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I'm checking the veracity of this 'news' as I have no independent, or other, corroboration. More when I have it:

[Jeanne wrote]:

"On 1st October 2003, entry to the USA whether for a stay or on transit will be refused to holders of 'old style' EU passports which do not contain the machine readable two-line codes at the bottom of the biographical data pages, unless they have a valid immigrant or non-immigrant visa. If you are planning a trip to the States, or are looking at those nice and affordable Bahamas Holidays via Miami after 1st October, get busy getting yourself a machine readable passport 'pronto' to benefit from the Visa Waiver programme, or, you'll have to make an appointment an interview to be vetted at the US Embassy for a visa, which may actually take several weeks to get.

Hope this will help many divers and non divers to avoid last minute panic and worse!

Jeanne"
 

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what are the old style EU ones? doubt I have one though, only got rid of my black one last year, when going through all the customs people used to look at it and say how nice it looked!
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>I heard this from somewhere as well. I think this relates to the old UK passport for those who still have it. It also relates to the newer versions that can not be machine read- if you look at the back page with your photo at the bottom there is a series of numbers that allows the passport to be machine read. Some UK/EU passports do not have this, this is mainly when you have a passport issued abroad. For example my UK passport issued in Lisbon 1997 doe not have the numbers.
I'm not certain the above is correct, but next time I go by the consulate I'll try to find out.
 

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Cheers Chris.
 
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