What to do at border control
There are three lanes at passport control.
Lane 1 is for the automated e-passport gates which offer European chipped passport holders an alternative to conventional passport checks.
E-passport gates – how they work
Simply scan your e-passport at the barrier, the system runs a face-recognition check against the chip in your passport, then if you're eligible to enter the UK the gate opens automatically – all in a matter of seconds.
You need to be over 18 and have an e-passport (look for the 'chip' logo on the front) issued by a country in the European Economic Area* or Switzerland.
Click here for further information from the Border Force
Lane 2 is for European Union (EU)*, European Economic Area (EEA), British and Swiss nationals.
Lane 3 is for all other nationalities. You are required to complete a landing card.
At the passport desk a Border Force officer will ask to see your passport or travel document along with any other supporting documentation necessary for your visit. Please remember that your passport must not expire during your visit to the United Kingdom.
For information about entry requirements into the United Kingdom, please visit the Border Force website.
Stopovers in Britain
There is nowhere to sleep in the airport. If your booking includes a stopover in a local hotel, then follow the signs to Arrivals. Leave the airport via passport control, baggage reclaim and Customs, then check in as normal when it's time to continue your journey.
Please note that it is a Border Force requirement that all passengers entering the UK must present themselves to Immigration as the first port of call, It is therefore it is important that your passport/visa allows you entry into the UK.
Faster entry through the UK border for Australian, Canadian, Japanese, New Zealand or American nationals. Registered Traveller offers faster entry through the UK border.
At passport control, you’ll:
- be able to use the ePassport gates (if you have a biometric passport)
- be able to use the UK/EU lanes
- won’t have to fill in a landing card or undergo a credibility interview on each arrival
- visa holders won’t have to provide fingerprints on each arrival
For more information and how to apply click to view the leaflet and infographic below.
Click to view registered travellers information.
Click to view registered travellers infographic.