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Arriving at Heathrow

We want to ensure your arrival is as seamless as possible, so ensure you’ve got your passport and supporting documents (e.g. visas and landing cards) ready.

To help things go smoothly at passport control, here are a few useful tips:

  • Take your passport out of its cover and flip to the photo page.
  • Remove any hats, headphones, or sunglasses.
  • Put away your mobile phones or tablets when it's time to see an officer.
  • And lastly, stick together with your family as you travel through the arrival process.


Use passport e-Gates when possible

Use passport e-gates if you can. They are automated gates that use facial recognition to check your identity and allow you to enter the country without talking to a Border Force officer.

To use them in the UK, you must have an eligible passport and meet specific requirements.

You can normally use eGates if you:

  • have a biometric symbol on the cover of your passport
  • are aged 10+ (10 to 17 year olds must be accompanied by an adult)
  • are either:
    • a British citizen
    • a national of an EU country, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland or the USA
    • a member of the Registered Traveller Service

Travelling with children

If you're travelling with your family, it's best to go through passport control together.

If you're travelling with a child who may not have the same last name as you or who isn't your own, you may be asked some questions to confirm your relationship. To help make the process smoother and faster, it's a good idea to bring along documents that show your relationship with the child and the reason for your trip. This can include birth or adoption, marriage or divorce certificates, or even a letter from the child's parent(s) giving you permission to travel and providing their contact information.


Bringing goods into the UK

Passengers should be aware that certain goods may be prohibited or restricted on entry to the UK. For full information, check out the UK government’s advice.


Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) for visitors to the UK

An Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) is a new requirement for people who do not need a visa to come to the UK. An ETA gives you permission to travel to the UK, and it is electronically linked to your passport.

Who does this apply to?

The following visitors to the UK will need an ETA:

  • Qatar nationals (from 15 November 2023)
  • Nationals from Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and UAE (from 22 February 2024)
  • All worldwide visitors who don't currently need a visa, including those from Europe (by the end of 2024.) Details and timings will be announced on

If you're a British or Irish national, you won't need an ETA.

ETAs will be required for trips up to six months for tourism, business, studying or to visit family/friends. They're also required for transit, even without UK border control. 

How do I apply?

ETAs cost £10 and are valid for two years, allowing multiple entries to the UK.

Apply for your ETA or find more information on

ETA for Qatari nationals

The Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme is now open for applications from Qatari nationals, who will require an ETA for visiting the UK on and after 15 November 2023. Other nationalities do not need to apply yet.


If you’re passing through the UK border before onward travel you can apply for a 48 hour visa. This must be done prior to your arrival to the UK on the Government website, linked below. Your passport must allow entry into the UK and have a booking for onward travel.