Landing cards to be scrapped under Home Office plans to modernise border control

Alys Key
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Border control is undergoing a series of modernising measures (Source: Getty)

Non-european travellers will no longer have to fill in landing cards when arriving in the UK under new proposals announced by the Home Office today.

The paper-based system, which has been in use for nearly half a century, is expected to be scrapped in the autumn.

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All non-EU passengers will still be checked against various watch lists, but it is hoped that by scrapping the landing card system queues will be reduced at major British airports.

"We are modernising border technology to ensure Border Force staff stop dealing with outdated paperwork and can continue to focus on security and protecting the public," said immigration minister Brandon Lewis.

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The change could also save the taxpayer as much as £3.6m a year, as well as freeing up border control staff for other tasks.

The proposals are part of a series of modernisation measures put into place by the Home Office. Previous changes have included the installation of automatic passport-reading machines.

John Holland-Kaye, the chief executive of Heathrow, said that scrapping landing cards would also help to make the experience of international visitors to the UK more welcoming.

"In post-Brexit Britain, it will be even more important to show we are open for business and make sure that we give investors, tourists and students a great welcome to our country."

Last year 16.2 million non-EU passengers arrived in the UK.

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