Agreement to speed up travel between the UK and US
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02 July 2008
The Home Office today announced plans to speed up travel between the UK and
the US for trusted people who move regularly between the two countries.
Border and Immigration Minister Liam Byrne MP presented details of the
agreement signed with the US Government as he and Economic Secretary to the
Treasury Kitty Ussher MP met with City representatives today. The new scheme
would benefit trusted travellers who travel frequently between the two
countries, underlining the importance of speedy travel between the UK and the
The agreement sets out the shared determination to develop a swift channel
across the two borders for trusted travellers, which uses fingerprint, iris or
facial recognition technology to speed-up border controls while maintaining
This builds on the success of the UKBA’s IRIS scheme for trusted travellers,
which enables registered passengers to enter the UK without queueing, following
an eye scan. Already over 200,000 people have enrolled and over 1 million
crossings have taken place since its launch in March 2006.
Border and Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said:
“Speedy travel between the UK and the US is crucial to large financial
organisations. That is why today I was delighted to meet representatives of
large City employers, including foreign banks, to announce an agreement made
with the US to speed up movement between the US and the UK for trusted people
who regularly travel between the two countries.”
Also today, Liam Byrne and Kitty Ussher agreed to publish further details on
how the new Points Based System for those seeking work in the UK will apply to
the financial industry. The document, which will be jointly developed by the
Corporation of London, HM Treasury and the Home Office and published in
September, will set out how the new points system will impact on employers and
workers in the City.
Economic Secretary Kitty Ussher said:
“We know the huge contribution that the talented people who come to work
here make to our financial services sector in particular – around a quarter of
senior managers in finance and business in London are born abroad.
“That is why the Treasury, the Corporation of London and the Home Office
will shortly be publishing some practical guidance about how the Points Based
System will work for the financial services sector.”
1. The Joint Statement Regarding Co-operation between the US Customs and
Border Protection and the UK Border Agency toward Development of an
International Expedited Traveller Initiative was signed on 24 June.
2. IRIS enrolment stations and gates are available at all five Heathrow
terminals and at Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham airports.
3. In March 2006 the Government published a Command Paper setting out the new
PBS, 'A points-based system: Making Migration work for Britain'. The new system
consolidates the many complex routes into just five tiers. It is designed to
facilitate entry to the UK of all those wanting to come to work, train and
study. A Statement of Intent for Tier 1 of the PBS was published in December
2007. The Command Paper and Statement of Intent can be found at
4. Tier 1, for highly skilled migrants, was introduced in February this year.
Tier 2 is the second of five tiers of the PBS due to be rolled out over the next
12 months. It will be introduced this autumn, along with Tier 5, for temporary
workers such as musicians, actors and sportsmen. Tier 4, which covers students,
will follow at the beginning of 2009.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-07-11 14:02:17 in Business Articles