The Department of State announced that the
requirement that travelers have machine-readable
passports to be admitted under the visa waiver program
has been postponed until October 26, 2004 for the 21
participating countries which formally submitted a
postponement request. The countries which have been
granted the postponement are Australia, Austria,
Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland,
Italy, Japan, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,
Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Five visa waiver countries did not request
postponement because nearly all of their citizens
already hold machine-readable passports. Those countries
are Andorra, Brunei, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and
Slovenia. As of October 1, 2003, visa waiver travelers
from those five countries must present either a
machine-readable passport or a United States visa.
Belgium was not eligible for postponement because its
citizens entering the United States under the visa
waiver program have been required to present a
machine-readable passport since May 15, 2003.