E-Passport Requirement for Countries of Visa Waiver Program

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that as of April 1, 2016, visitors traveling to the United States from one of the 38 countries of the Visa Waiver Program are required to obtain an e-passport. Secretary Jeh C. Johnson described an e-passport as “[containing] the security features of an electronic chip, which holds all of a passengers [information] including name, date of birth and other biographical information.” In other words, the e-passport is an addition to the physical copy of the passport that securely holds your biographical information.

In addition, travelers who require the e-passport but do not have one are required to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. These new actions come as the latest measures made in order to strengthen security. The new provisions come from the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act.

For additional information on the original announcement click here and for a list of the Visa Waiver Program countries click here.

Categories: Immigration Blog