Visa application services overseas might be affected due to the planned strike action on Wednesday.
The Border Force said: ‘Appointments at the public inquiry offices in the UK might also be affected, and we might not be able to process premium applications on the same day. Our Liverpool, Solihull and Belfast offices will be closed for appointments.’
Otherwise, strong plans have been made to maintain the security of the border for the planned strike action. Over recent weeks and months significant work has been undertaken including training managers, staff and contractors to the high standards needed to carry out secure border checks. The staffs from overseas posts have been asked to provide additional cover on the day.
Preparations were also focused on ensuring that every option had been considered, so that a pool of suitably trained staff was available to operate the border securely. Staffing on the day was also being structured to allow maximum flexibility to meet the aim of maintaining a full range of checks.
UK Border Agency chief executive Rob Whiteman said: 'Securing the border is our priority, and over the last weeks and months we have considered all options to ensure we are prepared for union action.’
He added, “'We always aim to minimise any disruption caused by the decision of unions to strike, but travellers could see longer waiting times at some ports and airports.”
The four Home Office unions are participating in a strike which will affect border control from the beginning of the evening of Tuesday 29 November until 23:59 on Wednesday 30 November. Starting times will vary as each port has different shift patterns.
The Home Office claimed that they will aim to keep disruption at a minimum, but their priority will remain the security of the border. The strike could see longer waiting times at some ports and airports and the UKBA have put contingency plans in place and will work hard to keep delays to a minimum.
The UKBA has stated that passengers arriving in the UK can assist them by having travel documents, including passports, available and taken out of any wallets. The passengers have also been asked to use automatic e-passport gates (where available); having landing cards fully completed and ready; and staying in family groups.