Travelling to the U.S. From the U.K.? Don’t Let This New Law Ruin Your Trip

UK passport to US

As the United States continues to apply new measures in an attempt to secure their borders, travellers have been scrambling to keep up with changes that have not been well publicized.

New regulations for travellers, including the use of new technology on passports, have left thousands in visa purgatory, even though they already made the adjustments necessary to align with new regulations.

Biometric Passport Law For U.S. Visitors From Britain

Even though the United States and Britain are among the closest allies in the west, the U.S. still requires that visitors undergo rigorous registration processes to be allowed entry in the country. A popular travel destination for Brits, many take care or requirements, such as acquiring a visitor visa and valid tickets, showing that they’ve gone through the official channels and proving that they’re set to return home to the U.K. after their visit is complete.

However, a new type of biometric passport is now also required when you’re attempting to enter the United States. While many have received this passport without realizing it, tens of thousands may face problems travelling with valid passports, even if they were supposedly issued with the new tech embedded into the document.

Passports Older Than Ten Years May Present Problems

Passports that were produced between April 2006 and October 2006 are most at risk for problems. A portion of these documents have been rejected by U.S. border officials, even though the biometric tech was implemented on the document. As a result, people have had their ESTAs cancelled with very little notice, causing travel chaos.

In one case, ESTAs were cancelled two weeks before Bob Lees’ trip to the states, with no notice and no explanation why his biometric passport was rejected. After driving 140 miles and dropping more than 200 pounds on new documents, he was allowed entry and was eventually reimbursed for his trouble.

Double Check Your Plans Before Your Trip

Considering the changing requirements for foreign travellers to the United States, it’s always good to confirm that you meet all the requirements for entry into the country. If problems arise, acquiring expert counsel is the fastest way to overcome visa issues.

Are you interested in immigrating to the U.S. or moving to Canada? Contact VisaPlace today.

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

2 thoughts on “Travelling to the U.S. From the U.K.? Don’t Let This New Law Ruin Your Trip

  1. lorraine wingert

    In October 2015, a group of us decided to volunteer at the refugee camp in Calais, France. We were there for three days. On our return to the UK, three stowaways were (unbeknownst to us) had hidden themselves in our trailer. We were arrested and dearrested. We were not interviewed by either the British or French authorities, we were not charged and then we were released. However, each time we return from France (we are part of the medical team), we are detained by the Border Force whilst they “check” our passports. This can take from 2 minutes to twenty minutes. They do not search us nor our vehicle. They do not stop or question us on exiting the country only on returning. Will this cause problems entering the USA?

    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Lorraine. It is not clear to me what de-arrested means. If you were charged with an offence it may have an impact on your border entry into the US. If you want us to explore your situation in greater detail, we will need to know everything about the situation. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at
      Regards, Muga


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