The Border Force have launched a Registered Traveller service to enable Tier 4 Student Visa UK holders from particular countries to enter the United Kingdom quicker and with ease at specified UK/EU ports.
In order to qualify for the service you must be:
- Over 18; and
- A national of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand or the United States of America
You must also be able to show that one of the following is true:
- You have a visa (not including; EEA family permits, discretionary leave, leave outside the immigration rules and Tier 5 concession (Creative and sporting) visas)
- You have visited the UK four times in the last year e.g. for business, education, tourism or medical treatment
If you are an education provider with a number of Tier 4 Student Visa UK holders that regularly travel home at holidays, they could greatly benefit from this scheme and it’s certainly worth looking into. UKVI have even put at disposal an email inbox for taking queries about making Registered Traveller available to your Tier 4 student visa holders, even inclusive of their latest promotional materials. You can contact them at RTInbox@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk. That’s not to say the email address is only for Student Visa UK holders; anyone who is interested can contact them via the same address for the same sort of guidance and materials.
Alternatively, if you have a number of Tier 2 employees that are required to travel frequently this would also be something worth investing in for them. After all, it is valuable time spent queuing.
If you register for the service, you will get through border control faster and you won’t need to fill in a landing card. You will also be able to use the ePassport gates if you have a biometric card and also the faster entry lanes at most of the large city airports and the Brussels, Lille and Paris Eurostar terminals. It also means that you avoid having the repetitive credibility interview with a Border Force officer every time you land in the UK.
When it comes to UK immigration control, nothing is free. It costs £70 to sign up to use this service for a year. The good news is that if your application isn’t approved, they will refund you £50 of the fee. So if you’re unsure and you think you can deal with potentially losing £20, it’s worth a try. Still, it will cost you £70 a year but certainly worth considering if you travel frequently and are willing to pay the cost of avoiding what can be ridiculous queues.
For those that are already members and have recently renewed their passports, you will only need to pay an additional £20 to update your passport details. It will be free to update your visa information if this has also changed since you registered with the scheme.
So if all of this has convinced you and you are keen to get involved, you can apply online at: https://www.gov.uk/registered-traveller .
You will need to have your passport and debit or credit card with you when you make your application. You should get a decision within 10 working days.