12 million members of the Global Entry program, who can download it from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store according to a statement from the CBP.
For years, Global Entry has been a speedy shortcut as travelers returning to the United States from destinations abroad. The service uses kiosks to scan biometrics from a traveler to verify their identity. Now, the new app will verify the identity of the traveler from their smartphone,
To use the app, travelers take a selfie from their phone while waiting in the security line, instead of taking the photo at the kiosk. The image is matched with those on file to verify the traveler’s identity.
“The new Global Entry mobile application leverages the latest technologies, in order to enhance security while further improving the travel experience for CBP’s trusted travelers,” CBP’s Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner Troy A. Miller said in the statement.
The service will be initially available at several airports around the United States including: Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Miami International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Pittsburgh International Airport, Seattle Tacoma International Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport.
CBP noted they will evaluate the current launch of the program to make decisions on future airport launches.
Travelers need to be registered with the Global Entry program in order to utilize the new smartphone app. The program provides access to expedited entry and no paperwork during the customs process. Global Entry costs $100 for five years of access to the program, and requires an application and interview with a CBP agent. The service also provides eligibility for TSA PreCheck, so travelers may find it more convenient to sign up for Global Entry instead of TSA PreCheck separately.