Are landing cards on the way out?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

How many times have you had to fill in a landing card before you get off the plane or worse, go to a table at the back of passport control, get a card and complete it before you are allowed into a destination?

We have fewer stamps in our passports. Will we also not have fewer landing forms to complete one day?

But from Monday next, if you fly into the UK from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA you won’t need to. The British government has decided that the information collected on the cards is available elsewhere (where?) and that it is not necessary to capture it again. It says that travellers from those countries will be able to se the e-passport gates just as we and EU citizens can. Incidentally, even after the UK leaves the EU – whenever that is – EU citizens will still be able to use the e-passport booths.

The gates, which use facial recognition technology to check passenger identity means, that border security will still be maintained because these seven countries are deemed to be low-risk countries. Or so the government says. It also thinks that this will speed up entry times, something that just about all of us complain about.

Whilst most of Just about Travel’s readers will be British or Irish and unaffected by this move does it mean that other countries might follow suit? Is the day ahead where we won’t have landing cards to complete?

But although completing visa applications online and getting permission to visit before we fly abroad resolves most of the reasons for landing cards, some countries like Australia have forms that go much farther asking you about whether you are bringing in foodstuffs, dairy products, wood and other things. I can’t see how we can avoid those questions by facial recognition.

Cards will be around for a bit longer in some countries I fear!

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