Friday, 30 October 2015

New eGates at Heathrow Terminal 5

The Border General Force Director, Sir Charles Montgomery officially opened fifteen electronic passport gates at Heathrow's Terminal 5 on Wednesday 21 October 2015.

The electronic passport gates named eGates which is the most state-of-the-art version of gates ever to be used in the UK are expected to process around 400,000 passengers at the Terminal each month.

According to the new released by the Home Office: “The eGates can be used by any UK or European Economic Area (EEA) passenger aged 18 or over, with a ‘chipped’ passport, and use advanced facial recognition technology to compare the passenger’s face to the digital image recorded in their passport.

Border Force officers monitor the system and any travellers rejected by the gates are directed to the staffed clearance desks to be seen by an officer.

Automated technology such as eGates, give Border Force the ability to process a higher number of low risk passengers more quickly and using less resource. This reduces queue times as well as freeing Border Force Officers up to focus on other priority work such as cracking down on the smuggling of dangerous goods and identifying potential victims of trafficking.

Sir Charles Montgomery, Director General of Border Force, said:

Increasing the use of digital technology at the border is part of Border Force’s commitment to improve the passenger experience.

We must protect our borders, but we also want to encourage travellers to the UK - people who boost our economy through tourism and through business.

This means ensuring their arrival in the UK is dealt with as swiftly and efficiently as possible while maintaining the integrity and security of the UK.

eGates not only benefit British and EEA travellers. Nationals from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan who have successfully been accepted onto the Registered Traveller programme can now also use them.

Registered Traveller allows regular travellers fast-tracked entry into the UK. For a small fee, applicants undergo security checks in advance of travel meaning that, on arrival to the UK, they are able to use the EEA queues and eGates upon their arrival, bypassing queues for non-EEA passengers”.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Passport checks on leaving UK to be introduced at Eurotunnel and Ferry Ports

With effect from 8 April 2015 those leaving the UK by Eurotunnel and Ferry will have their passports scanned and their information sent to the Home Office. To help reduce delays at the exit checks Eurotunnel will be introducing Advance Passenger Information (API) technology - same as obtains at UK airports and the Ferry Ports are expected to follow suit later.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Biometric Residence Permit regulations begin in March 2015.

Beginning from March 2014, individuals from overseas who apply for a visa for more than 6 months will be required to obtain Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from a Post Office on arrival in the UK.

The first phase of this new regulation which is expected to start with Pakistani nationals will extend to all nationals from 31 July 2015.

Individuals affected by this new regulation will be issued a short-stay travel vignette (visa stamp which will be endorsed with a date of entry) for 30 days and a letter of approval designating a local Post Office from which to collect their BRP within 10 days of arrival in the UK. The BRP will be cancelled if not collected within the stipulated 10 days.

Individuals affected who do not travel to the UK within the 30 days validity of the short stay vignette will have to apply for a replacement visa before they can travel to the UK.

For further information

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