Personal Immigration

Proposals to improve documentation at the border

The Home Office has launched a new consultation to reduce the number of passengers arriving in the UK without proper travel documentation.

Each year, thousands of undocumented passengers are stopped by Border Force staff at UK airports or seaports. It is the responsibility of air and sea carriers to ensure that passengers have the correct documentation before they board.

According to the Home Office, the cost to the UK of undocumented passengers can be high as many go on to claim asylum. It also claims that undocumented passengers can be a potential security risk, as individuals wishing to come here for organised crime or terrorism purposes may view this as a potential method of entry.

The Home Office is therefore strengthening its partnership with carriers in the transport sector on a broad range of border security issues.

The consultation will run from 12th March to 9th April and includes two key proposals:

  • To increase the level of the carriers’ liability charge from £2,000 per IDA (Inadequately Documented Arrival) to £7,000. Whilst this is a significant increase, the current charge level has been unchanged since 1991 and no longer reflects the costs and risks involved;
  • to introduce a new Approved Route (AR) incentives scheme for carriers.  This includes a number of charge waivers if the carrier is engaging effectively with UKBA on border security issues, including document checking and data submission.

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