The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently reminded Visa Waiver travelers that effective July 1, 2009, all Visa Waiver Program emergency or temporary passports must be electronic passports to be eligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. e-Passport contains an integrated chip that stores biographic data, a digitized photograph and other information about the true bearer as indicated by a symbol on the passport cover. In lieu of a e- Passport, foreign nationals may apply for visitor visas from the DOS instead of traveling through the Visa Waiver Program. CBP did state that it may exercise discretion for admission of foreign nationals who doe not have e- Passports for if they are traveling for medical or other emergency reasons. However, CBP warned that Visa Waiver Program applicants arriving in the United States with a non-compliant passport for other than emergency travel reasons may be detained for further processing and/or denied admission. Please note that this new requirement is currently limited to emergency or temporary passports.
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CBP reminds Visa Waiver travelers of new passport requirements effective July 1st
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