Passport requirements for travel under the Visa Waiver

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.

EXCEPTION: Effective July 1, 2009, Visa Waiver Program countries emergency or temporary passports must be electronic passports.

  • Taiwan [1] passport holders must provide Passport Number and Personal Identification Number (PIN).

    [1] With respect to all references to "country" or "countries" in this document, it should be noted that the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, Pub. L. No. 96-8, Section 4(b)(1), provides that "[w]henever the laws of the United States refer or relate to foreign countries, nations, states, governments, or similar entities, such terms shall include and such laws shall apply with respect to Taiwan." 22 U.S.C. § 3303(b)(1). Accordingly, all references to "country" or "countries" in the Visa Waiver Program authorizing legislation, Section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1187, are read to include Taiwan. This is consistent with the United States one-China policy, under which the United States has maintained unofficial relations with Taiwan since 1979.

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A travel authorization is valid for two years after the application date or until the passport expiration date whichever happens first.

If you obtain a new passport or change your name, gender or country of citizenship, you will be required to apply for a new travel authorization.

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If your ESTA has expired, you must reapply by submitting a new application.

Your ESTA must be valid when you enter the U.S., if it expires during your stay it will not affect your departure.


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