is advising passengers traveling to the United States that the U.S. State Department will require tighter passport controls that have been designed to increase security.
Effective Oct. 1, all citizens from 27 countries participating in a new visa waiver program must present a machine-readable passport upon arrival at their port of entry into the United States. The machine-readable passports have coded data on the photo page, and all participating countries now are issuing the new type of passport. Airline agents will ensure that passengers have the correct documentation before they can be checked in for a flight.
Also effective with the new policy, passengers without machine-readable passports no longer will be able to take advantage of the visa waiver program. Nationals of a visa waiver-eligible country who do not yet have a machine-readable passport should either obtain one or apply for a visa from the U.S. Consulate in their country of residence or country of nationality prior to travel.
In addition, all children, including babies, must have their own machine-readable passport and can no longer be included on one of their parents` passports for entry into the United States under the visa waiver program.