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No immigration required to exit UK via Gatwick?

No immigration required to exit UK via Gatwick?

Old Sep 5, 17, 7:16 am
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No immigration required to exit UK via Gatwick?

Just boarded my flight in Gatwich going back to USA. Noticed that I didn't have to go through immigration to exit U.K. at all! Really?
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Old Sep 5, 17, 7:47 am
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There is no routine exit control at any UK airports any more. The government gets information about your departure through API anyway, so it's not a priority.

Some spot checks are apparently conducted now and then, but I've not witnessed that.
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Old Sep 5, 17, 8:02 am
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There hasn't been exit immigration for about 2 decades. Spot checks happen but IME only LHR T3
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Old Sep 5, 17, 8:04 am
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p.s. it's Gatwick, not Gatwich...
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Old Sep 5, 17, 8:53 am
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post
p.s. it's Gatwick, not Gatwich...
Spoilsport! Gatwich might catch on
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Old Sep 5, 17, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
Spoilsport! Gatwich might catch on
Perhaps a good name for the lounge agent met by GCab here.
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Old Sep 5, 17, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
Spoilsport! Gatwich might catch on
It's pronounced "luxury yacht".
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Old Sep 5, 17, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by lax2010 View Post
Just boarded my flight in Gatwich going back to USA. Noticed that I didn't have to go through immigration to exit U.K. at all! Really?
Yes. Exactly the same as when you left the US (assuming your profile is accurate). Neither the UK or US have routine exit passport control.
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Old Sep 5, 17, 11:12 am
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Leaving a country is, of course, emigration rather than immigration. That said, APIS should allow Border Force to match leavers against their previous arrivals. Whether Border Force is competent to do this is another question entirely.
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Old Sep 5, 17, 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
Leaving a country is, of course, emigration rather than immigration. That said, APIS should allow Border Force to match leavers against their previous arrivals. Whether Border Force is competent to do this is another question entirely.
And unlike the US (where the system is good at picking it up), border forces system is terrible at matching up dual citizens.
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Old Sep 5, 17, 5:01 pm
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Scratching my head wondering how I've not realised this before now. How come mainland EU countries are so obsessed with immigration checks, even for EU bound flights? IIRC there aren't any checks when departing Ireland either for EU flights?
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Old Sep 5, 17, 5:22 pm
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Originally Posted by phoneticduck View Post
Scratching my head wondering how I've not realised this before now. How come mainland EU countries are so obsessed with immigration checks, even for EU bound flights? IIRC there aren't any checks when departing Ireland either for EU flights?
Sorry, I think you have misremembered again

Schengen -> UK/IE will require exit controls, but not to other Schengen countries.
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Old Sep 5, 17, 5:23 pm
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Originally Posted by phoneticduck View Post
How come mainland EU countries are so obsessed with immigration checks, even for EU bound flights?


The UK check UK bound (international) flights as well. As do the US. The reason why some don't bother to check departing passenger is explained above. Both the US and the UK use Advanced Passenger Information System and have the identities of departing passengers transmitted by airlines to check who left, who stayed, etc.

As far as EU member states go, the Schengen countries don't do any immigration checks for flights within the Schengen area. If it weren't for airlines (that want to see if the passenger is actually the one in the reservation), you could just walk up to the gate and board a Schengen flight. Only flights that leave the Schengen area will be subjected to an exit control (so no different from other nations).

I didn't not follow the debate regarding the Passenger Name Record (PNR) that will EU member states will have to transpose by May '18, but I doubt that it will change much to the current form of exit control, which is - globally speaking - still very common.
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Old Sep 5, 17, 6:02 pm
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Originally Posted by phoneticduck View Post
Scratching my head wondering how I've not realised this before now. How come mainland EU countries are so obsessed with immigration checks, even for EU bound flights? IIRC there aren't any checks when departing Ireland either for EU flights?
EU countries are not. By way of example, the UK is an EU Member State, at least for the moment and as you point out does not have a formal exit check.

Schengen members are not obsessed but required by the implementing regulation to stamp passports on arrival into and departure from Schengen. That is the only way of noting how long an individual has been in Schengen and whether the individual has overstayed.

Even though a requirement, countries such as Italy are less than faithful in exit stamps.
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Old Sep 6, 17, 1:27 am
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Originally Posted by cpdc1030 View Post
Sorry, I think you have misremembered again

Schengen -> UK/IE will require exit controls, but not to other Schengen countries.
I should have framed the question better. I am questioning the imbalance. UK/IE ->Schengen doesn't get checked. Seems APIS is the answer but I'd wonder why if it's good enough for UK/US why not for the Schengen lot?
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