At border control
You’ll need to show:
- your passport or identity card
- your proof of a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test
- your passenger locator form
- have your passport or identity card ready - remove it from a holder or wallet if you use one
- remove your face covering or sunglasses, if you’re wearing them
- move through passport control together if you’re in a family
You will have to wait longer than usual at border control because of COVID-19.
Showing your passenger locator form
You need to show proof that you’ve completed a passenger locator form when you arrive at the UK border. The government will use the form to contact you if someone you’ve travelled with develops COVID-19 symptoms.
When you submit the form you’ll receive a confirmation email with a document attached. At border control you must show either a:
- printed copy of the document
- downloaded copy of document on your phone
Border Force officers will scan the QR code at the top of this document to check you have completed the form successfully.
It is a criminal offence to provide false or deliberately misleading information when filling out your passenger locator form. You could be fined up to £10,000, imprisoned for up to 10 years, or both, if you do not provide accurate details about the countries you have visited in the 10 full days (11 nights) before you arrived in the UK.
You may also need to show proof of a negative coronavirus test at the border. You could be fined up to £500 if you cannot show proof when asked.
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
If you’re from an EEA country or Switzerland
The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.
You can use the UK/EEA channel to get your passport or identity card checked - this is usually faster than the other channels.
Your passport or identity card should be registered on your UK Visas and Immigration account if any of the following are true:
- you have settled or pre-settled status
- you used the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document when applying for a visa
You may be delayed at the border if your passport or identity card is not registered on your UK Visas and Immigration account.
You can use automatic ePassport gates at some airports if your passport has a ‘chip’ on it and you’re 12 or over. If you’re between 12 and 17, you must be accompanied by an adult.
These gates use facial recognition technology to check your identity against the photo in your passport.
You must tell a Border Force officer if you haven’t applied to the EU Settlement Scheme but are planning to apply.
If you’re from a non-EEA country
Your passport (and visa if you have one) will be checked at border control. You’ll usually be asked why you’re coming to the UK.
You can use the UK/EEA immigration lanes and the automatic ePassport gates if you’re from:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- United States
When you cannot use an ePassport gate
You must see a border control officer and get a stamp in your passport if you are entering the UK:
- with a Tier 5 Creative or Sporting certificate of sponsorship for up to 3 months (and you want to enter without a visa)
- on a permitted paid engagement
You cannot get a stamp if you use the ePassport gates. Without a stamp you will not be allowed to carry out the activities you came to the UK to do.
You can use the UK/EEA immigration lanes and the automatic ePassport gates.
Travelling with a UK biometric residence permit
You’ll have a biometric residence permit 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.