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Visitor visas So you want to visit the USA for a social/business visit?

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Old April 16th, 2005, 05:40 AM
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Citizens required to have 10 year passport to enter US!!

What the heckkkk?? Anyone affected by this? I dunno if I myself am or not, will have to see if its applicable for those already in US on like F1 or H1 ?
BANGALORE: Are you holding a 20-year passport and planning a quick US trip?

Then apply for a fresh passport, instead of the US visa, and be ready to shell out the fee. Puzzled?

The US government has announced that any citizen travelling to the US needs to hold a passport which has a maximum tenure of 10 years.

Though the Indian government has been issuing 10-year-validity passports, it issued some passports with 20-year validity for frequent travellers.

Now many techies who travel frequently to the US on work have been forced to postpone their trip.

Says an employee at iFlex Solutions, "I was supposed to be in the US for an assignment.

"Now I'm forced to apply for a fresh passport though I was issued one with a 20-year validity in 2000."

Travel industry sources say the US decision not to recognise a 20-year passport is justified to some extent.

"From the security viewpoint, a passport with a long validity period has the potential to be misused or abused," says Gaurav Sundaram, CEO, GET Lionel India, an MNC specialising in corporate travel management.

And events like 9/11 have made matters worse.

Even before the US ban on 20-year passports, many travellers had a tough time with US immigration authorities because not many countries issue 20-year passports and Indian government's earlier practice was not very well known internationally.

Is there a way out for those with 20-year passports? Yes.

A source at Sita Travel says the passport authorities are issuing fresh passports for frequent travellers with 10-year validity.

For others, they are simply reducing the validity period to 10 years on the existing passport.

"It is not an issue as authorities are aware of it and an applicant has to submit the passport for the correction," says a travel agent.
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