20.05.2019 Landing cards for all international visitors to Britain have been scrapped

20.05.2019 Landing cards for all international visitors to Britain have been scrapped

The Home Office recently confirmed that landing cards for international travellers arriving in the UK by sea or air would be scrapped from 20 May 2019, despite union claims that it could deprive investigators of valuable information that could help prosecute potential traffickers, illegal entrants or criminals.

This means that visitors arriving from any country outside the European Economic Area will no longer be required to complete the cards for presentation to an Immigration Officer at passport control.

Whilst the Home Office stated that this would help border staff “meet the challenge of growing passenger numbers” and allow them to interact more with those arriving at passport control, critics quickly pointed to the risk of weakened immigration controls and lack of integration with the technology currently at the disposal of Immigration Officers at ports of entry.

This appears a valid criticism, because whilst the Home Office have stated that a lot of the information traditionally captured by landing cards would soon be available digitally, the decision to abandon landing cards completely was introduced quite suddenly and ahead of the technology to assist border officers being available. This technology was to be part of the Border Force’s new IT system – for which there is currently no implementation date.

If you have any questions or queries with respect to UK entry procedures or visa categories, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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