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New processes for low-risk nationalities using e-passport gates to enter the UK

10 June 2019

Since 20 May 2019 citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand Singapore, South Korea and USA have been able to use e-passport gates at airports in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, the East Midlands, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, Heathrow, London City, Luton, Manchester and Stansted, as well as the Eurostar terminals at Brussels and Paris.

Travellers must hold a biometric or ‘chipped’ passport and be aged 18 or over, or aged 12 to 17 and accompanied by an adult.

Standard visitors and those who hold UK entry clearance will be encouraged to use the e-gates and do not need to see an immigration officer to have their passport stamped on arrival. Where a standard visitor or UK entry clearance holder arrives at a port that does not have e-gates, they will be seen by an immigration officer, but will not have their passport stamped.

HR staff carrying out right to work checks for new employees of these nationalities will no longer see a stamp in the person’s passport confirming their date of arrival. Subsequent entries to the UK will also not be recorded using a stamp, so those who intend to apply for settlement in the UK in the future should ensure they keep a spreadsheet or other record of their entries and exits to track their absences.

It should be noted that the following individuals cannot use an e-gate and will still need to see an immigration officer to have their passport stamped in all cases:

  • Tier 5 creative and sporting concession Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) holders
  • Short Term Students
  • Permitted Paid Engagement visitors
  • Individuals who are coming to join their EEA family member in the UK

If you have any queries about these changes, please do get in touch with a member of the immigration team.

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