France and Italy are to miss today's US deadline for European and other visa waiver countries to issue new passports with embedded digital photographs, according to a report in the Financial Times.
Any Italian and French travellers issued with non-digital passports will now have to obtain visas to travel to the US. Those will older passports will be exempt from the ruling.
Authorities in Italy said requests for a delay in the deadline were turned down by the US. The country has promised to introduce biometric passports from April 2006. France said that it will do so by "early next year".
The UK began its biometric passport programme on 12 September this year.
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