Using e-passport gates
This page explains how passengers can use our e-passport gates to enter the UK quickly through automated barriers at some airports.
E-passport gates are a secure and convenient self-service alternative to the conventional border control process.
The system uses facial recognition technology to compare your face to the photograph recorded on the 'chip' in your passport. Once the checks are made, the gates will open automatically for you to go through.
You do not need to enrol for this service.
Which airports have e-passport gates?
E-passport gates are in operation at the following UK airports:
- Birmingham International terminal 1
- East Midlands
- Gatwick north terminal
- Gatwick south terminal
- Heathrow terminals 1, 3, 4 and 5
- Manchester terminals 1 and 2
Who can use the gates?
You can use the gates if:
- you are a passport holder of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) - including the UK - or Switzerland; and
- your EEA passport has this logo. You cannot use the gates with a national identity card instead of a passport.
You must be aged 18 or over, unless otherwise stated on airport signs.
How to use the gates
Place your passport firmly on the scanner, ensuring the photograph is face down. If your passport is in a cover, please remove it before placing it on the passport reader.
When indicated, remove your e-passport and step forward into the booth, positioning your feet on the markings on the floor.
Remove your glasses and look straight at the camera - the booth will match your face to the photograph held in the chip in your passport. You can exit through the glass doors when they open.
If the system rejects you, please see the border officer at the desk who will provide a manual check.
The gates' operating times vary, but they will be available during busy periods.
The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Although Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are not members of the European Union (EU), their citizens have the same rights as EU citizens to enter, live in and work in the UK.