27 September 2023

Chips open doors at UK airports

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Australian travellers visiting the United Kingdom can now use their e-passports to enter the country faster and more securely.

Announcing the new arrangements, UK Home Secretary, Sajid Javid said Australians 18 and over owning a biometric or ‘chipped’ passport would be able to use the automated e-passport gates, as could visitors 12 to 17 accompanied by an adult.

Mr Javid said the new system would improve security and fluidity for passengers coming to visit or work in the UK.

“Expanding the use of e-passport gates is a key part of this and allows us to improve passenger experience arriving in the UK while keeping our border secure,” Mr Javid said.

“I’m delighted that Australian nationals will benefit from their use and have a smooth beginning to their visit to our country.”

He said the UK Government was also removing the need for travellers from Australia and all non-European Economic Area (EEA) countries to fill in landing cards upon arrival in the UK.

He said gates designed for e-passports used facial recognition technology to compare the passenger’s face to the digital image recorded in the passport.

“They are monitored by UK Border Force officers and anyone rejected at the gates will be sent to a manned channel to have their identity and passport checked,” Mr Javid said.

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