South Africa began rolling out bio-metric passports in April 2009 and thus travellers in possession of such a passport and a visa to travel to the US would be unaffected.

Durban - In an article published by The Independent in the United Kingdom, it was outlined that British travellers may have a problem entering the USA if they are not in possession of a bio-metric passport.

How does this effect South Africans travelling to the US?

This has sparked outrage by travellers who have been inconvenienced and have been forced to incur additional costs under The Terrorist Travel Prevention Act 2015 that was passed in the United States.

The Terrorist Travel Prevention Act 2015, that was passed very subtly, now inconveniences people who have already booked flights to the US, forcing people to make urgent applications for the newer bio-metric passports without knowing whether they will get their passport in time for their travel.

The ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) that requires the newer, biometric passports only relates to visa waiver countries.

SA is not a visa waiver country. Unless someone is a dual citizen who is traveling on a passport from a visa waiver country (i.e., the United Kingdom), this enhanced requirement will not impact them.

So, in layman’s terms, the new Act does not affect South African pasport holders.

Mojo-IOL