Petition Allow BN(O) holders to use e-gates at passport control
We call upon the UK Government to revise border policies for British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) passport holders. We urge the Government to permit BN(O) passport holders to use e-gates upon arrival.
The current policy creates what we believe is an unjust distinction whereby some foreign nationals are allowed to use e-gates, expediting their entry process, but BN(O) passport holders cannot.
We believe this disparity contradicts the principles of equality and fairness that the UK upholds. By denying BN(O) passport holders access to e-gates, we believe the Government is undermining the rights and privileges of BN(O) status and also creating a perception of differential treatment among British nationals.
This response was given on 21 September 2023
We are constantly reviewing eGate eligibility for all groups, including BN(O) holders, however immediate change to eGate eligibility is not possible due to legislative and logistical constraints.
The UK has a proud historic and moral commitment to BN(O) holders from Hong Kong and this commitment was reaffirmed by the launch of the Hong Kong BN(O) visa in January 2021, which supported BN(O) status holders and their eligible family members to apply to live, work and study in the UK.
The UK launched this visa route in response to the imposition of the National Security Law imposed by the Chinese government in June 2020. This represented a clear breach of the legally binding 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, which commits to ensure the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and maintain Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.
We are constantly and actively reviewing our approach to the use of eGates by different groups of British nationals and other nationalities, in line with the ambitions set out in the New Plan for Immigration, which can be found here:
To build a fully digital border of the future that can respond to customer needs as well as UK national security priorities, we aim to not only increase the use of automation by driving up usage among those who can currently use eGates to enter the UK, but also explore options to increase the number of groups that are able to use eGates. The first step in this journey took place earlier this year when we reduced the age at which current eligible groups can use eGates from 12 to 10 years old. More details can be found here:
Legislative, technical and logistical changes are required before we are able to extend eGate eligibility to new groups. However, we remain committed to increasing automation and improving flow at the UK border; expanding the use of eGates will play a crucial role in enabling this.
At 100,000 signatures...
At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament