The United States requires that travelers entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program have an e-Passport if their passport was issued on or after October 26, 2006.
An e-Passport contains an electronic chip. The chip holds the same information that is printed on the passport’s data page: the holder’s name, date of birth, and other biographic information. An e-Passport also contains a biometric identifier. The United States requires that the chip contains a digital photograph of the holder. All e-Passports issued by Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries and the United States have security features to prevent the unauthorized reading or “skimming” of data stored on the e-Passport chip.
Travel under the Visa Waiver Program is restricted to travelers possessing passports with specified security features. Visa Waiver Program requirements are:
- The passport must have a machine-readable zone on the biographic page
- The passport must be an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner.
As of April 1, 2016, all travelers must have an e-passport to use the VWP. An e-Passport, denoted by the symbol , is an enhanced secure passport with an embedded electronic chip. E-Passports are issued by the proper passport issuing authority and must meet international standards for securing and storing information corresponding to the passport and bearer.