Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 11th February 2004.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of John Grogan John Grogan Labour, Selby

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of the United States on their policy that all visitors from the United Kingdom travelling on passports issued after 16 October without a biometric chip will require a visa; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Minister of State (Trade), Department of Trade and Industry, Minister of State (Trade), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary wrote to the US Secretary of State on 16 December 2003 to express concern at the US legislation and suggest that a joint FCO/UK Passport Service delegation visit Washington to discuss ways forward. The team visited Washington from 21–23 January. It asked the US to extend its deadline of 26 October 2004 for visitors' new UK passports to contain either a biometric identifier or a US visa. The US noted the UK position, and a formal response is awaited.

The scale of the technical challenge currently makes the US requirement unachievable for the UK, and most other countries, before the end of 2005.

British citizens visiting the US with machine-readable passports issued before 26 October 2004 are not affected by the new US requirement.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.