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Which Queue to Join at Airport Arrival in the U.K.?

Which Queue to Join at Airport Arrival in the U.K.?

Old Jan 2, 14, 3:20 pm
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Which Queue to Join at Airport Arrival in the U.K.?

Hi all, I have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. Which queue am I entitled to join at the airport on arrival to the UK?

British and member states of the EU or the EEA passport holders
Or, other passport holders, the non-EU queue.

This is very confusing, a number of airports, such as Manchester Airport, say on their websites that "if you are resident in the UK and there is no time limit on your residency (Indefinite Leave to Enter or Remain) and you have fully completed your landing card or if you hold a Certificate of Entitlement to Right of Abode in the UK, you can use the EU queue". Please see the following link: http://www.manchesterairport.co.uk/m...ntent/Arriving

Thanks in advance for your help
Sami
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Old Jan 2, 14, 7:16 pm
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What is confusing?
It's all pretty clear: you can use the EU line. What makes you think you can't?
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Old Jan 2, 14, 9:47 pm
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samitar7637, welcome to FlyerTalk!

For further discussion, I'll move the thread to the U.K./Ireland forum. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, TravelBuzz.
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Old Jan 3, 14, 3:49 am
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Originally Posted by UAPremExecflyer View Post
What is confusing?
It's all pretty clear: you can use the EU line. What makes you think you can't?
Could it be because the line says British and EU/EEA passport holders and the OP does not have a British or EU/EEA passport?
IMO, it is indeed not at all obvious which line a third country national with ILR should use. Going by the signs, they would suggest the non-EU line. However, I can see why the EU/EEA line can make sense too.
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Old Jan 3, 14, 8:08 am
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I don't believe there are any laws about EU vs non-EU lines, and I believe it's up to each unit how they organise things... i.e., whether or not they have separate lines at all (NWI doesn't), and how they handle those with ILR, or non-EU citizens travelling with EU spouses.

So - the answer is likely to be different for different airports, and the only way to find out is to check with each airport!
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Old Jan 3, 14, 10:33 am
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I have ILR. At Heathrow, I am directed to use the non-EU line.

As Aviatrix says, not sure there are specific rules, and the airports probably set their own.
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Old Jan 3, 14, 11:38 am
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Originally Posted by GregWTravels View Post
I have ILR. At Heathrow, I am directed to use the non-EU line.
+1. Prior to getting his British citizenship, my other half was always told to use the non-EU line when returning to the UK with ILR and his non-EU passport (except when we travelled together and we could go through the EU line as a couple)
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Old Jan 3, 14, 1:07 pm
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Originally Posted by GregWTravels View Post
I have ILR. At Heathrow, I am directed to use the non-EU line.

As Aviatrix says, not sure there are specific rules, and the airports probably set their own.
+2

It's not at all obvious. Generally I'm pointed to the non-EU line, but then on (rare) occasion I've been told I could have used the EU line. To be safe, I've always gone non-EU. I've never seen that MAN advisory, but it's good to know (not that I've come back through MAN since bmi stopped its transatlantics via there!)

Do you remember when there was a separate (not well signposted line) for visa/PR/ILR holders? It was only at a few of the LHR terminals. I wish they'd bring that back in, now that IRIS is gone, and I can neither use the biometric line (despite having a biometric passport) nor the Registered Traveller Scheme
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Old Jan 3, 14, 11:23 pm
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Can I add a question to this post for my cousin's wife

She just recieved Italian citizenship in Italy but did not have to time to stay and get a passport and will not be getting an Italian passport anytime soon, but she does have her Italian ID card noting her citizenship.

She will most likely be coming over to Italy for a visit, through LHR going to LGW for a connecting flight.

Should she enter the EU line with her American passport and EU ID card or just use the non-EU line with her American pp and not mention the EU?

Going in from Italy to LGW it was not a problem in the past but this is the first time she is having to transit the opposite way.

BTW Getting the Italian passport is not an option for a while so no, that is not an option.

Just curious. Thanks for reading.

