Published on : Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Visitors from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States will now be able to join the same queue as EU nationals. They will be able to use ePassport gates at U.K. airports and train stations as of today.
The move for e-passport gates is “designed to speed up border controls for low-risk countries,” according to the Home Office.
The gates use facial recognition technology to compare a passenger’s face to the digital image recorded in their passport. They are monitored by Border Force officers. Anyone rejected at the e-passport gates will be sent to a manned passport check to have their identity and passport checked.
The new global immigration and border system will improve security and fluidity for passengers coming to visit or work in the UK as per Sajid Javid, Home Secretary. Expanding the use of ePassport gates is a key part of this and allows them to improve the passenger experience of those arriving in the UK while keeping our border secure.
He said, “The new system will help to drive our economy, cement our reputation as a global leader and send a clear message to the world – the UK is open for business.”
The change comes into force as the U.K. also scraps landing cards for all international visitors, despite unions warning this will ‘weaken our borders’.