US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that it will be extending support for the Mobile Passport Control (MPC) program to several ports of entry in Puerto Rico. The feature will be available at Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport on August 27th, before coming to the San Juan Pan-American Dock and San Juan Seaport Pier 4 on August 28th.
The Mobile Passport is a free app that allows people to submit their passport and travel information digitally instead of filling out a piece of paper or using an APC kiosk when going through customs. After plugging in their arrival airport and airline, users will be asked to take a selfie and answer a few basic questions, at which point they will receive a QR code that will allow them to proceed directly to a customs officer.
MPC is available to US citizens and Canadian visitors on iOS and Android devices, and is now supported at 30 locations. The app is not a true e-Passport in the sense that it is not a replacement for a physical passport, but the app is designed to speed up the customs process to allow people to move through the airport more efficiently.
On that front, CBP has also been enthusiastic about biometric screening, and facial recognition in particular. The organization is currently looking for a biometric vendor partner as it seeks to expand those efforts, and has been encouraging travelers to enroll in its growing PreCheck program.