Israel's admission to the US visa waiver program, which was confirmed last week, is only applicable to people with biometric passports.

According to the Population and Immigration Authority, however, 1.8 million Israelis do not hold such a passport, but only a plain "optic" passport, and they will not be able to complete the Electronic System for Travel Authorization form in order to be able to enter the US for 90 days without obtaining a visa.

Furthermore, the machines for the automatic issue of biometric passports, which it was promised in May would be operating in the Population and Immigration Authority offices in Tel Aviv and Beersheva by June, are still not working properly and are not available for use by the general public.

These machines were supposed to ease the backlog of passport applications. Now, with the visa waiver program due to come into effect on November 30, there is liable to be an upsurge in demand for biometric passports.... Read More: JPost