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This is one carried over from the old forum

... fresh off the British Aiways website under" 'Ask BA'

Machine-readable Passports & the U.S. Visa Waiver Programme

Question.
Are there plans to change the current Visa Waiver Programme for entry into the USA?

Answer.
From 1 October 2003, all passengers intending to enter the USA on the Visa Waiver Programme(VWP) will be required to present a machine-readable passport(MRP). Passengers travelling to the USA with a non-machine-readable passport will require a valid US entry visa, even if they are citizens of a country within the Visa Waiver Programme.
Children travelling on their parents' passport (be it machine readable or non-machine readable) cannot benefit from the Visa Waiver Programme.

Update - 26 September 2003 - Please Note:
The USA authorities confirmed that nationals of the following USA Visa Waiver countries have been granted an extension to the Machine Readable Passport requirements until 26 October 2004.

Australia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Japan, Monaco, Netherlands,
New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.

This means that nationals of the above countries may continue to travel to the USA on the Visa Waiver Programme, using a non-machine readable document until 26 October 2004. After this date all visa waiver nationals will be required to present a valid Machine Readable Passport , or obtain a USA visa prior to travelling to the USA.

The governments of Andorra, Brunei, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Slovenia did not request an extension to the Machine Readable Passport deadline because virtually all their nationals already have a machine readable passports. If a national of one of these 5 countries still holds a non-machine readable passport, from 1 October 2003, they will have to obtain a US visa prior to travel or obtain a machine readable passport.

Since 15 May 2003, nationals of Belgium have been required to hold a Machine Readable Passport in order to travel under the Visa Waiver Programme. Holders of non-Machine Readable Belgian passports must obtain a US visa prior to travelling to the USA.

Applying for a US visa is a lengthy process, which can take several weeks. Therefore it is strongly recommended that:
-All Visa Waiver nationals who hold a non-machine readable passport should obtain a machine-readable passport before their next visit to the USA.
-Children travelling on their parent's passport should obtain their own machine-readable passport (MRP) prior to travelling to the USA.

What is a machine readable passport (MRP)?
A machine readable passport (MRP) has the holder's personal details, e.g. name, date of birth, nationality and their passport number contained in two lines of text at the base of the photo page. This text may be read by machine.

Is a machine readable passport the 'new style' passport versus the 'old style passport'?
No. Although most of the 'new style' British passports issued in the UK since 1988 will be machine readable, those issued outside the UK may not be.

What if a customer, for whatever reason, cannot or chooses not to apply for a machine readable passport - what should they do?
The customer will need to obtain a US entry visa. Same day visa applications are not possible.
The process will vary from country to country.
In the UK:
Visa applicants are required to obtain visa application form DS-156 either by downloading from the US Embassy web site, calling 09055 444546 (GBP1.30 per min) or sending a stamped, self-addressed A4-sized envelope with 27p postage to: United States Visa Forms, P.O. Box 499 Leeds, LS3 1XU.
Complete supplemental visa application form DS-157 (see above ).
One set of forms is required for each adult, child & infant requiring a visa.
An appointment is required for any visa applicant aged between 16-59. Appointments can be made by calling 09055 444546 (GBP1.30 per min). This number can be accessed within the UK only, and there is currently a 6-8 week lead time for appointments. Customers resident outside the UK need to call their local US Embassy.
Applicants must expect to be at the Embassy for 4 hours.
After the interview the passport & visa will be posted back to the applicant in 5 working days.
The cost is GBP67.00 per visa.

General Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) Information British Airways joined the Visa Waiver Pilot Programme in the early 1990's. This programme became permanent in October 2000. The Patriot Act, enacted after the events of 11 September 2001, has resulted in enhanced security requirements.

The UK has been issuing machine readable passports since 1988, however British passports issued overseas may not be machine-readable. (Estimates are 200,000) British children have been required to hold their own passport since October 1999, however a number of children will have been added to their parent's passport prior to that date.

Several of the other Visa Waiver countries have only recently begun to issue machine readable passports, e.g. France, Italy, Portugal, to name a few. Consequently we expect a large number of travellers from these countries may not hold a machine readable passport and may be unaware of the new requirement.

The nationalities that are currently entitled to use the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) are as follows:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium*, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.

*Since 15 May 2003, nationals of Belgium must hold a machine-readable passport (MRP) in order to travel under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP). Holders of non-machine readable Belgian passports must obtain a US visa prior to travelling to the USA.

Other Visa Waiver Programme requirements are:
Travelling for business, pleasure or transit only, and staying in the USA for less than 90 days, and hold a return or onward ticket (or e-ticket receipt), and present a completed I-94W form to the authorities on arrival in the USA (these forms can be obtained at check- in or on board the aircraft).

Further information on this can be found if you click here .

Useful sources of Visa Waiver Information can be found by visiting these sites:
US State Department web site: http://travel.state.gov/vwp.html
US Embassy in London web site: http://www.usembassy.org.uk (Look up the 'Visa Services' section)

Best regards
James Mc
Gina McLauchlan
Webmistress & Forum Admin
http://www.ROVworld.com
http://www.ROVworld.eu
Quote
This is one carried over from the old forum

I thought that originally they had announced that if you didnt have a passport with BIOMETRIC data recorded on it then you wouldnt be able to get in the USA without a full visa.

Maybe they have changed it to be a machine readable passport once they realised that Floridas tourist industry would cease to exist if the rest of the world all needed a full passport to go for a 2 week holiday!

Particularly no good if you live in Scotland and can only get a full visa at the Embassy down in london...

UK doesnt have Biometric data on its passports yet, but it will be introduced in a few years
Gina McLauchlan
Webmistress & Forum Admin
http://www.ROVworld.com
http://www.ROVworld.eu
Quote
This is one carried over from the old forum

You could be right here Ray, and I don't think you are far off the mark about the tourist industry suffering as a result of the original idea...

Mr Disney must have pulled Mr Presedent to once side and said "Hey! Buddy... what's all this crap?"

regards
James Mc
Gina McLauchlan
Webmistress & Forum Admin
http://www.ROVworld.com
http://www.ROVworld.eu
Quote
It is a good information about passport. Really it is very informative. If you needed passport,then contact this site and apply your passport.



New Passports
Quote
The above mentioned link applies only to those requiring a US passport.
James Mc
Site Admin
www.rovworld.com

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