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Machine readable zone – travelling to the United States of America (USA)

British citizen passport holders intending to travel to the USA under the visa waiver program are required to present a machine readable passport upon entry into the USA. 

Those travelling without a machine readable passport must apply for a valid USA entry visa. This applies to both adults and children. 

Details about the visa waiver program on the US Embassy website

How can I tell if my passport is machine readable or an e-passport?

A machine readable passport has two lines of text as letters, numbers and chevrons (<<<<<) at the bottom of the biodata page of your passport (the page containing your photo and personal information).

A digital photo is one that is printed directly on the biodata page (not a photo that is glued or laminated into the passport).

An e-passport (also known as a biometric passport) has an integrated computer chip on the back of the biodata page that holds the same information printed on the biodata page. E-passports comply with international technical standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). You can identify an e-passport by the symbol on the passport cover.

Contact us if you are still not sure if your passport is machine readable or an e-passport.

Download example of machine readable biodata page (size 91kb)
Download example of e-passport cover (size 79kb)



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