Changes to passport requirements for entry to the US

Starting Oct. 26 this year, each person wishing to visit the United States must have either a Machine Readable Passport (MRP) and a visa waiver form or a valid visa issued by U.S. authorities before traveling.

If you intend to bring your child, or children, they too must have MRPs and visa waiver forms. Nationals from some countries may only enter the United States if they have a valid visa.

An MRP has the holder’s personal details, such as name, date of birth, nationality and passport number contained in two lines of text at the bottom of the photo page.

The visa waiver programme allows the citizens of certain countries to travel to the United States without obtaining a visa prior to travel. The nationalities currently entitled to do this are Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Traveling under the visa waiver programme means that you may only travel for business, pleasure or transit only and you may only stay up to 90 day in the United States.

You must have a confirmed return ticket or onward ticket and present a filled out I-94W form to the authorities upon arrival in the United States. In order to fill out the form you must have the address and zip code for where you will be staying.

Travellers requiring a visa are advised to contact the U.S. Embassy in their home country. If you intend to travel to the United States and require a visa, you must make an interview appointment directly with the Embassy.

For more information on applying for a visitor’s visa, see the United States visa section on our website.