UK removes landing cards for all passengers

On 20 May 2019, all landing cards for international passengers arriving in the UK were scrapped. This means that all international passengers arriving from any country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) will no longer be required to complete the landing cards for presentation to an Immigration Officer at the UK border control.

What is a landing card?

UK landing card (or arrival card) was introduces in 1971. The card records the purpose of the passenger’s visit and the duration of their stay. It also lists whether or not a passenger has brought items into the UK that warrant inspection by customs authorities. According to the Home Office, around 16 million landing cards were issued every year.

However, the border staff warned removing landing cards risked is going to weaken the immigration controls as they would meet the challenge of growing passenger numbers.

In addition, the border control stated that there is lack of integration with the technology currently at the disposal of Immigration Officers at posts of entry.

The decision to scrap landing cards comes after the government announced that it was extending the use of e-gates at UK borders to citizens of the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. The Home Office stated that the data collected by paper landing cards will soon be available digitally.

Therefore, international passengers might have a smoother process at the UK border control in the future.

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