"All travellers wishing to enter the US under the VWP (Visa Waiver Programme) now need to hold a passport with an integrated chip (an ePassport). Your passport is an ePassport if it carries this internationally recognized symbol on the front cover," the YouGov information reads.
For many tourists that have UK passports the news came as an unwelcome revelation.
News of the new visa standard went viral after a Facebook post by Briton Vic Ryan, who stated that changes in American legislation, of which he had been unaware till the very moment of scheduled departure from the country, had “ruined” a family trip to Florida.
In an angry post, Ryan underscored that the firm arranging the trip, Thomson Holidays, failed to inform him in advance of the new regulations and then refused to admit responsibility for the travel hurdles.
"Yet a month on, Thomson are still not advising people who have booked with them of the change and on calling their customer services, if you can call it that, they are just placing the onus back on the passenger citing 'it is the travelers responsibility to check everything is valid for travel.'”
Eventually the traveler reached America, but three days later than planned.
Following the incident, the travel operator vowed to make tourists aware of the new entry rules beforehand.
“Given this is a recent change and to help customers, we will review if we can highlight the requirement of an electronic passport on relevant customer communications,” a spokesman for Thomson stated, quoted by Express.