Priti Patel has unveiled plans for a US-style digital visa system for travellers looking to enter the country from overseas.
The home secretary claimed the new programme would help the government to count numbers of people entering and leaving the UK accurately for the first time.
People coming to the UK without a visa or immigration status will need to apply for an electronic travel authorisation (ETA), the home secretary said.
The scheme will automatically determine the eligibility of visitors in advance.
The Home Office anticipates about 30 million ETA applications each year.
Patel said: “Electronic travel authorisations are part of a simpler and more secure, universal permissions to travel requirement.
“Our new plan will make it easier to identify potential threats before they reach the border, through targeted and effective interventions from co-ordinated multi-agency operations.”
No details of how much the system would cost, or when it may be implemented, were available.
“Our new fully digital border will provide the ability to count people in and count people out of the country,” Patel added.
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