Indians and other non-EU visitors entering the UK will soon not be required to fill the landing cards, which have been termed outdated, the UK Home Office said.
It is one of the measures included in the current digital shift of border controls, it added.
Usually, international visitors from outside the EU have to fill out landing cards. As per the proposals published on 5 August, the UK Home Office said it will replace the paper-based system, which costs Britons around £3.6 million each year.
Brandon Lewis, Immigration Minister, was quoted by Press Trust of India as saying that they were upgrading border technology to make sure that Border Force staff would stop handling outdated paperwork and continue focusing on security and protect the public. Besides, this change would better the experience for passengers arriving in the UK so that their welcome experience would be improved. The Home Office said that by withdrawing landing cards, they would lose out on any data that is utilised for security checks. But checking would continue for all passengers coming from outside the EU as per the security, police and immigration watch lists which are used for verifying the identity and confirming every passenger’s status at the airports in Britain. According to the department, the changes are expected to relieve staff and let Border Force implement their resources better. Meanwhile, the reforms will improve the travellers experience as passengers will save time that they would have otherwise spent filling out the paper cards. It is also expected to cut down the lengths of the queue and improve passenger flows at British airports
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow CEO, hailing this move, said that they warmly welcomed this suggested change which would improve visitors experience to Britain, while securing the country’s borders. He added that it was more crucial for post-Brexit Britain to show that they are open for business and ensure that tourists, investors and students are welcomed wholeheartedly to the UK.
If you are looking to travel to the UK, get in touch with Y-Axis, a leading consultancy for services in immigration, to apply for a visa.