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As a frequent traveller, I am pleased to hear that senior staff at UKBA have been suspended and whilst I appreciate that short term it will worsen an already bad situation, the long term benefits will be significant.
Here’s my recent experience. I arrived at Heathrow on a flight from Iran. I presented myself at the UKBA booth with my passport open on the photo page and said ‘good morning’ to the woman official, who was engrossed in a personal conversation with her colleague in the other seat in the booth., (‘So he was like, and she was like … and ‘es been carrying on too yer know ……. and they got kids ….’). She glanced at my passport, held it under the UV and handed it back without looking at me or acknowledging my greeting. I asked her why she hadn’t looked at me and she said she had. I knew perfectly she hadn’t. I told her that whilst not acknowledging my greeting was simply bad manners, her failure to look at me and do at least a cursory visual check was negligence. I reported the incident.
If heads roll at all levels, good.
The UK is full of illegal immigrants, fraudsters, benefit cheats, and so on, many of whom should never have been let in if checks were carried out properly.5 Nov 2011
Perhaps a few letters to Teresa May hoping she vents her fury on sorting out the mess which is UK immigration are needed? In particular reducing the waiting time for EU citizens as it is now a national embarrasment.
Rt Hon Theresa May MP
2 Marsham Street
SW1P 4DF5 Nov 2011
Interesting if you read the details. Looks to me like more Scapegoating from incompetent politicians. The British Home Office sent out instructions to cut back on inspections on Europeans and now they get all shirty because the agency decided to also cut back on some non Europeans. Obivously more important to double check Commonwealth Citizens and let Eastern Europeans in without checks…
Theresa May is the one who should be suspended, so she can spend more time with her cats…5 Nov 2011
I moan about being made to Q for nearly 3 hours to clear immigration at DFW and the coldness of the US Immigration staff, but at the end of the day, at least they check passports, take photos, take fingerprints and ask questions and do have an air of authority, especially as they are all armed.
Border control in the UK “looks” like a joke, with staff uniforms looking more like school uniforms, staff wondering around looking like lost sheep and as reported 09.33 above, too many staff (not just at border control) chatting to each other and missing the vital requirements of their work, in this case checking documents and ensuring peole are justifiably entering the UK.
122,000 missing immigrants, in the UK, reported this week, I am sure many of whom are claiming benefits.
Perhaps our border will soon be unmanned 24/7.5 Nov 2011
Or only open office hours Mon – Fri to save money so we can look big at the IMF or the next Middle Eastern Spring…
THe good thing about the epass euro gates is that my experience n T3 and Lisbon they are borken more times than not so people cannot get into country. If we were to stop UK Citizens re-entering the country then by giving the unemployed day trip tickets away we could lower the unemployment figures…5 Nov 2011
Richm having seen the immigration gates in operation, the machines are slow and the scanning was working correctly 1 out of 3 attempts.
Whats interesting is seeing the new gate line and the iris line next to each other. You would thnk that the Iris line would be slower, but when I was q’ing in the Iris line recently, it was the quicker line by far.5 Nov 2011
Martyn when it is working the IRIS gates are much quicker. I think for three reasons:
1. IRIS is used by frequent travelers whereas Epass is any old Euro including Holidamakers who have never flown before so they do not already know what to do and are slowere using system
2. IRIS does not require to read passport, my experience is this is sometimes a mutliple attempt process and on avergae adds 30 secs to 1 minute per use
3. When it is workign the IRIS caprute process on IRIS is quicker as you have to move whereas on EPass the machine moves and appears set for midgets to begin with.5 Nov 2011
Hi Rich – I viewed it differently.
The Epass Q, should move quicker becasue there are 3 working entry gates. Mostly the Iris only has 1 working gate.
Time it next use. There is always a delay until people realise the green tick, they then shuffle in, arrange their hand lugage, look in the worng camera, move to the right camera, stand back a little, stare, eyes captured, thank you, move out.
The Epass should work far quicker.
I presume we will be waiting some time for Europe to offer Epass or am I mistaken.5 Nov 2011
Martyn. Lisbon has had epass for years but it is often broken and switched off. Do not go to anywhere else in Europe at all regularly so do not know about other European airports. Would surprise me if Dutch did not have it implemented or on the books,,5 Nov 2011
We should be in Schengen, so that as UK citizens we can get as easily back into our own country as other Schengen country citizens can into theirs (or, we travelling between Schengen countries, can). This may free up enough Home Office UKBA personnel to man the desks to scrutinise arrivals from elsewhere.5 Nov 2011
AlanReynolds1 : That’s a very short sighted attitude. Like most things to do with the EU, Schengen is a disaster.
The Schengen zone is full of illegals who arrive from countries such as Greece,. Italy, and Spain, whose border controls are inadequate. Once inside the zone, they have freedom of movement. Would you like that to apply to the UK as well?
The fact that they are arriving from the Schengen zone does not mean that they entered it legally or have been checked.5 Nov 2011