As of April 1, the Department of Homeland Security has announced that they will no longer accept passports without an electronic chip for travelers participating in the Visa Waiver Program. Secretary Jeh C. Johnson explained that electronic chip passports, or E-Passports, facilitate the identification of the traveler and are in general use in most countries.
We advise all of our clients to please check their passports immediately to determine if it meets this new criteria. If you possess a passport without an electronic chip, you should apply for a new passport and revise the data in your ESTA registration with the US Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP). If, for any reason, you cannot secure an E-Passport, you will have to apply for a Visitor’s Visa to the US.
We’d also like to remind our clients that upon entry to the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program, you must also possess a confirmed ticket for return or continuing travel within 90 days of arrival. A confirmation notice on a smartphone or tablet may not be accepted by the CBP officer at the Port of Entry, so we suggest that travelers print out their electronic tickets and have them on hand to present to the officer upon entry.
If you have any questions regarding the new policy or any aspect of US immigration law, please contact:
Aida Diaz-Silveira at email@example.com/aadslaw, or +1-305-740-1946, or
Jim Stillwaggon at firstname.lastname@example.org/aadslaw, or +1-305-740-1951.