ePassport gates

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ePassport gates in Heathrow Airport (Terminal 4)
ePassport gates in Heathrow Airport (Terminal 5)

ePassport gates are automated self-service barriers operated by the United Kingdom's Border Force and located at immigration checkpoints in arrival halls in some airports across the UK, offering an alternative to using desks staffed by immigration officers. The gates use facial recognition technology to verify the user's identity against the data stored in the chip in their biometric passport.


At present, British citizens, European Economic Area citizens and Swiss citizens are eligible to use the ePassport gates, provided that they are aged 12 or over and holding biometric passports. Citizens of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States who are enrolled in the Registered Traveller Service[1] can use ePassport gates, provided that they are aged either 18 and over or 12 and over travelling with an adult and holding valid biometric passports.[citation needed]

On 29 October 2018, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced that visitors from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan will be able to use the gates in 2019 if they meet unspecified eligibility guidelines[2].

The ePassport gates accept certain UK, European Union, and European Economic Area national identity cards[3].


To use the ePassport gates, the traveller must have a biometric EEA or Swiss passport or be an eligible citizen enrolled in the Registered Traveller service. These ePassports have the biometric logo on the front cover. The ePassport gate reads all the information contained in the chip inside the passport, while an officer at a control station behind the gates checks that the image captured by the camera matches the one on the passport (facial recognition). [4]


At present, ePassport gates are available at the following locations:

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.gov.uk/registered-traveller
  2. ^ "Australians to be fast-tracked through UK immigration from 2019". ABC News Australia. 29 October 2018. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Entering the UK". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2019-02-09.
  4. ^ "Home Office delivery ofBrexit: immigration - Home Affairs Committee - House of Commons". publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2018-02-14.