New passport Requirements For U.S.A
When travelling to the US under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) you must hold a valid, individual machine readable passport if you are a citizen of one of the following countries: the United Kingdom, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
New passport requirements now take effect for passports issued on or after 26 October 2005. US authorities will require all countries participating in the VWP to issue passports with a digital photo of the passport holder’s face printed on the data page of the passport. Passengers wishing to travel on the VWP without digital photos issued after 26 October 2005 will require a visa to enter the US.
All countries participating in the VWP, with the exception of France, Italy and Austria, will issue passports with digital photos from 26 October 2005. However, passengers from France, Italy and Austria holding passports issued after this date will need to obtain a visa prior to travelling to the US.
From 1st August 2008 the US are offering an electronic alternative for those travelling to the US under the Visa Waiver Programme. An electronic travel authority from the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) website should make your journey smoother both at check in and on arrival at US Customs. The ESTA scheme is initially voluntary but will become mandatory in 2009.
If you want to apply for an electronic travel authority, please visit the ESTA website, 72 hours in advance of your journey, at: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov.