21st May 2019
Written on 20th May 2019
UK ePassport gates eligibility expansion
From Monday 20 May, visitors from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States will be able to use ePassport gates at ports across the UK and juxtaposed controls in a move designed to speed up border controls for low-risk countries.
For the update from Home Office: click here.
In the Spring Statement, 13th March 2019, it was announced that the UK ePassport gate eligibility expansion would be implemented from June 2019.
Initially it had been confirmed that Monday 13th May is the target ‘go-live’ date for the expansion of e-Gates and removal of the requirement of landing cards for the seven countries known as B5JSSK. But Home Office confirmed the launch for today, Monday 20th May.
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.
UK and EU citizens will continue to use ePassport gates and the minimum criteria for using these stays the same – travellers must be aged 12 or over, hold a biometric passport and be from the agreed countries.
The majority of travellers from these seven countries will be eligible to use the ePassport gates, however there are exceptions. These include:
- Those travellers with children under 12.
- Those that require specific grant of leave to enter from a Border Force officer due to the nature of their visit.
- Short term students.
- Those carrying out Permitted Paid Engagements.
- Entering under a Tier 5 Visa Sporting and Arts concession.
- Third country national relative(s) of an EEA family member.
As part of this change, nationals from these countries will join UK and EEA nationals when arriving at the border in all ports which segment passengers on arrival.
In line with the ePassport gate expansion, citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA will be exempt from the landing card requirement from June.
Allowing travellers from these 7 countries will have a transformational impact on their border experience, providing them with faster entry to the UK and will result in a better passenger experience at the border. This is part of a long-term programme of work to develop a new global border and immigration system.
Please note that all passengers arriving at UK ports and airports will continue to be subject to full identity and security checks.
For more information, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government