How to use the a Biometric UK Epassport for British Nationals
|July 27, 2016||Posted by admin under UK Passport|
What are biometric passports and how can they help you? Well, firstly it is important to point out the biometric passports, e-passports, ePassports, and digital passports are all the same thing. These different names are often used in an inter-changeable manner; different countries, airports and websites may use one instead of the other but the key point is that they all refer to the same type of passport.
A biometric passport combines traditional paper passports with an electronic passport that contains biometric information. This is used to authenticate the identity of the passport holder. Biometric information is the broad name given to distinctive and measurable characteristics that can be used to identify a person. Common examples and those often used in relation to passports are fingerprint, face recognition and iris recognition.
UK passports as we know them were first issued in 1915. This paper style of passport was then in place, largely unchanged, for nearly 100 years when in 2006 they were replaced with Britain’s first biometric passports. These were updated again in 2010 with the current version coming into usage in 2015. Now, all passports issued to British citizens are biometric, this is signified by the rectangular symbol with a circle inside of it that can be found on the front of all UK passports.
The benefits to owning a biometric passport are numerous with the main positive, contrary to the belief that Brits love to queue, the reduction in waiting times at border control. The new biometric UK passports allow the holder to pass through automated gates instead of having it checked by a Border Force Officer. ‘ePassport gates’ are now installed at all major UK airports and are available for use for anyone with a ‘chipped’ UK, EU, EEA or Swiss passport. The recent change in the UK’s EU membership is surely to have an effect on future UK border control but as yet these changes have not been discussed.
ePassport gates work by using facial recognition technology to compare the passport holders face to the photograph recorded on the chip in the passport. Those passing through the gates are instructed to remove anything that could potentially obscure the face and place their passport with the biographic picture page face down on the reader. There is then a short delay and all being well the passport holder passes freely and quickly through the border control.
When applying for your next UK passport be sure not to be left in the queue by entrusting Rapid British Passports with your renewal. As a specialised agency for passport application, Rapid British Passports are authorised to submit applications on its clients’ behalf and on a daily basis to Her Majesty’s Passport Office without appointments.