Call Us Today: 202-787-1944


Immigration News
Changes in immigration that impact your life.

Home  >  Immigration News  >  News Archive  >  Department of Homeland Security  >  News Article

News Jump: 


MachineReadable Passport Procedures to be Implemented
ARTICLE TOOLS
Print This Article
Discuss This Topic
Create News Alerts
Beginning October 26, 2004, officers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Bureau of Customs and Border Protection will begin enforcing requirements that travelers applying for admission under the Visa Waiver Program must be in possession of a machine-readable passport. Following procedures announced today, if, after October 26, 2004, a Visa Waiver Program national presents him or herself for admission to the United States without a machine-readable passport or non-immigrant visa, a Customs and Border Protection officer is permitted to grant a one-time exemption to admit the traveler to the United States. The traveler will be issued a letter explaining the U.S. entry requirements and his or her passport will be annotated that a one-time exemption has been granted.

“These interim procedures will allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to effectively enforce the law and exercise discretion when appropriate,” said Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security Asa Hutchinson. “These are prudent steps to ease travelers into these new documentation requirements. The United States is a welcoming nation and we do not want to turn people away because they do not possess the newly required passport or a valid non-immigrant visa

When granting the exemption, CBP officers will notify the traveler of the requirement for a machine-readable passport or that they can obtain a non-immigrant visa for subsequent visits. If a traveler fails to obtain a machine-readable passport or a non-immigrant visa for subsequent visits, they may be refused entry under the VWP.

Each VWP applicant must present an individual machine-readable passport. This is a change for family members who have applied for admission under one passport in the past. As announced last year, families must have individual machine-readable passports for everyone, including children. CBP officers can apply the same one-time exemption to families as well.

The new machine-readable document requirement had been scheduled to go into effect last year. Since the U.S. announced it was extending the implementation date from October 1, 2003, until October 26, 2004, VWP countries have been taking steps to issue machine-readable passports and to communicate information about these new requirements to their citizens. To help their citizens comply with the new document requirements, some countries are even offering to issue new machine-readable passports on the spot to their citizens at departure airports.

Through April 25, 2005, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not impose fines on transportation carriers for transporting VWP travelers from 22 countries to the U.S. without a machine-readable passport. The 22 countries are: Austria, Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Congress has extended the deadline for the inclusion of biometrics in VWP-country passports until October 26, 2005. This does not affect the current requirements for machine-readable passports. An estimated 13 million visitors from Visa Waiver Countries enter the U.S. each year. Travelers from Visa Waiver Countries are allowed to enter the U.S. for up to 90 days for business or pleasure using only a passport.


ARTICLE TOOLS
Print This Article
Discuss This Topic
Create News Alerts



MORE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY STORIES:
New Final Rule Regarding I-140 Priority Date Retention, Portability, and Issuance of EAD to Certain Individuals Published
OPT STEM Extension Reminder: August 8 Deadline to Apply for 7 Month Extension is Approaching
CBP Global Entry Program Extended To Singaporeans
OPT STEM Extension: District Court Extends Stay
More >>

TOP STORIES:
New Final Rule Regarding I-140 Priority Date Retention, Portability, and Issuance of EAD to Certain Individuals Published
USCIS Announces Fee Increases for First Time in Six Years
EB-5 Regional Center Program Extended Through December 9, 2016
USCIS Publishes New Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation)
More >>

News Jump: 

U.S. Immigration Attorney - Consult Now!

IMMIGRATION CENTER
Immigration Services
  Fast, Easy and Economical Avoid Costly Immigration Errors!
Immigration Guide
 Know Your U.S. Immigration Options
Immigration Law FAQ
 Detailed Answers to Your Immigration Questions
Immigration Articles
  Interesting and Useful Articles on a Variety of Relevant Topics

How can we help you?
NEWSLETTER - FREE!
Receive latest immigration updates and free legal tips by e-mail. Sign up now!
IMMIGRATION DICTIONARY
Legal terms explained in plain English!
RELATED ARTICLES
H1B Address Change of Work Locations: When Do You Have To File H1B Amended Petitions?
H1B Visa Lottery 2017: Improving Your Odds of Success
H1B Visa Cap 2017: Things You Must Know
Filing H1B Cap 2018 Petitions:How To Get A Head Start With VisaPro’s H1B Visa 2018 Timeline
H1B Cap Exempt Employers: How Do You Find Out If You Qualify?
H-1B Cap Has Reached:How Do You Hire H-1B Cap Exempt Candidates?
2018 H1B Cap Petitions:How To Properly File With USCIS
H1B Cap Exempt – Are You Eligible?
5 Common H1B Cap 2018 Filing Mistakes - How to Avoid Them
H1B Cap 2018 Filing Secrets: Why You Should Plan Now?
More Articles...

CONSULT ATTORNEY
Get a detailed, written opinion online in less than 3 business days from a licensed immigration attorney.
Experienced Immigration Attorneys - Consult Online or By Telephone

YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS
Alerts & Newsletter
Create and Manage your
e-mail alerts for FREE.
RSS