Blog: travel tips week eight

This week’s tips look at the immigration process, and how to have a smooth arrival in to Manchester Airport.

Passport control is handled and staffed by UK Border Force, but the airport works closely with them as they aim for passengers to have a friendly and speedy journey through passport control.

At immigration, arriving passengers will need to follow signs to the correct lane for them, there are two options to choose from - one for British, European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), Swiss, American, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea nationals and a second for all other nationalities.

The Government recently brought in new legislation to allow passengers from more countries to use the eGgates. This means citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States can now use the automated gates alongside EU and UK citizens for a faster, safe and secure way to enter the UK.

The gates use facial recognition technology to compare your face to the digital image recorded in your passport. The gates are monitored by Border Force officers and if you’re rejected at the gates you will be sent to a manned desk to have your passport checked.

You can use the eGates if you have the biometric symbol on the front cover of your passport, are aged over 12 (12-17 must be accompanied by an adult) and are from an eligible country. Those travelling with children under 12, with a national ID card or coming to the UK for short term study (under 6 months) or certain types of work will need to go to the desks to see a UK Border Force officer.

If you’re travelling as a family, make sure you keep together as you move through passport control and use the family lanes provided.

To make sure you get through immigration smoothly, have your passport open at the photo page ready for scanning, remove your hat and your glasses if you’re not wearing them on your passport photo, and for security reasons, please do not take photos in the immigration hall.

UK Border Force and Manchester Airport aim to get all British, European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), Swiss, American, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea nationals passengers through passport control in under 25 minutes, and all other nationalities passengers in 45 minutes. If you want to get through even faster, you can pre-purchase passport control fast track to get access to a dedicated lane and a faster route to passport control. To book this visit: https://www.manchesterairport.co.uk/at-the-airport/security-fasttrack/

As well as checking the passports of everyone arriving into Manchester Airport, UK Border Force has a host of other responsibilities including searching baggage, vehicles and cargo for illicit goods or illegal immigrants, gathering intelligence and alerting the police and security services to people of interest. For more information about UK Border Force, head to https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/border-force