As of Monday the 20th of May, people coming into the UK will not be required to fill in landing cards. However, some people believe that this decision will weaken the borders and make it easier for people to remain in the country without the correct UK visas.
According to officials, plans have been in place to scrap landing cards for visitors coming from various countries in June 2019. However, the latest UK immigration reports suggest that the Home Office will be removing the cards completely.
Before this change in plans, travellers from outside of the EU area were required to fill in a landing card and apply for any necessary UK visas before they could enter the country. The cards recorded information about the person's reasons for visiting, as well as outlining the conditions of their entry.
According to official statistics from UK immigration bodies, about 11 million of these cards are usually issued each year. However, the Home Office has now asked Border Force staff to stop giving these cards out from this year forward.
According to officials responsible for the UK work permit and visas, the move should help to meet the challenge of growing tourist numbers coming to the country. A border patrol official also said that the change will help frontline officers in airports to concentrate more heavily on managing border control and dealing with risk.
In response to the people concerned about the latest move with UK visas, the border control officials also said that much of the data collected by landing cards up until now should be available digitally in the future. Despite this, some unions, such as the Immigration Service Union believe that this step will weaken the country's borders.
Some groups believe that in some cases, the landing cards can be important for reporting incidents that need to be addressed with plenty of data by the UK visas and immigration committees enforced by the government. The home office maintains that the change will not present any new security risks to the UK.