Visa Waiver Program Participants Are Required to Have an e-Passport to Travel to the U.S.

Maria del Carmen Ramos
Maria del Carmen Ramos

Last August, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that travelers participating in the Visa Waiver Program to travel to the United States would be required to have an e-Passport by April 1, 2016. By way of background, an e-Passport is an enhanced secure passport that has an embedded electronic chip that secures and stores information for both the passport and the passport holder.

Earlier this month, CBP published a press release reminded travelers that as part of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, travelers utilizing the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) with an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to travel to the United States were required to have an e-Passport as of April 1, 2016.  Travelers, who do not have an e-Passport but are otherwise eligible to travel under the VWP, will need to apply for a valid nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad before traveling to the U.S.

For more information, please contact Maria del Carmen Ramos at 813.227.2252 or

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