Travellers Face Tighter Checks On Arrival In UK

Travellers face tighter checks on arrival in UK

The Dominion Post
Friday, 27 July 2007

New Zealanders and other foreign visitors are facing tighter checks on arrival in Britain as part of new anti- terrorism proposals.

Kiwis will have to provide more information, including their fingerprints, when applying for visas to stay in Britain for longer than six months.

British high commission spokesman Jonathan Kinsella said biometric visas had been introduced in 87 countries and would come to New Zealand within the next 12 months.

At present, people can apply for visas by mail but under the new system applicants will have to show up in person so their fingerprint could be taken.

Among the most contentious British anti-terrorist proposals is Prime Minister Gordon Brown's call to hold terror suspects for up to 56 days without charge, up from the present 28 days.

But Mr Brown has also called for electronic screening of all overseas travellers and biometric visas for all applicants.

He said the authorities must drop ineffective paperwork and take up “real-time monitoring” of people who could pose a security threat by co- ordinating with the police, immigration and other agencies.

Biometric visas are already required from immigrants from countries that London deems to be “high risk”.