Which passport do I need to travel to the United States?

The United States imposes certain conditions on the type of passport required by travelers wishing to enter the country under the Visa Waiver Program. Here are the passport requirements for an online ESTA application for the United States:

Please note: The validity period of your passport may have an impact on the validity period of your ESTA. When a passport reaches its validity date, the ESTA authorization obtained with the passport is no longer valid. Travelers must renew their ESTA once they have obtained a new passport.

What is a biometric passport?

The biometric passport is a major technological development in secure travel documents for the USA. It contains an electronic chip that stores the passport holder’s biometric data. The information contained in the microchip is :

This type of passport is designed to enhance security and reduce the risk of fraud and forgery.

What is the difference between a biometric passport and an electronic passport?

The term electronic passport is used to designate a passport that incorporates electronic functions to store the bearer’s identification data. A biometric passport is an electronic passport. However, in some countries, a distinction is made between an electronic passport and a biometric passport, which has specific biometric data stored on the chip.

How can I tell whether a passport is biometric or electronic?

To determine whether a passport is biometric or electronic, national authorities print a gold symbol on its cover, representing a circle between two thick lines. This symbol is located under the word PASSPORT on the passport cover.

Photo of an electronic passport containing biometric information

Here’s a photo of the cover of a European passport issued by France. This passport has a microchip because the gold symbol representing a circle with lines is present at the bottom of the passport cover.

Electronic passport cover