The Australian passport just got more powerful: Travellers are given a new privilege while entering the UK – and it will massively speed up queues after landing
- Australians will be given new rights to use their electronic passports in the UK
- UK Chancellor of the Exchequer made the announcement in a budget speech
- The new rights for Australian passport holders will come into effect in 2019
Australians will now be able to bypass queues and use their electronic passports when travelling to the UK.
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond announced that Australians will be given permission to use electronic passport gates at all UK airports.
He made the announcement in a UK Budget speech on Tuesday (AEST).
‘We’ll open the use of e-passport gates at Heathrow and other airports, currently only available to EEA nationals to include visitors from the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan,’ he said.
Australians will now be given permission to bypass queues and use their electronic passports when travelling to the UK. The new move was announced in a UK Budget speech on Tuesday (AEST)
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond announced Australians will be given permission to use electronic passport gates (pictured) at all UK airports
Previously, only EU citizens were given the right to use the electronic passport gates but in the lead-up to Brexit, the British government has been reassessing its border policy for non-EU travellers.
The electronic passport, also known as the ePassport, refers to an embedded electronic microprocessor chip used to authenticate the passport holder’s identity.
Other nationalities including New Zealand and Japanese citizens will also be granted the right to use the electronic passport gates.
Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, said he ‘welcomes the move’.
‘As passenger numbers continue to rise, UK Border Force must be adequately resourced and adopt new approaches in order to prevent a repeat of last summer, where lengthy border queues were experienced at a number of UK airports,’ he told Stuff.
‘This announcement is a welcome step in the right direction, enabling millions more travellers to be processed more quickly.’
Previously, only EU citizens were given the right to use the electronic passport gates but in the lead-up to Brexit Australians are now able to bypass the queues if they have a biometric passport