US enforces new visa and passport requirements
Some travellers to the US have recently reported frustrations and denial of entry due to a new regulation that came into effect on April 1. In addition to required documentation for visas issued to foreign nationals – including immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas, non-immigrant visa waiver programme (VWP) as well as transit visas – the official web portal of the US government states, “...you must have an e-passport to use the VWP”.
It describes an e-passport as follows: “An e-Passport is an enhanced secure passport with an embedded electronic chip. The chip can be scanned to match the identity of the traveller to the passport. E-Passports are issued by the proper passport issuing authority and must be in compliance with standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. You can readily identify an e-Passport because it has a unique international symbol on the cover. More about e-Passports is available on the DHS website.”
International travellers seeking to visit the US under the VWP must submit an application through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA).