Which passport for the United States?

Access to U.S. borders is strictly controlled. It is reserved for individuals who qualify to provide homeland security for the United States. The passport is the essential element of the control of the persons entitled to enter the USA. It provides an accurate computerized record of individuals entering the United States. In order to limit fraud, border security services require biometric or electronic passports.

Electronic passports have been issued in Europe since 2006. Biometric passports a few years later. Both types of passports contain an electronic chip with the holder’s personal data. The biometric passport also contains two fingerprints, out of the eight taken, and a digitized photo. These two secure passports are recognizable by a logo (circle in a rectangle) at the bottom of the cover.

Passport validity period for the USA

The ESTA authorization request must be valid upon entry into the United States and not necessarily upon exit. The passport must be valid for the entire duration of the trip. Passport renewals take anywhere from 15 days to several weeks to process, depending on the administration and its workload. So that’s what needs to be addressed first. It will be necessary for each administrative step of the trip.

In order to travel to the United States with peace of mind, it is recommended that you make a copy of your passport and keep it in a safe place. This copy can be useful in case of loss or theft of the passport. Don’t forget to label your luggage properly for the same reasons.

Upload your passport to the ESTA online form

Since December 2022, travelers who submit an ESTA application must upload their passport by completing the online form. The ESTA form requires the applicant to upload an image or PDF file of their passport. When applying from a smartphone the applicant can use the phone’s camera to take a picture of the passport.

The passport photo provided as an attachment must allow the computer system to view the entire encrypted code on the passport pages. These numbers allow the system to validate the traveler’s identity information provided.

If the photo does not perfectly read the characters on the passport’s magnetic strip, there is a significant risk that your ESTA will be refused.