U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reminded foreign nationals traveling to the United States with an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) that they must have an e-Passport. An e-Passport is an enhanced secure passport with an embedded electronic chip. E-Passports are issued by the proper passport issuing authority and must meet international standards for securing and storing information corresponding to the passport and the passport bearer.
The e-Passport requirement was introduced as part of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015. Travelers planning to come to U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program must check their passports and their current ESTA status to make sure they are in compliance with the visa waiver program requirements.
Travelers from visa waiver countries are still eligible to travel to the United States without an e-Passport if they have a valid nonimmigrant visa. If a traveler has acquired a new passport, they must submit a new ESTA application.