Houston is the most diverse city in the nation, and the airports reflect that diversity.
Houston offers nonstop service to nearly 70 international destinations and is home to 20 foreign flag carriers. International travel from Houston is at unprecedent demand.
Summer travel season is one of the busiest travel periods of the year and that includes international destinations. Because of the strong partnerships the airport has with federal agencies like Customs and Border Protection, the airports are chosen to participate in pilot programs to make travel quicker and more efficient for the traveler.
Two such programs include Global Entry and Mobile Passport Control.
Global Entry is a CBP Program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Program members present their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingerprints on the scanner for fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration. The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction receipt and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit.
After the passenger is conditionally approved, most often they will need to complete an enrollment interview, please visit globalentry.gov.Houston Enrollment Centers.
However, Houston is one of only a few cities that offer Enrollment on Arrival. This program allows the passenger to complete the enrollment interview during CBP primary inspection. A CBP officer will conduct both the primary processing and Global Entry interview and collect the traveler’s biometrics to complete the enrollment. The traveler will then be cleared for entry into the United States and will be a Global Entry member.
An added benefit is Global Entry membership includes TSA Pre✓.
Mobile Passport Control
After arriving from a long, international flight, the last thing a person wants to do is wait in airport lines. There’s where the Mobile Passport Control app (MPC) comes to the rescue.
MPC lets travelers submit their passport control and customs declaration information via a mobile device, replacing the traditional blue-and-white paper declaration form required of most travelers entering the U.S. by air or sea.
MPC makes the entry process as simple as four steps:
- Download the Free App from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store
- Answer a few questions
- Submit a form to U.S. Customs and Border Protection via the app
- Skip the line and save time
For now, MPC is limited to Canadian and U.S. citizens with valid passports.
But note: The app does not replace your passport, just the administrative tasks and declaration forms that are a part of moving through customs. An agent will still check your passport at the border.