Recent Changes on usage of the ePassport gates
28 June 2019
We recently sent out our newsletter in March 2019, when the Home Office made an announcement on 14th March 2019 stating that from June 2019, eligible passengers from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA will be able to use the ePassport gates at UK airports and Brussels and Paris Eurostar Terminals.
They have now decided to bring forward those plans and from 20th May 2019,the e passport gate can now be used by passengers from the above 7 countries, that is, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA.
The decision to bring forward the change is because it will reduce the burden on passengers from those countries while maintaining proper security checks and the ePassport gates use facial recognition technology to compare the passenger’s face to the digital images recorded in their passports.
Additionally, the government have abolished the need for all non-EEA travellers to fill landing cards upon arrival in the UK, in a bid to make entry into to the country more efficient and avoid long delays.
Moreover, the Home Office are also planning on removing the need to issue sticker vignettes when issuing entry clearance visas and replacing those with entry permits more akin to the BRP. They will make more announcements on the replacements soon. This is likely to happen in the very near future and we will keep you informed as soon as the Home Office released the scheduled timetable and effective dates.
Whilst the above is good news, unfortunately at the current time we are starting to see increased delays from the Home Office in processing Entry Clearance opportunities in the East Asian regions. There are some suggestions that this could be due to an increase in student applications in readiness for September course start dates, but whatever the reason, we are now seeing even Priority paid cases taking some weeks to process. We suggest planning any visa applications as early as possible.
If you have any queries or require any assistance with any immigration matter, please contact us using the details below.
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Solicitor/Head of Legal
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