UK Home Secretary Priti Patel is set to unveil a new US-style digital visa regime at the country’s borders to measure immigration levels inside and outside the country, according to British media on Sunday.
The Indian-born senior cabinet minister is due to confirm so-called “sweeping changes” in UK immigration policy to “streamline” the way people enter the country on Monday.
Post-Brexit changes will include digital border management, which the government says will be easier to navigate for businesses and allow for the first time to accurately count people entering and leaving the UK.
Our new all-digital border will allow us to count people entering and leaving the country, which will allow us to control who comes to the UK, Patel said in the Observer.
“Our new approach will make it easier to identify potential threats before they reach the border. The British people will be confident that the strictest controls are in place to keep them safe,” she said.
The UK Home Office hopes to make entry into the UK fully digital by the end of 2025.
This means that people wishing to enter the UK without a visa or immigration status will need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), similar to the US system, with 30 million applications to be processed each year.
In addition to launching his latest immigration plans, Patel will also focus on flaws in the asylum system and the need to crack down on human smugglers. Earlier in the week she was filmed accompanying police as they arrested suspected ringleaders of a human smuggling gang that used minicab and truck drivers to bring migrants in and out of the UK.
The UK government has said that in the past 10 days more than 140 foreign criminals have been deported from the UK, a total of over 700 so far this year.
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