London, May 21: The UK government has scrapped the requirement of filling out landing cards by international travellers coming to the UK from countries like India, as part of a series of measures aimed at a smoother entry into Britain.
The UK Home Office said in a statement in London on Monday that Airline passengers from countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) landing at UK airports from today will no longer be required to complete the forms to be handed to immigration officers along with passports.
The statement said the government is removing the need for all non-EEA travellers to fill in landing cards upon arrival in the UK, making for a smoother entry to the country. The move will reduce the burden on passengers while maintaining the UK's border security, as exactly the same security checks will be in place.
"Our new global immigration and border system will improve security and fluidity for passengers coming to visit or work in the UK. Expanding the use of ePassport gates is a key part of this and allows us to improve the passenger experience of those arriving in the UK while keeping our border secure," said UK home secretary Sajid Javid.
"The new system will help to drive our economy, cement our reputation as a global leader and send a clear message to the world - the UK is open for business," he said.
ePassport gates have already been available to British and European Union (EU) nationals since 2008, who will remain eligible to use them even once the UK leaves the EU.