An electronically readable international passport is mandatory for travelling to the USA. Your passport has to be valid for the entire stay. Also children and babies need a passport.
Be sure to request your passport in time, because the process can take some time. There are emergency procedures to get you passport in a few days, but this is a very expensive option.
What are the passport requirements for travel under the Visa Waiver Program?
Visa Waiver Program requirements are:
- The passport must have a machine-readable zone on the biographic page.
- Issued on or after October 26, 2005 – Each Visa Waiver Program passport issued on or after this date must have a digital photo.
- Issued on or after October 26, 2006 – Each Visa Waiver Program passport issued on or after this date must be an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner.
EXCEPTION: To be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, persons presenting United Kingdom passports must possess the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man
EXCEPTION: Citizens and nationals of Slovenia may use only the red cover Slovenian passport for admission under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
EXCEPTION: Effective July 1, 2009, Visa Waiver Program countries’ emergency or temporary passports must be electronic passports.
- Citizens of the following Visa Waiver Program countries are required to present electronic passports:
- Czech Republic
- Republic of Malta
- South Korea
- A machine readable passport contains two lines of text with numbers and chevrons (<<<) at the bottom of the personal information page with the passport bearer’s picture. Document requirements vary according to the date a passport was issued or renewed as follows:
- Machine-readable passports issued or renewed/extended before October 26, 2005 have no additional requirements.
- If a passport was issued or renewed/extended on or after October 26, 2005 and does not meet the following requirements, the traveler must obtain a visa:
- 1. Machine-readable passports issued or renewed/extended on or after October 26, 2005 through October 25, 2006 must meet the following requirements: A digital photograph printed on the passport data page is required OR an integrated chip containing information from the data page (e-passport). A digital photo is one that is printed on the page, not a photo that is glued or laminated into the passport.
- 2. Machine-readable passports issued or renewed/extended on or after October 26, 2006 are required to be e-passports.
- For more information, please see the Customs and Border Protection Web site, CBP.gov, under Travel, For International Visitors, Visiting for Business or Pleasure, Visa Waiver Program.
- Taiwan passport holders must provide Passport Number and Personal Identification Number (PIN).