Using ePassport gates at airport border control

If you have a biometric ‘chipped’ passport, you can use the automated ePassport gates instead of having your passport checked by a Border Force officer. This means you can avoid the queues and get through passport control more quickly. Find out what the gates are and how to use them.

ePassport gates and who can use them

To help speed up your time at passport control, there are now ePassport gates at all major airports in the UK.

ePassport gates are automated, where a passport reader and camera, rather than a border officer, will verify your identity and check your ‘chipped’ passport.

The gates use facial recognition technology to compare your face to the photograph recorded on the ‘chip’ in your passport. Once the check is made successfully, the gate opens automatically for you to walk through.

To use the ePassport gates, you must have a ‘chipped’ biometric UK, EU, EEA or Swiss passport. These ePassports have the biometric logo on the front cover.

Fully-enrolled members of the Registered Traveller Service (who hold a biometric passport) can use the ePassport gates.

How to use the ePassport gates

Remove anything that could obscure your face and make it difficult to compare you with your passport photograph, like sunglasses, hats or scarves.

You should:

  • enter the gate when it is available (a green arrow is displayed)
  • open your ePassport to the biographic and picture page
  • place it face down on the reader so it can scan the picture and read the key information (holding it down in place)
  • look straight at the camera directly in front of you
  • stand still until the green light shows it has captured your image successfully
  • remove you passport when instructed (this could take a few seconds)
  • exit the gate

If for any reason you are not allowed to go through the ePassport gates, you will be directed to a dedicated Border Force officer nearby who will be able to process your arrival.

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