Huge passport changes for Australians heading to the UK

Big news for Australian travellers heading to the UK

Big news for Australian travellers heading to the UK

The UK Government has announced Australians with biometric passports can use the gates, which use facial recognition technology. The Home Office said the move is created to speed up border controls from "low-risk" countries.

Currently, free use of the ePassport lanes is a privilege reserved for United Kingdom and EU/EEA passport holders, as Australians who are regular United Kingdom visitors can pay a fee of approximately $122 in the first year to join Registered Traveller to access the ePassport channels, and $87 to renew for a further 12 months.

"The UK is already a world leader in automated passenger clearance, allowing more nationalities to use ePassport gates than anywhere else", Monday's statement read.

The UK government has scrapped the requirement of filling out landing cards by worldwide travellers coming to the UK from countries like India, as part of a series of measures aimed at a "smoother" entry into Britain.

As airports prepare for the busy summer months, we know that no one likes to wait long in a queue for passport control.

There are now 264 ePassport gates in operation at 15 air and rail terminals in the UK.

Our new global immigration and border system will improve security and fluidity for passengers coming to visit or work in the UK. That is why airports work closely with Border Force to ensure the border is welcoming, while maintaining the UK's security.

They are now available for British and European Union nationals, providing a faster route through the border.

Enabling more passengers to use ePassport gates is an important next step in our joint efforts to enhance the welcome at the border.

They are monitored by Border Force officers and anyone rejected at the gates is sent to a manned passport check to have their identity and passport checked.

The UK is also removing landing cards for Australians.

The British High Commission on Monday confirmed the self-use terminals are operational for visitors with a chipped passport.

Travellers aged 12 to 18 must be accompanied by an adult to use the electronic gates and those aged less than 11 will still need to speak with an immigration officer.

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