New US Biometric Passport Regulations Will Prevent Entry To Millions

New passport regulations for entering the United States could prevent millions of tourists from travelling to the country this summer.

The US government quietly introduced in April requirements for all travelers to hold electronic biometric passports in order to enter the US. These can be identified by a camera logo on the bottom of the front cover page, however not all travellers hold them at this stage.

Electronic biometric passports contain a chip which holds the bearer’s identity details and distinguishing biometric markers, and are used by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to “combat fraud and forgery,” The Inquisitr reports.

Unfortunately, as the new requirements were not widely publicised, they could take millions of travellers by surprise, and have potentially already prevented thousands from entering the US.

Electronic passports were introduced in 2007, but adoption has been relatively slow. A new DHS directive from 2015 means that visitors are now required to hold an electronic passport to enter the country if they come from one of 38 friendly countries that can enter the US for 90 days without a visa.

A US Customs and Border Protection agent, which is under the purview of the DHS, said the regulations were posted on their website and that it is the visitors’ responsibility to adhere to the rules.

Airlines and travel agents have in large part also taken this view, saying tourists are responsible for have correct identifying documents when travelling.

Numbers of affected visitors are unclear at this stage, but the British Independent newspaper estimates that at least 80,000 UK citizens were affected by the change.

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