e-Passports Required to Travel to US

Secretary Jeh C. Johnson on Reinforcing Travel Security through E-Passports

Effective April 1, 2016, the US now requires E-Passports for all travelers entering the US from any of the 38 countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program.

The VWP program allows foreign nationals to forgo applying for temporary visas when they come into the states for business or tourism. The recent attacks on Paris in November of 2015 refocused the United States’ on tightening security for individuals traveling from countries in the VWP. In the wake of last year’s terrorist attacks many Americans raised concern about the ability of potential terrorists to enter the US through the VWP because those entering through this program don’t have undergo a finger print security screening or interview with the US Government before entering the country.

The New e-Passport contains a chip that stores both biographical information and biometric information on the passport holder. US Security officials are able to compare the details to both the traveler and the document presented. The new e-passports use extensive techniques to prevent duplication of the document. Travelers who do not have an e-Passport, must apply to obtain a Visa from the US Consulate.

Secretary Johnson went on to comment, “Our Visa Waiver Program remains to be a valuable program for lawful trade and travel with our Nation’s most trusted partners, and I am committed to ensuring that it is a secure program as well.”

If you’re planning on traveling to the US for a short period of time on vacation or business, you definitely want to verify you have an e-Passport! If you are looking to become a permanent resident in America, you should contact an Orlando immigration attorney to help navigate you through the process.

Contact us for a consultation.

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