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The Traveller's Magazine
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It’s holiday chaos as Britons are turned away on flights to the US for not having biometric passports after a new rule came into effect last month requiring all travellers to have e-passports.

The new rules requiring all US visitors to have biometric e-passports came into effect on April 1st. How do you know if you have the right kind of passport? Biometric British passports have a camera logo on the bottom of the front cover and contain a chip, which holds the passport-holder’s facial details, to help fight against identity fraud and forgery.

If you have a passport that was issued between April and October 2006, then it’s possible that you do not have a biometric passport and you will need to apply for a new one before booking flights to the United States.

Travelling to the US? Here’s what you need:

  • All passports must have a machine-readable zone on the biographic page.
  • The passport must be an electronic passport with a digital chip containing the biometric information of the passport-holder

In addition to that, any British traveller going to the US for either tourism or business for 90 days or less must also fill out the form to obtain a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (Esta). Even babies and passengers arriving in the US in transit need an Esta.

Img: New Passport by Chris Flemming / Flickr cc.

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