What you need to know
It has recently come into the news that UK residents are being rejected entry into the USA if they do not have an e-Passport. This is true. It was introduced last month by the American government but most are still unaware.
The reason this has blown up so much, and gained so much traction, is because of one English traveller who shared their unfortunate story on Facebook. As we all know, social media is a huge platform for sharing content, and so it is no surprise that a story like this has caught so much attention and been picked up by the mainstream media.
The traveller in question was due to travel to Florida from their closest UK based airport but got turned away at the check-in desk as they did NOT have an electronic passport.
How can I tell if I have an electronic passport?
If you have had your British Citizen Passport issued before 2006 it is likely that you will NOT have an electronic passport. Passports issued after 2006 will be e-Passports but it is always worth checking. A simple way to check if you have an e-Passport is to simply look at the front cover of it:
You should see a small camera symbol at the bottom, in the centre (as pictured above). This indicates that your passport has an electronic chip that can store electronic visas.
You can apply for a new British Citizen Passport on the official government website here: www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport. This costs £72.50, with an extra £9.75 fee for the Post Office’s Passport Check and Send service.
If you need any assistance with your passport renewal, you can download our passport renewal pack (includes an additional service fee).
Will I need a new ESTA for America?
If you are one of the unfortunate few who have already applied for, and been granted, a valid ESTA and have recently found out that you don’t have an electronic passport then you will have to apply again. Luckily for you, we can help!
The Travel Visa Company can assist with your new American ESTA application for business or tourist purposes. We take the stress away from your visa application by quality checking the application, completing the online forms on your behalf, emailing you the confirmation of approval and providing support and updates throughout the application process.
Apply now for just £27.50 per person: thetravelvisacompany.co.uk/america/ or call: 01270 250 590