Arrival card

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Form 6059B (arrival card)

An arrival card, also known as an incoming passenger card, landing card or disembarkation card, is a legal document used by immigration authorities of many countries to obtain information about incoming passenger not provided by the passenger's passport (such as health, criminal record, where they will be staying, purpose of the visit, etc.) and to provide a record of a person's entry into the country.[1][2][3][4][1] The card may also provide information on health and character requirements for non-citizens entering the country.[5] Some countries require an arrival card for each incoming passenger, while others require one card per family unit, and some only require an arrival card for non-citizens only.

Some countries, such as Singapore and Thailand, attach a departure card to the arrival card, which is retained in the alien's passport until their eventual departure. The arrival card can also be combined with a customs declaration, which some countries require incoming passengers to fill out separately.

Some countries, such as Malaysia,[6] do not require an arrival or departure card. The procedure of compiling information from immigration cards is no longer required by United States authorities following the introduction of the biometric recording system by the United States Customs and Border Protection.[3][7] There is minimal cross-border formality between a number of countries, most notably those in the passport-free travel area of Europe's Schengen Zone.[8]

The requirement to produce an arrival card is usually in addition to provision of a passport or other travel document, and sometimes a customs declaration.

Information on the card itself[edit]

The information requested varies by country. Typically the information requested on the arrival card includes:

  • Full name
  • Nationality
  • Date of birth
  • Passport number, place of issuance and expiration date
  • Flight number or name of aircraft, ship or vehicle
  • Purpose of trip: vacation, education/study, visiting relatives/families, business, diplomatic
  • Duration of stay
  • Destination (next stop of disembarkation)
  • Address in country
  • Information on items being bought into the country which may be of interest to customs and quarantine authorities

Travellers are generally required to sign, date, and declare the information is true, correct, and complete.

United Kingdom[edit]

Non-EEA citizens are required to complete a landing card on entry to the United Kingdom. The traveller must present the completed form at the UK Visas and Immigration desk at the point of entry. The form is usually supplied by the airline, train or ferry company.[9]

In the UK, the landing card system is governed by the Immigration Act 1971, schedule 2 paragraph 5, which states;[10]


The Secretary of State decides, by issuing a Statutory Instrument, which nationalities must complete a landing card. Currently all EU nationals, and those from Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, are exempt. Failure to complete a landing card when this is required is a crime punishable by a fine or six months in prison.[14]

In August 2017, the UK Home Office announced that landing cards will be completely scrapped as part of digital border transformation and modernisation. It was expected this change would come into effect by the autumn, [15] but as of August 2018, they are still required on entry to the UK.

Notably absent from the landing card are information on the purpose of the trip, destination or any items brought into the country. Additional information requested from travellers is their occupation and the port of their last departure.[16][17][18]

UKVI officers staff the UK border at London Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5, where landing cards are turned in

See also[edit]