All landing cards for the international passengers reaching in the UK will be removed from Monday. Currently, landing cards are filled by the passengers reaching by air or sea from outside the European Economic Area. Border Force Director General Paul Lincoln said it would “help meet the challenge of growing passenger numbers ”.
But unions alerted it staked withering immigration controls. Around 16 million landing cards emerge every year are used to record what is said to border staff on the arrival, besides the reasons for visit and conditions for entry. The Home Office had admitted to tracing for seven countries, along with the US and Australia from June, but now decided to go further.
A document from officials to the Border Force staff, seen by the media, claims much of the data gathered by paper landing cards will soon be available digitally. It also includes pulling back the cards will enable staff to “ focus more on your interaction with passengers”.
Immigration Service Union general secretary, Lucy Moreton, charged the Home Office of “ignoring” alerts from the staff who had experience as to the longer-term impact for getting rid of landing cards.
She claimed that the union had been ensured that discarding them would not happen until new technology was in place to documented the international arrivals.
She also claimed, “ although in most cases landing cards are retained for purely statistical reasons they do contain the only record of what was said to an officer on arrival”.