Old Belgian Passports Require US Visas

PT       2003-05-12 
Belgians wishing to travel to the US after 16 May on a non-electronic passport must apply for a non-immigrant visa costing EUR 100, announced the American Embassy in Brussels Wednesday.
New Belgian passports, which can be read electronically, will be exempt from the prerequisite, but the thousands who hold an older version will face a charge of EUR 100.
Communes are expecting a sharp upturn in the number of people applying for the new version of the passport in the wake of the announcement.
The Belgian tourism industry has seen an increase in holidaymakers wanting to travel to the US, Africa and the Caribbean in the wake of the SARS outbreak in many Asian countries and conflict in the Middle East.