Entering the UK
3. At border control
Your passport or identity card will be checked.
- have your passport or identity card ready - remove it from a holder or wallet if you use one
- remove your sunglasses if you’re wearing them
- move through passport control together if you’re in a family
Arriving by bus or coach
You have to leave the bus when you arrive at border control.
Make sure you:
- are ready to get off the bus when you arrive
- have your travel documents ready
You’re from an EEA country and Switzerland
You can use the EU/EEA channel to get your passport or identity card checked - this is usually faster than the other channels.
You can use automatic ePassport gates at some airports if your passport has a ‘chip’ on it and you’re over 18.
These gates use facial recognition technology to check your identity against the photo in your passport.
You’re from a non-EEA country
Your carrier will give you a landing card - fill this in before you arrive at border control.
Your passport, landing card (and visa if you have one) will be checked.
You’ll usually be asked why you’re coming to the UK.
Keep documents that show the reason for your visit in your hand luggage, so you can show them if asked, eg your travel itinerary, work permit or university letter.
If you’ve joined the Registered Traveller Service, you can use the:
- UK/EEA channels
- automatic ePassport gates if your passport has a ‘chip’
You won’t need a landing card at some UK airports.
Travelling with a UK biometric visa
You’ll have a biometric visa if your fingerprints were taken when you applied.
Your fingerprints will be checked at border control - they’ll be checked against the ones stored on your visa document.
If you’re refused entry
You’ll be told in writing:
- why you’ve been refused entry to the UK
- if you can appeal against the decision
- when you will be removed from the UK
You’ll usually have to leave the UK immediately.
You may be allowed into the UK temporarily (usually for up to a week) but your passport will be taken from you and you must report to immigration officers at set times.