BY JAMES RODGER
A passport changes from November means UK holidaymakers and tourists returning from Europe will no longer have their passports stamped. Passport holders won’t have their passports stamped as the process moves to become digitised.
Since Brexit, UK tourists have needed stamps whenever they’ve entered or exited the Schengen Area, which prove holidaymakers and passengers haven’t stayed outside their visa requirements. But the security checkpoint process will become digitised from later this year.
Instead, an automated entry and exit system (EES) will digitally register non-EU visitors. European Commission’s department for Migration and Home Affairs said: “EES will replace the current system of manual stamping of passports, which is time consuming, does not provide reliable data on border crossings and does not allow a systematic detection of overstayers.”
In a statement about the digitisation of the application process, VFS Global said, “We are fully aware that the EU plans to digitise the visa application process, and as an external service provider to virtually all EU and Schengen governments, VFS Global looks forward to work with these governments to support them on their transformation journey.” Each time a person crosses an EU external border, the system will register their name, type of travel document, biometric data (fingerprints and facial images) and the date and place of entry and exit. It will also record refusals of entry.
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