The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced the addition of seven countries to the Visa Waiver Program. As of November 17, 2008, nationals of the countries of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia may enter the United States through the Visa Waiver Program. However, in order to enter the United States through the program, nationals of these countries must have an E-passport and an approved authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to traveling to the United States. ESTA is web-based system that determines the preliminary eligibility of visitors to travel under the Visa Waiver Program prior to boarding a carrier to the United States. Nationals from the 27 other Visa Waiver Program countries will be required to obtain approval through ESTA prior to traveling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program beginning on January 12, 2009. The ESTA authorization is currently voluntary for nationals of these 27 Visa Waiver Program countries even though ESTA is mandatory for the seven newly added countries mentioned above. Additionally, DHS recently reminded travelers that any passport issued on or after October 26, 2006, must be an E-passport for Visa Waiver Program travelers to be eligible to enter the United States without a visa. Passports issued prior to this date which are not E-passports may be still used by nationals of the 27 original Visa Waiver countries in order to enter the United States pursuant to this program. However, all nationals of the seven newly added Visa Waiver countries must have an E-passport in order to enter the United States regardless of when their passports were issued.