Sixteen new countries are now eligible to apply for membership of the Registered Traveller Service to benefit from faster entry to the UK.
The scheme is now open to passengers from Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Visitors from just six of the countries, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Israel, Malaysia and Mexico, spent close to £1bn in the UK in 2015.
Home Secretary, Amber Rudd said: “By opening the Registered Traveller Service to even more members we are sending a clear message to the world that the UK is open for business.”
She added: “Registered Traveller is one of the many ways this government is making it easier for businesses across the world to do business with the UK and I look forward to watching the service grow in the future.”
International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox said: “I’m pleased to see the Registered Traveller scheme expanding to include these key markets. Latin America offers fantastic opportunities for British companies and many have already had success in the region, with 58 of our FTSE 100 firms doing business there.
“For UK companies looking to build a global brand, as well as international businesses keen to invest in the UK’s thriving marketplace, making contacts and forging new relationships is essential. So it’s vital we make business travel into the UK as smooth as possible.”
Registered Traveller, which is already open to passport holders from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and the US, currently has more than 67,000 members and offers faster entry through the UK border.
The service allows approved members, who have undergone advanced security checks, faster entry at the UK border through access to the ePassport gates (if a holder of an ePassport) or the UK/EU passport lane.
To be eligible to apply, passengers must hold an eligible passport and have a visa/entry clearance or have visited the UK at least four times in the past two years.
More information and application forms can be found on GOV.UK.