Travel Under The Visa Waiver Program (VWP):

Does Your Passport Qualify?

Introduction

Each visitor traveling to the U.S., including infants and children, under the Visa Waiver Program must have their own passport which qualifies as both:

  1. A Machine-Readable Passport (MRP), and
  2. An Electronic Passport (e-Passport).
OR
Check My Eligibility

1. How Do I Know If I Have A Machine-readable Passport?

Machine-readable passports allow data in the passport to be scanned automatically by a computer. There are two lines of letters, numbers and “<<<<<<” printed at the bottom of the biographic information page (i.e., the page with photograph and personal details) which is called the “machine readable zone” (circled in red in the image of a U.S. machine-readable passport shown below).

If you are in doubt as to whether or not your passport is machine-readable, you need to check with the passport issuing authority of your country.


2. Machine-readable Passport: An Example

The text circled in red indicates the two lines of machine-readable data.


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3. How Do I Know If I Have An e-Passport?

E-Passports have an embedded electronic chip within the passport that contains the biometric information about the passport holder, including name, date of birth and country of birth/nationality and a digitized photograph. E-passports have a symbol on the front cover of the passport identifying that it is an e-passport.


Conclusion

If you do not have a machine-readable passport and/or an e-Passport, you must either apply for a U.S. visitor visa (B-1/B-2 visa) or you need to obtain a new passport which meets the above qualifications.

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