The Border Force website houses useful information about travelling through the border including advice on how you can prepare yourself so that you’re processed as quickly as possible. Click here to read the guide.
Top 10 tips for travellers entering the UK
1. Passports and travel documents
Always produce a valid passport or travel document for yourself and any child you are travelling with. If you have a different family name or you are not the child's parent, we may ask for proof of your relationship or a letter of travel consent from the parent.
eGates are an automated self service option that eligible travellers can use at passport control at 15 ports and Eurostar terminals. They are a quicker way to cross the border. The ePassport gates use facial recognition technology to check your identity against the photo in your passport.
Have your passport ready to help speed up your immigration process. See below if you are eligible to use the electronic immigration gates.
Who can use eGates?
- Citizens of the UK, EU, EEA countries (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland), Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States of America who are 12+ and hold a biometric passport
- or members of the Registered Traveller service
Travellers will still need to see an officer if they are:
- travelling with children under 12 years
- travelling on their National Identity card or with a passport that does not have a biometric chip
- coming to the UK for short term study (under six months), specific types of work or reasons (if they are from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States of America)
- holders of Tier 5 Creative and Sporting Certificate of Sponsorship (up to 3 months) or
- those due to undertake a Permitted Paid Engagement
- family members of an EEA national seeking to join them in the UK
3. False or misleading information
Never give false or misleading information (including false receipts or documents) to a UK Border Force Officer.
4. Rules on restricted or banned items
Just because an item is on sale in another country, it does not mean that it can be brought to the UK. You need to be aware of the rules on restricted or banned items.
You are not allowed to bring endangered animals and plants, including products made from them, into the UK unless you have a permit.
5. Counterfeit goods, drugs or offensive weapons
Never bring in counterfeit goods, drugs, offensive weapons (including knives) or indecent or obscene material.
6. Large sums of cash
You must declare any sums of cash of 10,000 euros or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you are travelling from a country outside the European Union.
For more information, please click here.
7. Prescription medicines
You may need a licence to carry some prescription medicines into the UK.
8. Restrictions on food products
There are restrictions on food products that you can bring into the UK from outside the European Union, even for personal use. For example, you cannot bring in meat or dairy products. Restrictions also apply to fish products, egg and honey products, and some fruit and vegetables.
9. Tobacco, alcohol, and gifts
There are allowances on the amount of goods such as tobacco, alcohol, and gifts you can bring into the UK.
10. Carrying banned items may face a penalty
If you are unsure of any item you are carrying, you must speak to a UK Border Force Officer.
Remember: Carrying items that are banned or for which you don't have a licence or permit is illegal - if you are caught smuggling, you could face severe delays and penalties, including imprisonment.
For more details on all restrictions please click here.
11. International students
Are you from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea or the USA and coming to the UK to study for up to 6 months? Find out what you need to do on arrival: www.gov.uk/border force/fastertravel