Home Office changes to the Registered Travellers Scheme for Visitors to UK

Previously on 24 September 2013, Mark Harper, Minister for Immigration, announced a new ‘Registered Traveller’ pilot scheme for some travellers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). The scheme was initially opened to a few selected nationals and only operated at Heathrow and Gatwick airports in the UK. The scheme permitted travellers to use the UK/EEA channels at border control and meant such travellers did not need a landing card. The Home Office has now made changes to the travellers schemes which means more applicants can apply for a ‘Registered Travellers’ service to get through UK border control faster.

Home Office Requirements: Eligibility for Registered Traveller Scheme

In order to join the scheme, previously the applicant had to be:

  • Be a national of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand or the United States of America;
  • Be aged over 18;
  • Have visited the UK at least 4 times in the last 52 weeks;
  • Have been registered for the IRIS immigration system; and
  • Be coming to the UK as a visitor (including business visitors).

This has now been extended to:

  • nationals from Hong Kong (for those with a SAR passport);
  • South Korea;
  • Singapore;
  • Taiwan (the passport must show the personal ID number on the photo page).
  • The categories of applicants will now also include all visa holders except the Tier 5 (Sporting & Creative Concessions), those who hold EEA family permits and applicants with discretionary leave outside the immigration rules.

The other change is that it is now available to visitors who have visited the UK at least four times in the previous 26 weeks (previously this was 52 weeks).The number of UK ports offering the travellers scheme has also expanded and now includes; Gatwick, Heathrow, Birmingham, East Midlands,Brussels, Lille and Paris (Rail Terminals)Manchester ,Edinburgh, Glasgow, London City, Stansted and Luton.

Benefits of the Registered Traveller Scheme

The UKBA’s Registered Traveller Scheme is  which the UK government intends to use to  improve the way regular visitors can pass through the UK’s border.

The scheme offers the following benefits to travellers who are able to participate in the scheme:

  • Travellers will be able to access expedited clearance processes at the above mentioned UK ports similar to those enjoyed by UK/EEA nationals;
  • Travellers will not need to complete landing cards if they fly into the above mentioned UK ports and;
  • Travellers will be able to use the UK/EEA channels at border control.

Our team of Experienced and Professionally Qualified Immigration Solicitors and Barristers

There is often a misconception by Applicants that law firms without specialisation in immigration law will be in a position to handle the complexities that follow the immigration process. Immigration tribunals are flooded with Applicants who are left vulnerable by what is now a shockingly familiar and depressing pattern in which legal representatives demonstrate a remarkable lack of knowledge and complete disregard for the substantive and procedural rules governing immigration law.

Choosing the right law firm from the beginning will not only allow for an easy mind in preparing for an application, but will also mean that in the long run Applicants will save time and money with a specialist law firm who follow the strict letter of the law and the Solicitors Regulations Guidelines.

Our team bear in mind the paramount duty of all legal representatives to act in your best interest whilst complying with the strict letter of the law. Our team of specialists can be distinguished from other law firms with our client tailored approach and scrutiny of options available to you from the outset. We will be able to advise you in respect of the merits of your application by providing you with advice from our leading team of barristers before your matter even reaches the Home Office. To contact one of our Immigration Solicitors or Immigration Barristers please complete our legal case assessment form and we will get in touch or call us now on 02071830570 for telephone case assessment.

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