New Service Allows Faster Entry to U.K. for Israelis

LONDON -
Aircraft taxi in the early morning at Heathrow airport in west London, Britain October 25, 2016. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
Aircraft taxi in the early morning at Heathrow airport in west London, Oct. 25. (Reuters/Eddie Keogh)

Regular visitors to the U.K. from Israel can now benefit from quicker entry into the country, by applying to join the Registered Traveler Service. The service provides approved members, who have undergone advanced security checks an expedited clearance through the U.K. border. Approved members can enter the U.K. through access to the ePassport gates (if they have an ePassport) or the U.K./EU passport lane, without filling in a landing card.

Registered Travelers with ePassports can use the ePassport Gates and can enter via the U.K./EU passport controls at Heathrow and other participating ports (Gatwick, London City, Stansted, Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Luton, Manchester and at Eurostar terminals at Paris, Brussels and Lille). The Registered Traveler Service will be rolled out to Bristol and Cardiff in the coming months.

To be eligible to apply, passengers must hold an eligible passport, have a visa/entry clearance or have visited the U.K. at least four times in the past two years.

Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria may apply to join the Registered Traveler Service online by providing personal details and passport details. Once background checks have been carried out, if the application is successful, the individual will be sent a provisional acceptance letter.

To validate and confirm their membership, the individual must present him/herself on their next arrival in the U.K. to a Border Force officer where the membership process will be completed with an interview to determine the applicant’s suitability for the service and identity checks are carried out.

U.K. Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said, “The U.K. is open for business and I am excited we are going to be able to share in the benefits of Registered Traveler with Israel. We know there are tens of thousands of passengers welcomed in the U.K. from Israel each year and the Registered Traveler Service offers them faster entry when they arrive at our border. The scheme is already available to a number of countries across the world and I am very pleased to welcome Israel to the Registered Traveler community.”

British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey added, “This is great news for U.K.-Israel relations, and in particular for Israelis doing business in the U.K. The new service will be a further boost to U.K./Israel trade, which is already at record levels. Israelis who travel often to all main British airports will now have the option of quicker, smoother entry to the U.K. The U.K. is open for business, and the U.K. is open for Israelis.”