Danielle McCarthy

International Travel

The big change just announced for Australian passport holders

The big change just announced for Australian passport holders

Australian passports holders planning a trip to the UK can expect for their journey to become a lot less stressful.

On Tuesday, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond revealed that Aussie travellers will be given permission to use electronic passport gates at all UK airports.

While making a UK Budget speech, he said: “We’ll open the use of e-passport gates at Heathrow and other airports, currently only available to EEA nationals to include visitors from the US, CanadaNew Zealand, Australia and Japan.”

Previously, only EU citizens were given the privilege of using the electronic passport gates but in the lead-up to Brexit, the British government is changing its border policy for non-EU travellers.

The electronic passport, also known as the ePassport, refers to an embedded electronic microprocessor chip used to authenticate the passport holder’s identity.

Reportedly the privilege will be available to the five countries in the middle of 2019.

Chief executive of Airlines UK, Tim Alderslade, says he “welcomes the move”.

“As passenger numbers continue to rise, UK Border Force must be adequately resourced and adopt new approaches in order to prevent a repeat of last summer, where lengthy border queues were experienced at a number of UK airports,” he told Stuff.

“This announcement is a welcome step in the right direction, enabling millions more travellers to be processed more quickly.”

There are currently 250 e-passport gates at 22 air and rail ports across the UK.

Are you planning a trip to the UK? Let us know in the comments below.