Going to the US? Check your passport ASAP – and your rights if it goes wrong

New US visa waiver rules mean 100,000s of Brits now need a new passport to visit the US, and many have been caught out as a result, with some missing flights or even forced to cancel their trip. Here's how to check your passport, what to do if you've not got an e-passport and what your rights are if you've been turned back.

From 1 April, British passport-holders travelling to the US have needed a biometric passport (e-passport) in order to use the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) scheme.

Planning to travel later this year? Check your passport now

If you're not flying to the US imminently but are planning to travel at some point this year, it's important to check ASAP if you need a new passport.

If your passport was issued on or after 26 October 2006, it's an e-passport. If it was issued before then, you'll need to check for the e-passport symbol on the front of your document.

If you do need a new passport but not urgently, you can apply online and pay £72.50, or apply through the Post Office's 'Check and Send' service for £82.25. This process normally takes three weeks, but it can take up to six at peak times, so only do this if you're sure you've enough time before you travel.

Introducing our free credit report

Get your free credit report with giffgaff to find out your credit score and info to help you make the right financial choices.


Check your score here.

Comments (16)

Log in or register to add your comment
Log in now
Not a giffgaff member? Register now

Search by category

giffgaff gameplan

Copyright ©2018 giffgaff

Representative example for a loan of £4,000 for 24 months at an interest rate of 15.5% APR fixed. In this example the total amount payable (including interest and fees) would be £4633.57 and your monthly repayments would be £193.07.

giffgaff receives a fee for introducing personal loans to Retail Money Markets Ltd trading as Ratesetter.

giffgaff gameplan is a trading style of giffgaff Limited, we are a credit broker and not a lender and introduce loan applications to its selected provider of loans Retail Money Market Limited trading as Ratesetter. Terms and conditions apply. Finance subject to status. 18s and over. Credit is provided by Retail Money Market Limited trading as Ratesetter, 6th Floor, 55 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 3AS Ratesetter is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority – Firm Reference Number 633741

giffgaff Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Firm Reference Number - 680957. Registered address – giffgaff Ltd, 260 Bath Road, Slough SL1 4DX. Company Number - 04196996.

Posts on this site reflect the opinion of the members posting only, and not necessarily giffgaff’s opinions or views. There’s a lot of information here that can help you, however, you must remember that we operate an open forum and sometimes messages that are posted are misleading, deceptive, or inaccurate. If you follow these tips, you do so at your own risk. Always do your research and check the terms.