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Just in Time for Smooth Summer Vacation Travel: Speeding up the Check-in Process

6/16/2014
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Within the next few weeks, schools across the United States will let out for the summer and many people are making vacation plans, hoping to enjoy some of the summer heat, catch up with family, or take that trip dreamed of during the long, cold winter months. With the economy showing signs of recovery, we can expect to see even more people traveling internationally to enjoy these coming warm summer months.
To improve the speed with which U.S., Canadian, and eligible Visa Waiver Program international travelers move through the U.S. Border Clearance process, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has implemented a program called Automated Passport Control (APC).

Since August 2013, this program has been successfully piloted in various locations around the US such as Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and New York’s JFK International Airport.

Instead of filling out a paper Customs declaration form, passengers who are eligible can proceed directly to a self-service kiosk in the passport control area. In addition to speeding up the clearance process, the kiosks also allow people residing at the same address to be processed together. Travelers will be prompted to scan their passport, take a photograph using the kiosk, and answer a series of questions verifying biographic and flight information.

Once passengers have completed the series of questions and submitted their Customs declaration form, a receipt will be issued which is then taken, together with their passport, to a CBP Officer to finalize their inspection for entry into the U.S.

Currently, APC kiosks are operational at the following airports:
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
  • Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Montréal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
  • New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • Seattle Sea-Tac Airport (SEA)
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
  • Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
APC kiosks are available in the following languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, Korean, Dutch, German, Chinese (Traditional/Simplified), and Japanese. Americans, Canadians and international visitors under the VISA Waiver Program are eligible to use APC kiosks. Visa Waiver Program visitors must also have ESTA approval. CBP plans to roll-out the program for Lawful Permanent Residents by the end of 2014.

Always check the expiration in your passport before traveling and with the new APC, you will be able to avoid long lines at the U.S. border clearance and enjoy your vacation all the more!

For more information on CBP please visit their website (www.cbp.gov).For more information on APC, please visit http://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/Automated%20Passport%20Control . For all of your immigration questions, including international travel, please call us- we’re here to help!
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