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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

U.S. Department of State

Machine-Readable Passport Requirement

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
September 13, 2004

Effective Oct. 26, 2004, visa waiver travelers from all 27 Visa Waiver Program countries must present either a machine-readable passport or a valid U.S. visa. Travelers with a valid U.S. visa will not be required to have machine-readable passports.

In addition, as of September 30, 2004, all VWP travelers arriving at a U.S. port of entry will be required to enroll in US-VISIT, a program involving a digital photograph and fingerscans. In a related item, President Bush signed into law a 1-year extension for the date countries are required to produce biometric passports in order to remain eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, delaying the requirement until October 2005.

Related Items:
-- Implementation of Biometric Passports Extended to 2005
-- Visa Waiver Program
-- What Is a Machine-Readable Passport?
-- US-VISIT

image of machine-readable passport,DoS photo,
Machine-readable passports allow data in the passport to be scanned automatically by a machine. The two lines of printed OCR-B machine-readable data (circled in red) are the most noticeable features of a machine-readable passport. (DoS Photo).



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