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A family member is visiting the UK but he doesn’t speak English. I know that he will need to fill out a landing card when he arrives at Gatwick, since he is not an EU/EEA national. He has a tourist visa.

I have a leftover blank landing card from a previous visit (in the last year or so). Can I fill out this landing card in advance for him (he would sign it), so he can just use that one when he arrives?

I am just not sure if certain airports accept only certain landing cards, or if they are the same for all airports and can therefore be used anywhere. I know that they may be in different language but I don’t think that matters? Besides that, I believe the only difference between them is the number at the back that is “for the official use”.

  • Yes you can fill it and give it to your family in advance. They use the same format on all airports. – Hanky Panky Jun 23 '18 at 12:53
  • @HankyPanky That sounds like an answer to me. – DJClayworth Jun 23 '18 at 13:45
  • @DJClayworth Although I am 100% sure that the landing card can be used that way but I can't find any authoritative resources to back up that claim. It will be a very weak answer if challenged. – Hanky Panky Jun 24 '18 at 16:26
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When I lived in London and did frequent trips to Europe, a friend in a similar position tired of all the landing cards.

As a result, he found a copy online, typed in his details as much as they wouldn't differ from flight to flight, and printed himself out several copies.

He continued to use them for years, at various UK airports without a comment, apart from a raised eyebrow or too at the fact he went to the effort of printing them :)

As a result, filling out an old one won't be a problem unless they change them, in which case they'll more than likely say something along the lines of 'oh that's out of date, not sure where you got it, please fill this one out instead.'.

  • Thanks! That’s unusual because landing cards also have a unique number I believe, which these copies wouldn’t, but good to know this works as well. By the way, I filled the leftover card for my family member and he used it to enter the UK. No issues at the border. – Marco H Jul 22 '18 at 17:40
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I have a leftover blank landing card from a previous visit (in the last year or so). Can I fill out this landing card in advance for him (he would sign it), so he can just use that one when he arrives?

You can print out a form for him and you could go over it together with him (via Skype if your not in the same country). But I would avoid filling it out for him with only his signature needed if there are any customs or immigration related questions on it (such as: are you bringing any food with you, are you carrying large amounts of money in excess of ____).

A customs declaration form is a legal form and he needs to be aware of what he’s signing agreement to. If he brings in something he shouldn’t, it would be bad for him (and slightly bad for you) for him to try to avoid penalty by arguing he just signed a form that someone else gave him and that he hadn’t read. That would likely lead to his entire suitcase being tossed and him being questioned in secondary.

But if it's simply a disembarkation card that only asks him what airline he flew on, what his passport number is, where he flew in from, and how many members of the family are with him, then it should be ok to pre-fill out.

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    The UK landing card doesn't ask any questions about what you're bringing in with you. This answer appears to be about a different country. – djr Jul 8 '18 at 10:16
  • Ah, ok. If it’s just a disembarkation card and not a customs form then there should not be a problem prefilling it out. – RoboKaren Jul 8 '18 at 12:09
  • I clarified my answer to make it clear it refers to customs declaration forms. – RoboKaren Jul 9 '18 at 2:21

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