State extends deadline for new passports

The State Department has given countries whose citizens can cross the borders without visas the opportunity to extend an Oct. 1 deadline to furnish travelers with machine-readable passports.

Earlier this month, the department told its embassies in so-called visa waiver countries to advise their host nations that they could delay their conversion to machine-readable passports.

Governments must request a postponement and certify that they are actively engaged in moving to the use of machine-readable passports, said Consular Affairs Bureau spokesman Stuart Patt.

It's unclear now whether there will be any postponements, Patt said. There are 27 visa waiver countries.

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