Jun 19 2009
VWP Passports Must Now Be E-Passports
According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), as of July 1, 2009, all Visa Waiver Program (VWP) emergency or temporary passports must be electronic passports. Only individuals holding these e-Passports will be able to travel to the U.S. under the VWP. Included in this category are applicants who present for proof of identification emergency or temporary passports. E-Passports contain integrated chips that store biographic data, digitized photographs and other information about the passport holders.
CBP notes that they have the right to exercise discretion at ports of entry for cases in which VWP applicants are traveling to the U.S. for medical or other “emergency” reasons. VWP applicants entering the U.S. with passports that do not comply to this regulation (with the exception of those that are traveling for emergency reasons and have been given discretionary approval) may be detained for processing and may potentially be denied admission to the U.S.