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Immigration Controls: Biometrics

Question for Home Office

UIN HL3881, tabled on 9 November 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government which countries' passport holders are able to use e-gates at UK borders when coming to the UK for short stays; what arrangements they have made to ensure that such people (1) are not taking paid employment whilst in the UK, and (2) do not stay longer than their permitted six months; and what assessment they have made of whether the system has been abused so far.

Answered on

23 November 2021

The use of e-Gates is a secure and efficient way of crossing the border.

In addition to British and Irish citizens aged 12 and over, who can use e-Gates to enter the UK for any purpose, citizens aged 12 and over of the countries named in the Schedule to the Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000, as amended, are eligible to seek entry to the UK using an e-Gate for the purpose of short visits. The list of countries can be found online under the ‘Amendment of the Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000’ on the legislation.gov.uk website.

We also operate the Registered Traveller service, where regular, compliant visitors to the UK and those with long term entry clearance can apply for membership which allows them to seek entry using an e-Gate once they have passed initial checks and been examined by a Border Force officer (BFO) on their next entry to the UK. The list of countries whose citizens are currently eligible to apply for membership of the RTS can be viewed on gov.uk

In terms of preventing illegal working and overstaying those who enter using an e-Gate and go on to work illegally or overstay will be identified in the same way as those who are granted leave to enter by an entry clearance officer or BFO.

We continue to monitor reports and trends of immigration abuse across the immigration system, including of illegal working and overstaying to ensure the immigration system continues to operate in the national interest.

Answered by

Home Office