LHR Passport Control

Old Jun 4, 03, 2:19 pm
  #1  
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LHR Passport Control

I have a British Passport, but my wife and 2 young kids have American & Turkish passports.

Can we all go through the Brit passport line together, do we have to split up, or can I go through the non Brit line with them?

(Sorry it's not BA related, but I am banking on a lot of Brits with the same problem!)
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Old Jun 4, 03, 2:36 pm
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Hi PP

I am afraid they will not be allowed to go through the UK/EU line with you. You will be allowed to go through the non-EU line with them but you may get soem funny looks by the person sat at the entrance to the line.
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Old Jun 4, 03, 3:55 pm
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The immigration officers have absolutely no problems with British passport holders going through the non-EU queue. As CT-UK says, though, the queue managers sometimes have a different idea. If they cause you trouble and insist on you splitting up from them, you can be equally insistent on staying together. Eventually they give in. That's my experience, anyway.
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Old Jun 4, 03, 5:35 pm
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"If they cause you trouble and insist on you splitting up from them, you can be equally insistent on staying together. Eventually they give in. That's my experience, anyway."

You could of course all go through the EU queue. Apparantly, the IO at the desk has to serve anyone who turns up regardless of whether they have a EU passport or not

Dave
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Old Jun 4, 03, 5:56 pm
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You're not supposed to go through the EU queue but you can get away with it.
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Old Jun 5, 03, 3:10 am
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My sister does not hold a GB passport but since she was born in the UK she has right of abode. She always gets strange looks when she goes through the EU line and only when they see her place of birth do they say ok.

She's quite adamant that she wants to retain her current citizenship instead of being British.
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Old Jun 5, 03, 3:15 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Dave Noble:
[B
You could of course all go through the EU queue. Apparantly, the IO at the desk has to serve anyone who turns up regardless of whether they have a EU passport or not

Dave[/B]</font>
Dave, I don't know the rules but I have seen people turned away even after a lenghty argument. I even heard the reason once as this desk does not have the relevemt stamp to let you in.....

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Old Jun 5, 03, 3:50 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by CT-UK:
Dave, I don't know the rules but I have seen people turned away even after a lenghty argument. I even heard the reason once as this desk does not have the relevemt stamp to let you in.....

</font>
Im fairly sure that all IOs have stamps, they just don't tend to need them in the EU queue. I have heard it reported that an IO cannot refuse to process an immigration regardless of the queue, but having a UK passport have never had the need to test it out

Dave

[This message has been edited by Dave Noble (edited 06-05-2003).]
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Old Jun 5, 03, 4:45 am
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1) I've seen people turned back at the EU immigration posts in Heathrow

2) I can't believe that an IO HAS to process someone, given that it's way more complex for them to admit a non-EU passenger (in the vast majority of circumstances).

Infact, i'm sure we (EU Passport holders) would have noticed if point 2 didn't apply - the usual stream of just flashing your passport & being waved through would soon come to a grinding halt. After all, that's why there's usually just 2 booths open for EU arrivals and up to a dozen for non-EU arrivals, isn't it?
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Old Jun 5, 03, 4:54 am
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I'm sure that if there's no queue and it's an easy non-EU passport to process, the IO at the EU desk might make an exception. But I too have seen non-EU passport holders turned away and told to join the non-EU queue.

At LHR and (I think) LGW, there is a practice where a person holding a non-EU passport but who already has indefinite leave to remain in the UK, and who is travelling with an EU passport holder, can use the EU lane. (I have recently asked specifically about this at T4 because of my personal circumstances at the moment.) The reason is that the person who has ILR will almost certainly be admitted without question and without necessarily even needing to have their passport stamped again, although that is often done.

Interestingly, an IO at STN told me in equally certain terms last December that they did not run this concession there, although they were aware that LHR did. (A bonkers attitude, if you ask me.)

Also, a person who does not hold an EU passport but has the right of abode in the UK (this is a different status from ILR) and has that properly certified in their passport (usually by a "certificate of entitlement") is entitled to be admitted without more - no passport stamp is necessary or given. They are equally quick to process and are normally permitted to use the EU queue.
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Old Jun 5, 03, 5:55 am
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Theory and practice do not always match.

A British citizen with a right of abode has a legal entitlement to enter the UK whether or not they have or show a passport, whereas they have no right to leave without a passport (for historical reasons leaving the country requires the consent of the Crown).

Is it not curious then, that the passport checks are on inbound rather than outbound passengers ? Before I am flamed, the reasons are obvious, but it is - from a legal standpoint - a curious anomaly.
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Old Jun 5, 03, 6:19 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Frequentflyer99:
A British citizen with a right of abode has a legal entitlement to enter the UK whether or not they have or show a passport, whereas they have no right to leave without a passport (for historical reasons leaving the country requires the consent of the Crown).</font>
I am pretty confident that neither of these positions is, or is any longer, true.

On entry, the only methods of proving a right of abode which an IO is required to accept are either a United Kingdom passport showing the person to be a British citizen or a "citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies" having the right of abode, or a certificate of entitlement to the right of abode - section 3(9) of the Immigration Act 1971.

Also, section 1(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 provides that anyone with the right of abode "shall be free to live in, and to come and go into and from the United Kingdom without let or hindrance". Macdonald's Immigration Law and Practice says "there is certainly, except in the limited situation referred to below, no power to prevent the person's departure for any immigration reason" (the limited situation being orders under emergency powers, which have never been made) - see paragraph 4.39 of the fifth edition. It is likely that a requirement of the Crown's consent to departure of a British citizen from the country would now be regarded as a breach of human rights norms. There is a power to check your identity and nationality, but that is not quite the same thing.

There actually used to be signs up in the immigration area on departure (when departure controls still existed) warning people that if they decided to depart without a valid passport, they were likely to face difficulties at their destination and on re-entry to the UK.

[This message has been edited by Globaliser (edited 06-05-2003).]
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Old Jun 5, 03, 6:25 am
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I would hope that Immigration send non-EU Passport holders to the non-EU section. Why should I be held up because someone is in the "wrong" queue? Given the lenghty queues we suffer trying to enter countries such as the US, I would hope that we are not overly lenient.
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Old Jun 5, 03, 6:45 am
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I think, but correct me if I'm wrong...

"Right to Abode", generally by birth, should be able to use the "EU" line

"Indefinite leave to remain" should generally use the "All Other Passports" line. However, at certain terminals, there is a special line for permanent residents and visa holders. eg, apparently the special line at LHR T1 has been in operation since last August, although I never noticed it until 2 months ago... Not sure which other terminals or airports have this line, but would love to know... Anyone???
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Old Jun 5, 03, 6:53 am
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I have asked my husband whilst this is not his actual line of work, he does get involved with such matters.

Don't try it was the response. There is a reason. The EU line is really just an ID check as technically anyone can travel within the EU with National ID cards only. Brits have to show passports as we do not have Identity Cards. Thus it is a fast track cursury glance service, and would not deal with non-EU passports, as they have to be stamped. They would be sent back to the non-EU line.

Sorry I know that is not the answer that you would like. In addition, delay in that EU line causes commotions from those delayed behind. They do not discuss the matter.

It is actually quite frightening the power that IOs have. They are ususally very fair, and very accommodatating but they have procedures, and this would be outside those.




[This message has been edited by PUCCI GALORE (edited 06-06-2003).]
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