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Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Provisions applying to persons on arrival

7.The Act provides for greater flexibility in the way permission to enter the United Kingdom may be granted. Instead of leave to enter always having to be given in writing at a port of entry the Act will allow the making of an order under which additional ways of giving leave to enter are specified. Also, the Secretary of State may stipulate that a visa or other entry clearance is to be treated as leave to enter. This will mean that holders of visas, for example, will be able to pass through the port control with only a quick check on identity and on the rightful ownership of the travel document and entry clearance, unless there is a need to examine for, among other matters, change of circumstances. The power will enable other changes to be made in future, for example to exploit new technology, to speed the clearance of passengers through the immigration controls, and to facilitate the more efficient use of resources.

8.There are other provisions in the Act relating to the operation of controls at ports of entry. These include:

  • a provision to extend the present power to require information from carriers about their passengers and a new power to require advance notification by carriers of the arrival of passengers who are not nationals of the European Economic Area;

  • a provision to create “statutory gateways” to allow information to be exchanged for specified purposes between the Immigration Service, police and HM Customs and Excise. The Act will enable further purposes to be specified by order and additional gateways with other agencies to be established in future;

  • strengthening existing carriers’ liability legislation to facilitate the collection of any charges incurred by carriers by bringing inadequately documented passengers to the United Kingdom.

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