Home Office puts in place “Registered Travellers” scheme to provide expedited passport control procedure for regular visitors to the UK

On 24 September 2013, the “Registered Traveller Arrangement” came into force under Paragraph 1(d) of Schedule 23 to the Equality Act 2010.

The arrangement allows citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the USA, who have visited the UK four times or more in the preceding 52-week period to enrol as “Registered Travellers”.

Once enrolled on the scheme, these visitors will benefit from an expedited clearance procedure (and therefore a faster moving queue) at the UK Border. In practice, this will be broadly aligned with the clearance procedure in place for EEA nationals, except that Registered Travellers will be processed under the Immigration Rules and so will be granted leave to enter upon each visit.

Between now and 31 March 2014, registration will be free of charge while it is in the proof of concept phase.The arrangement will, however, only operate at Heathrow and Gatwick airports. It is intended that from 1 April 2014 the arrangement will be made a permanent. It will then be rolled out at other UK ports, and an annual fee will be charged for registration.

More information and the registration page can be found at https://www.gov.uk/registered-traveller-scheme