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Assuming an American, Aussie or Kiwi (etc.) presents themselves at the UK border, the landing interview goes perfectly and there's nothing funny about them, about how much time will the officer usually spend checking stuff on the computer?

In other words, how long is it on average from the officer scanning the passport to issuing the entry stamp?

Does it vary between airports (e.g. Heathrow) and seaports (e.g. Calais)?

  • It's been a long time (maybe 15 years) since the last time I entered the UK with a US passport, but when I did so, the entire landing interview probably took about a minute. I'll leave it to someone with more recent experience to post an actual answer. – phoog Feb 1 at 12:50
  • Is the question about the entire landing interview or scanning the passport on the computer? – cHiEf Immigration vIoLaTer Feb 1 at 15:30
  • I'm not sure that there's any data on this besides anecdotal experience. I entered at Paris (Eurostar) with a US passport last year. He scanned the passport, asked me three times if I was going to work. I said no three times. He tapped some keys. Stamped my passport. Maybe 30-45 seconds all told. – Zach Lipton Feb 1 at 19:28
  • Starting later this year US passport holders (among many others) will be able to use the smart gates. In this case you won't have a landing interview at all. – Michael Hampton Feb 1 at 23:28
  • @HonoraryWorldCitizen Just the computer aspect (scanning and checking data) – Crazydre Feb 2 at 0:51
2

Unless this is a trick question, the answer is:

  • From about 30 seconds to about two minutes.

If any longer than that, there is some problem or other.

  • Or if you have extensive travel history or a common name. As someone with both it usually takes me 3-5 minutes to clear UK immigration with a US passport. – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Feb 1 at 21:51

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