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Immigration Controls: Biometrics

Question for Home Office

UIN 77641, tabled on 2 November 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether UK Electronic Travel Authorisation applicants entering Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland will be required to submit biometric information upon entry into the UK.

Answered on

9 November 2022

Irish citizens will not be required to obtain an ETA.

As is currently the case, individuals arriving in the UK, including those crossing the land border into Northern Ireland, will need to continue to enter in line with the UK’s immigration framework, including the requirement to obtain an ETA when it is introduced. The ETA scheme will apply to those visiting the UK or transiting through the UK who do not currently need a visa for short stays or do not have any other immigration status before travelling. This requirement will not apply to British or Irish citizens.

Our long-term aim is that all visitors and migrants to the UK will provide both their face and fingerprint biometrics under a single global immigration system. As part of the ETA application process, applicants will be required to submit their biometrics. At the outset, however, we will only require facial images from ETA applicants, until such time as there is a technological solution which will allow them to self-upload fingerprints of the required quality, as we will not require them to visit a visa application centre to give their fingerprints.

Answered by

Home Office