Passport changes will allow Aussies to skip airport queues

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Australians heading to the UK will be pleased to know that they will no longer have to wait in long airport queues upon arrival.

UK authorities have given Australian passport holders the green light to pass through ePassport gates, meaning Aussies carrying electronically enabled passports will now be able to skip the long immigration queues at British airports.

Australian nationals aged 18 and over who use a biometric or chipped passport will be able to access the self-use ePassport terminals, which speed up entry to a country through the use of facial recognition technology that matches travellers with their passport portrait.

“Our new global immigration and border system will improve security and fluidity for passengers coming to visit or work in the UK,” British Home Secretary Sajid Javid said.

“Expanding the use of ePassport gates is a key part of this and allows us to improve passenger experience arriving in the UK while keeping our border secure.

“I’m delighted that Australian nationals will benefit from their use and have a smooth beginning to their visit to our country.”

The change also applies to eligible New Zealand nationals. And, to make the entry process even smoother, the British Government may soon scrap the need for Australians and other nationals to fill in landing cards on arrival.

Have you ever had to line up at British airport immigration queues? Are you happy to hear that you will no longer have to do so?

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Total Comments: 13
  1. 0

    Will we still be able to get a stamp in our passport? If not, I’d rather stand in queue to get one.

    A stamp means that you may not have to get a visa to visit the Republic of Ireland, as currently, you just need to present your passport with a UK entry stamp, and you’re free to get on with your travels in Ireland.

    • 0

      Many countries don’t issue stamps anymore, if travelling around the pacific islands some countries try to sell you a stamp, we were in Noumea recently coming of a cruise ship and there was a line up of people waiting to get there passport stamped, they were being charged $20, mostly when travelling through Europe they just check your passport, in the USA they tend to take your thumb print and iris check, I remember years ago an ordinary passport used to get filled up quickly if you were a regular traveller, you used to be able to get a passport with extra pages in it, at a cost of course.

    • 0

      I haven’t had a stamp in a passport for many years. It is a rarity these days, as is a paper visa for many countries. You just get a reference number and a receipt!

  2. 0

    All ok until a glitch like what happened in Australia just recently then the fun begins lol

  3. 0

    I always used to leave Australia on my Australian passport and enter UK in the fast track lane with my UK passport. I could also travel around Europe easily with my UK passport. That will probably change now with UK leaving the Common Market. My UK passport has recently expired and I am debateing whether or not it is worth the expense and hassle to renew it at my age.

    • 0

      You can’t do that any more Casey. These days you have to give the passport details you fly out of Australia with and before flying. Then that number is checked against the passport you present at the other end to enter the country. You can still enter with the British passport but you have to show the Australian one as well. So you can still be held up unlike before.

      It remains to be seen what happens under Brexit.

  4. 0

    We have been caught up in extremely long queues at Heathrow. However, I have a British passport and an Australian one. My husband just his Australian one. When I wave my British passport to an official when we arrive, he will wave us both through to the no queue for Brits only. Customs do not like me using both passports for a journey but we have to use our Australian passports leaving Australia and when returning to Australia. Take both passports if you are a dual citizen and as long as they can view both, there is no problem …… so far! Brexit may change that but who knows. Great news for Aussies to be able to have a quicker exit from a U.K. Border control, especially Heathrow. After a very long journey it’s the last thing you want and it makes sense to do the epassport recognition. Safe travelling folks!

  5. 0

    How do you know if you have an electronically enabled passport ?

    • 0

      I think all Australian passports issued after 2005 are biometric, most passports are only issued for 10 years so I would imagine all Australian passports are now biometric.

  6. 0

    How do you know if you have an electronically enabled passport ?

    • 0

      Inextratime, You’ll know its electronic because its got a USB port on the side!

      Seriously, with my Australian passport there is a thicker page towards the middle with a camera symbol printed on it. This mignt have changed with later passports. One of my other e-passports doesn’t have the thick page but it feels like the sensor is incorporated into the back cover because this is stiffer than the front cover. In some passports there is no visible sign. I was told in one country that my passport could be identified as electronic by the number.

    • 0

      There is an ePassport logo on the front cover of your passport if it is one of the new ones.

    • 0

      I have a passport issued in 2017. It has an ePassport logo on the front cover and a chip page in the centre of the passport which cannot be stamped.



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