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).
For more information and to view the symbol that indicates a traveller is in possession of the correct and up to date e-passport, click here.