Are you a UK citizen? If you answered yes, then it would be wise to check your passport for these new changes or else apply for a new one before you plan to travel to the U.S.
New regulations in the U.S. have proved to be a disaster for uninformed travellers from the UK. The latest changes in regulations stipulate that a UK citizen heading to the U.S., now requires a bio-metric passport, without which, travellers would not be allowed to fly to the U.S. like they used to before.
The changes were effected starting April 1st 2016, and are in line with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) visa waiver scheme, which allows travellers from scheduled countries to visit the United States for a period of 90 days or less without applying for a visa. It is estimated that 5 million out of 50 million British passport holders, still hold the old style British passport (Valid for 10 years) issued before 2007. Travellers who on-boarded flights on an old style British passport, have been caught and sent back, despite applying for ESTA online.
Mrs. Alison Ashford, Director – Meadway Travel Ltd.; Precinct in Tilehurst, who runs her company with husband Allan, commented that her travel agency is working hard to ensure that all their clients comply with the recent changes in rule; and the consultants are looking into all the clients who are in transit or slated to travel for the US. Meadway travel has officially sent out letters to its clientele explaining the change of rules and the differences in the passports, requesting them to acknowledge the receipt of letter so that the clients are not caught by surprise.
Mrs. Alison said that the new passports were issued in the spring of 2007 and given a year, the old passports would be phased out automatically due to the 10-year expiry date kicking in. She exclaimed that people took to Facebook to speak about their woes with recalling their travel insurance, where the papers were not in order.
The cost of a new UK passport is £72.50 for adults and £46 for children and if you are short on time you can get your passport in a day’s time through Premium Service from gov.uk., and submit your passport at the respective Regional Passport Offices. A rectangular chip like bio-metric logo having a rectangular logo with a line passing through the middle; can be seen at the bottom of the front cover.
Planning to travel to the US? Contact Y-axis to get assistance on your Visa applications and processing. Our consultants stay up to date with the latest visa norms.