HomeGreat BritainFrom 2024 EU tourists will only enter the UK with a permit

From 2024 EU tourists will only enter the UK with a permit

The UK plans to introduce “contactless” border crossings at British airports from 2024, Home Secretary Priti Patel has said.

What does it mean? This will allow some travelers to enter the country without using electronic passport control or talking to a border guard. Instead, they may be required to submit a photo of themselves to the Home Office before travel.

The scheme aims to reduce queues at the border “by speeding up legal entry into the UK”.

Travelers will undergo “preliminary screening” that will allow them to be “identified at the border using the latest technology,” the government said.

“As home secretary, I have focused on taking back control of our immigration system with the new immigration plan,” said Priti Patel.

“This includes ensuring that we have a border that is fit for the 21st century and allows travelers to get a visa and cross the border easily while maintaining national security.”

Facial recognition technology could be used to make these “contactless corridors” possible, according to the British newspaper The Times. International travelers will be required to provide biographical and biometric data, such as photographs of their faces before they fly through the new Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) scheme.

What is the new UK Electronic Travel Authorization scheme?

As part of a plan to transform the British Border Force, the Home Office intends to introduce a “travel permit” scheme from 2023. Anyone wishing to visit the UK will need a permit before traveling.

British and Irish passport holders do not need to do anything, but everyone else will need to apply for a visa or “electronic travel authorization”.

All visitors who do not currently need a visa to enter the UK, including from the EU, will need to apply for an ETA, which can cost around £18 (€21). A document detailing the plan from the Home Office says they will be required to provide biographical and biometric data, and contact details and answer a short set of “fitness questions”.

This is not a visa, but it allows a person to board a flight and go to the UK. It will be similar to America’s Electronic Travel Authorization (ESTA) system, which was introduced after the 9/11 attacks.

The scheme will be piloted from March 2023 with visitors from Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Bahrain. Until the end of next year, it could be deployed to the rest of the world.

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