Last edited by FlyingHoustonian; Jan 3, 14 at 11:35 pm
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Old Jan 4, 14, 3:01 am
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You can travel to non-Schengen countries within the EU/EEA with an official ID card. But I will leave others to comment further, as, coming from a country with a deep suspicion of government ID, I've never used this method!
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Old Jan 4, 14, 3:28 am
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As stut says - a government identity card is ALL that is required for travel within the EU. Nothing to do with Schengen - it's something that predates Schengen by about three decades. Nothing even to do with the EU - government IDs were accepted by countries such as Austria and the Scandinavian countries long before these countries joined the EU, and Switzerland has also always accepted them.

So - FlyingHoustonian's relative won't need her US passport at all to enter the UK, she can leave it in her pocket and enter the UK as an Italian citizen using her Italian identity card. And unless she intends to travel further afield as an Italian citizen there is really no need to apply for a passport at all.
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Old Jan 6, 14, 5:26 pm
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All EU/EEA lanes are set up to process travellers with any passport, as foreigners travelling with a British or other European spouse may use those lanes. However it seems that MAN is an anomaly when it comes to letting ILR holders use the EEA queue on their own.

Each time someone with ILR enters the UK, the immigration officer must reassess whether their ILR is still valid, i.e. that they are still resident in the UK. If the person indicates that (s)he is not resident in the UK and that their non-residence is not temporary and lasting less than 2 years, the ILR should be cancelled and the person either denied entry or given leave to remain as a visitor.

I expect the majority people with ILR will only hold it for 12 months before applying for British citizenship (which can take a few more months), so it isn't the end of the world. If you are at the front of the plane the non-EU queue may be faster anyway.

If you aren't a US citizen and not travelling with one, see what happens if you try to enter the US in the citizen's lines.
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Old Jan 7, 14, 1:57 pm
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
I expect the majority people with ILR will only hold it for 12 months before applying for British citizenship (which can take a few more months), so it isn't the end of the world. If you are at the front of the plane the non-EU queue may be faster anyway.
Not a fair assumption - there are many reasons why you might hold a foreign passport for an extended period of time, none of which are detrimental to the UK. e.g. I've had ILR for 38 years, and fully intend to live, work, invest, and be taxed in the UK for another 38 or more; I would dearly love to take up British citizenship, but my country of origin does not allow dual nationality, and the Home Office does not lie if asked, so what if I need to return for a "longer-than-tourist-visa" period for reasons outside of my control e.g. an elderly relative?

In my last 38 years of flying, I can count on one hand the number of times the non-EU queue is faster than the EU queue. Have you tried arriving back to LHR on a Thursday or Friday night? Or landing when you're not exactly the very first red-eye arrival of the morning? T5 at 11pm on a Friday night after a spot of wind, snow or rain makes MIA and ORD seem like child's play...

I'm not asking for special treatment, but (a) IRIS was efficient and not broke, so why remove it, and (b) why is the Registered Traveller Scheme open only to, errr, white ex-colonies and Japan, as opposed to ILRs who pay tax in the UK?
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Old Jan 7, 14, 2:29 pm
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kt74, you're making some very valid points here. Have you tried contacting your MP about the issue? He/she is your MP, even if you're not able to vote.
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Old Jan 8, 14, 2:18 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingHoustonian View Post
Can I add a question to this post for my cousin's wife

She just recieved Italian citizenship in Italy but did not have to time to stay and get a passport and will not be getting an Italian passport anytime soon, but she does have her Italian ID card noting her citizenship.

She will most likely be coming over to Italy for a visit, through LHR going to LGW for a connecting flight.

Should she enter the EU line with her American passport and EU ID card or just use the non-EU line with her American pp and not mention the EU?

Going in from Italy to LGW it was not a problem in the past but this is the first time she is having to transit the opposite way.

BTW Getting the Italian passport is not an option for a while so no, that is not an option.

Just curious. Thanks for reading.
Her Italian ID card will be absolutely fine on its own in the EU queue.
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