Traveling to the U.S.: New means of transmitting passport data with ESTA
The United States are introducing a new function to transmit passport data for ESTA applications. This applies to people traveling to the U.S. from countries that participate in the program for visa-free entry. Entering a long combination of digits and letters, as currently required, often leads to errors. Soon, before the travel season begins in the summer, applicants will therefore be able to upload a photo of the machine-readable part of their travel ID. This should reduce the error rate caused by getting the letters or digits mixed up.
Since 2009 an ESTA application has been compulsory for travelers to the United States who do not have a visa and come from countries that participate in the so-called Visa Waiver Program. These include Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The entry permit costs 14 dollars (around 11.40 euros) and is valid for two years. You can apply for an ESTA at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/.