What is required to apply for a passport?
Do you have, or have you applied for a passport for your international travel? Please prepare all the documents if you are applying for a passport for the first time. These required documents will be the same when applying for renewal of a passport that has expired or been lost or stolen.You may apply for renewal of a passport beginning one year prior to its expiration date.
After obtaining a passport, check to make sure that the letter “P” is indicated under “Type” on the identification page.
This “P” stands for “passport.” It shows that the document is an official passport. The two-character letter and number shown on the passport’s identification page will be read by a machine prior to immigration screening at the destination of travel.
When the machine reads the “P” at the start of these two characters, it recognizes the document as a passport. However, non-machine-readable passports, on which an original photograph is simply affixed to the page, do not have these two characters and cannot be read by machine. Machine-readable passports must comply with international standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).In some cases, the passport may indicate two letters, such as “PD” or “PM,” instead of just “P.” In addition, when a traveler has been issued a visa, his or her passport may have a “V” indicated on it. After obtaining a passport, keep it in a safe place and be sure to carry it with you when traveling internationally.
Technical requirements and conditions of passports
Passport Requirements for entry to the U. S.
All travelers visiting the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are required for the passport with machine-readable IC tip. Even for infants, it is still required for the same kind of passport. Citizens of those who are living in following countries are required for the passport with installed IC tip when traveling to the U.S.
- North Korea
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- Republic of Malta
General Requirements for entry to the U.S.
Visitors Need to have an IC tip Installed Passport
The Passport IC tip has biometrics data of the owner of the passport. Ever since April 1st, 2016, all passengers going into the U.S. via ESTA (Electric System for Travel Authorization) are required to have the E-Passport with IC tip.
Expiration Date of the Passport Must to be Valid When Leaving the U.S.
It is a requirement for the U.S. entry to have valid passport when applying for ESTA and also at the time of the departure in the U.S. In case of expiring ESTA while staying the U.S., it is unnecessary re-applying for ESTA. If you acquire visa for U.S. entry, it is required to depart the U.S. within the fixed period.
Those who need to acquire visa because of decline from ESTA application, check what type of visa would be needed, depending on the purpose.
Staying Period Must be within 90days
In case of visiting the U.S. with ESTA, the part of VWP, longest staying period is regulated as within 90days. In case of overstay with no reason you may be subjected to the fine and forced repatriation as an illegal immigration. Those who wish to stay in the U.S. over 90days are not subjected to applying for ESTA. Even for those who are staying within 90days, but going to work as a part time or studying abroad as a main purpose are not subjected to ESTA application. Those who visit U.S. for work or study for over 90days are required to obtain specific visa, depending on the purpose, at U.S. embassy or consulate general nearby.
The Purpose of the Visit to the US Must be Reasonable
Conditions for those who travel to the U.S. with VWP and ESTA need to be followed by the purposes listed below.
- Sightseeing : General sightseeing tour, visiting friends/family and to receive (medical) treatment.
- Business : The purposes for the visit are for such as meeting customers, making contracts and inspection, not for work or business accompanied by a reward.
- Specialized Event : To attend science, education, specialized field events and conference held in the US.
- Social Event : To attend the social event or commendation ceremony hosted by fraternity group or service organization in the US.
- Recreation : To attend short-term recreation.
Certain visa would be required for gaining degree, credit or qualification in the US.
For more details, please refer to passport requirements subjected to VWP(Visa Waiver program).
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website
Requirements of the Six Month Club
In principle, under the Six Month club travelers are permitted to depart from their countries if their passports have at least six months remaining in their periods of validity. However, some countries have concluded agreements that waive the Six Month Club requirements. Under these agreements, travelers’ passports do not need to have at least six months remaining in their periods of validity, although they do need to be valid for the planned period of stay.
To be issued a visa, you must submit a valid renewed passport and your old passport. You do not need to apply for a visa again due to having renewed your passport.
* Permanent residents, refugees, and exiles must apply to the U.S. for valid certificates such as an Alien Registration Certificate issued by DHS.
Six Month Club update information
Kosovo is the most recent member added to the Six Month Club.
Nationals of the countries listed below are exempt from the rule that their passports have to be valid for at least six months.
They may be permitted to enter the U.S. if their passports will remain valid for their intended period of stay.
The U.S. CBP website
List of countries exempted from the restriction on passport periods of validity
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- Cote d’Ivoire
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Saint Christopher and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- Vatican City