THE American embassy in Paris has warned holders of newly issued French passports they may face difficulties obtaining visas to travel to the States.
Problems have arisen after delays in the issuing of biometric passports by French authorities. Under US rules any passport issued after October 26, 2005 must contain either a digital photo or a chip containing biometric information.
If they do not then travellers need to obtain a visa to enter the US and this has caused a strain on facilities at the embassy.
“The embassy is extending its hours and expanding its staff to double the number of visas it normally issues each business day,” officials said in a statement on the US embassy website.
“Even so, the embassy may not be able to keep up with demand. Many people who intended to travel to the United States in the coming weeks may not be able to obtain a visa appointment.”
The embassy is urging people to ensure they have the correct paperwork before booking flights to the US.
Holders of machine-readable passports issued before October 26 are unaffected by the requirement to provide biometric data.