October 23, 2006
Visa Waiver Program: Passport Requirements Timeline
As of October 26, 2006, any passport issued on or after this date by a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) country must be an e-Passport for VWP travelers to be eligible to enter the
without a visa. United States
Outlined below are important changes in passport and e-Passport requirements for travelers from VWP countries applying for admission to the
. Please check with the passport issuing agency in your country if you have specific questions. United States
New passports issued by Visa Waiver Program countries must be e-Passports, which include an integrated computer chip capable of storing biographic
information from the data page, as well as other biometric information, such as the required digital photograph of the holder. You can identify an e-Passport by the symbol (see image).
Depiction of e-Passport symbol on front of passport
If your passport does not have this feature, you can still travel without a visa if it is a valid passport issued:
- Before October 26, 2005, and includes a machine-readable zone, or
- Between October 26, 2005, and October 25, 2006, and includes a digital photograph.
If you were issued a passport on or after October 26, 2006, and it is not an e-Passport, you will need to obtain a visa.
USCIS makes it easier to inquire about adoption applications
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites parents with questions on pending or approved inter-country adoption petitions to make use of newly designated email addresses based in our local offices. This new email system is devoted solely to customers who have filed inter-country adoption petitions. USCIS anticipates this new service will offer prospective adoptive parents more timely answers to their questions concerning pending or approved cases. The email addresses may be found in each domestic and overseas office's web page on the USCIS web site at: http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/fieldoffices/index.htm.
Given the possibility of sensitive issues regarding inter-country adoptions, prospective adoptive parents frequently have difficult and urgent questions that are not easily addressed through routine customer service channels. The new e-mail service will expedite customer communications with USCIS regarding those issues.
In an ongoing effort to improve customer service, this email address system is intended for use only by customers who have a pending or approved Form I-600 or I-600A. It may take the USCIS two days to retrieve
information and respond to the inquiry.
USCIS Reminds Applicants to File Form I-131 for
HolidayTravel before the End of October
USCIS warned that it anticipates an unusually high volume of requests for advance parole and other travel documents this winter and urged applicants needing a travel document to file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, before the end of October 2006. USCIS also provided guidance to holders of valid reentry permits or refugee travel documents that will soon expire, and advice on applying for renewal of advance parole. The public notice is available at: http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/publicaffairs/statements/TravelAdvisory101806.pdf
Responsibilities of a Legal Permanent Resident
Being a permanent resident comes with new rights and responsibilities. All people in the
U.S.must abide by law, including Federal, State, and local laws and regulations. Permanent residents who fail to abide by the laws of the U.S. may have their status taken away through legal proceedings. The U.S. information below may help you protect and maintain your permanent resident status.
If you are a permanent resident and you intend to maintain permanent resident status, you need to file a Federal tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and any applicable State, city, and local tax returns when required to do so. Under immigration law, a permanent resident who is required to file a tax return as a resident and fails to do so may be regarded as having abandoned status and may loose permanent resident status. Please visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov for more
information about taxes and tax returns.
Social Security Number
Be sure to get your social security card. A social security number is usually necessary for taxes and employment purposes. Please visit the Social Security Administration’s website at www.socialsecurity.gov for more
information about social security numbers and cards.
Selective Service Registration
If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 26, be sure to register with the selective service. Please visit the Selective Service website for more
information at www.sss.gov .
Permanent Resident Card Expiration
Be sure to file to renew your permanent resident card before it expires. For more
information about renewing your permanent resident card, please visit www.uscis.gov .
Travel Outside of the
While permanent residence normally means the ability to travel freely outside the
and return, there are limitations. Lengthy absences can lead to abandonment and loss of permanent residence status, or delayed eligibility for naturalization. Absence for a year or more can be particularly problematic. You may be able to reduce the risk of abandonment by filing for a “reentry permit,” Application for Travel Document, before you depart. Under more limited circumstances, you may be able to protect your eligibility for naturalization by filing a Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes, before you depart. Criminal convictions can trigger special inadmissibility grounds when you travel internationally. If you have criminal convictions, you should carefully consider the r U.S. amifications before you travel.
If you have any questions about the
information above, or would like to apply for one of your relatives to become a Legal Permanent Resident, please call our office at 603/ 228-1277 to speak with one of our Attorneys.
Did You Know?
If you are in urgent need of renewing your
passport, you can pay an extra $60 for expedited service which typically cuts the renewal time to two weeks. If you are leaving in less than two weeks, you can appear in person with proof of travel plans to one of 14 passport agencies. Call 877-487-2778 for more details. U.S.
information about the new passport requirements please visit: http://www.dhs.gov/xtrvlsec/programs/content_multi_image_0021.shtm
information concerning inter-country adoptions, please visit the USCIS website located at www.uscis.gov and to access your local district office please visit the USCIS field offices website at http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/fieldoffices/index.htm.
For country specific
information, please visit the Department of State's website at www.travel.state.gov.
information about life in the U.S., including information about my other rights and responsibilities as a permanent resident, please see ‘Welcome to the : A Guide for New Immigrants’ at http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/citizenship/welcomeguide/index.htm United States
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