At border control

You’ll need to show your identity document, such as your passport or national identity card.

You must:

  • have your identity document 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

If you’re travelling from Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you’ll only need to show your documents if you’re stopped by a Border Force officer. Check which documents you’ll need to come to the UK.

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

Read the guidance for school parties and groups coming to the UK by coach.

If you’re a British citizen

You can use the UK/EEA channel to get your passport or Gibraltar 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 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.

If you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein

You can use the UK/EEA channel to get your passport, Irish passport card or national identity card checked - this is usually faster than the other channels.

Your passport or national identity card should be registered on your UK Visas and Immigration account if either 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 national 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 have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme but are planning to apply.

If you’re from outside the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein

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:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • 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.

Registered Travellers

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.