Electronic Passports Now Required for Waiver Travelers
Effective April 1, 2016, individuals who are eligible for admission to the United States on the Visa Waiver Program have been required to have an electronic passport, or e-Passport. All others will be required to apply for a visa to enter the United States.
An e-Passport has in it a chip containing all of the information found on the biographic information page of the passport, including the bearer’s name and date of birth. These passports help to securely identify the bearer, protect against identity theft, and make it more difficult to alter the document. The e-Passport can be identified by the following symbol on the cover:
The requirement that Waiver Travelers have electronic passports is the most recent of the actions taken by the Department of Homeland Security to strengthen the security of the Visa Waiver Program after the passage of the Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Protection Act of 2015.