From 8 April 2015 Home Office has been collecting information on passengers leaving the UK as Home Office does for those entering. Transport staff are recording details of all passengers leaving by commercial air, sea and rail transport and the data collected are provided to the Home Office.
The checks cover nearly everyone leaving the country by any means of transport. The only exceptions are for coaches of children from the European Economic Area who are under the age of 16.
Why have exit checks been introduced?
Home Office claims that this legislation will strengthen country’s border security, ensuring that all passports are now fully verified. A spokeswoman for the Home Office said that exit checks “will improve our ability to identify which people have overstayed, take targeted action against those abusing the law and identify and tighten the immigration routes and visas that are most vulnerable to abuse.”
The Government decided on a phased introduction of the checks, so for the first month, only 25% of passports will be fully checked, with the percentage increasing to 50% in May and 100% by the middle of June.