Passport control | Gatwick Airport

Passport control

Your first step after arriving at Gatwick is to clear passport control. If possible, we recommend that you use the ePassport gates which will speed up your journey through the border. 

There are two separate areas. One for European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), British nationals and Swiss nationals and the other for all other nationalities.

Travelling into Europe and Brexit. Before booking travel, check your adult and child passports meet the new rules that apply if the UK leaves the EU without a deal after 31 October 2019. For any other questions, and to check your passport for travel to Europe, see the UK government's official advice.

 E-passports

epassport gates

If you are over 12 years old, have a biometric passport, and are a citizen of the UK, EU, EEA countries (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland), Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea or the United States of America then you can use the ePassport gates when you arrive at Gatwick. Simply scan your passport on arrival.  If you aren’t eligible to use the ePassport gates or prefer not to, then please wait for the next available border force officer.

Please note that you will still need to see an officer if you are:

  • Travelling with children under 12 years old
  • Travelling with a National Identity card or with a passport that does not have a biometric chip
  • Are coming to the UK for short term study (under six months), or for specific types of work or reasons (if you are a citizen of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea or the United States of America) 

Other passport holders

If you do not hold a passport as detailed above, please go to the left hand side of our arrivals hall. Please ensure you have any visas completed correctly before you get to the border control officer.

Note: your passport must not expire during your visit.

For full details on entry requirements into the UK, visit the Border Force website.

Tips for getting through passport control quickly

If you're ready for passport control then, UK Border Force can get you through without delay. 

  1. Have your passport open at the photo page and remove any holders or covers.
  2. Use ePassport gates if possible. Simply follow the on screen instructions. A member of staff will be on hand to help you.
  3. Please remove all hats and sunglasses.
  4. Stay together if you're travelling as a family.
  5. If you are an EEA citizen, it may be faster to use your passport rather than your EEA National Identity card. You can use the epassport gates and passports are faster for Border Force officers to process.
  6. Passport holders of countries that cannot use e-gates (see paragraph above): Make sure you have your passport ready and keep an eye out for the next available Border Force officer.
  7. Join Registered Traveller if you are an international traveller

More information on how to travel faster through the UK border

Citizens of Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay can now use the Registered Traveller Scheme.

Registered Traveller Service

Fully enrolled Registered Traveller members with a biometric chipped passport can now benefit from using the e-passport gates at Gatwick.

Find out more information about the Registered Traveller Service to see if you are eligible to apply. 

Travelling with an unrelated child or a child with a different surname

If you are travelling with a child - that's anyone under 18 - and are not the child's parent, or may appear not to be the parent (for example, if you have a different family name), the border officer may ask you a few questions to establish your relationship with the child.

It will help avoid confusion if you carry evidence of your relationship with the child and/or the reason why you are travelling with the child.

This evidence could include copies of:

  • a birth or adoption certificate showing your relationship with the child
  • divorce / marriage certificates if you are the parent but have a different surname to the child
  • a letter from the child’s parent/s giving authority for the child to travel with you and providing contact details if you are not the parent.

Please complete our young traveller's form and bring it with you if you're travelling with a child who is not your relative or if you are an unaccompanied minor.

You can also find out more in the Children Travelling to the UK leaflet published on the Border Force website.