From 1 October 2017, the Home Office intend to withdraw the use of paper landing cards (woo hoo!), instead looking to digitally collect the data ahead of the passenger’s arrival. Whilst the reduction in paperwork will most likely be welcomed, the collection of digital data does mean that the Home Office are looking to increase their use of Advanced Passenger Information and data from other government systems. So Big Brother is going global it seems. The Home Office have stated that this data will be used to verify the identity, confirm the status and better target potential risk to its borders, and also to deliver a more user friendly experience for legitimate travellers. Border Force is expecting that with this ‘digital transformation’, security will be significantly enhanced, however with the ever present threat of cyber-attacks and hacking, the Home Office will need to ensure that the new digital data is stored securely. If you would like to participate in the consultation that the Home Office are running until 2 September 2017, please do get in touch with our Doyle Clayton Business Immigration team.
From 1 October 2017, the Home Office therefore propose to end the requirement for non-EEA passengers to present a paper landing card on arrival into the UK. Instead Border Force will be using digitally collected data provided ahead of the passenger’s arrival at the border to provide the information about passengers. The benefit of this is that landing cards will no longer have to be purchased and distributed by carriers, there will be no onus on the passenger to complete the card and administrative costs will be reduced. Overall, the costs benefits of reducing Border Force Officers’ time appears to be in the region of £2.8million per annum.