I suppose the different entry channels might imply different answers, but the more information, the better.

  • If you use the e-gates I believe they do face recognition based on the biometrics stored in the e-passport. Wikipedia states this is done manually by an officer comparing the two but that seems pretty weird to me.
    – jcaron
    Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 12:08
  • @jcaron It's face recognition with a manual backup if the faces don't match. That's what the officers sitting at the desk behind the gates in most airports are doing, I believe.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 12:47
  • Are all American passports e-passports? And for Americans are the egates mandatory? Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 15:44
  • All US passports issued since August 2007 have been e-passports. The e-gates are not mandatory; you can go to a staffed desk if you prefer, but you may be asked why you chose not to use the e-gate. I don't know the retention policy of the images captured by the e-gates, but it's probably the same as for the image taken from your passport's chip, which will also be done at the staffed desk. Travelers between 12 and 17 years old may only use the gates if traveling in the company of an adult; travelers 11 and younger may not use them.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


Nope—don't think so. Not unless you already have a biometric visa to begin with.

Edit I (US Citizen) did a Master's in the UK and had a biometric visa, so they had my prints. But whenever I just enter for kicks, I never get fingerprinted. Maybe this has changed due to Brexit. Last I entered was March 2020.

  • Thanks, I didn't think so either, but what is your answer based on? I'm asking to double check because my friend has said there are. Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 11:01
  • Are you excluding the passport check itself gov.uk/government/publications/coming-to-the-uk/…
    – Traveller
    Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 11:28
  • 1
    "just enter for kicks" - what does this mean? Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 12:07
  • 1
    @RichardBeasley He's saying that when he enters UK for fun/tourist purposes, they never fingerprint him Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 13:05
  • 1
    @JosephP. Yes and I have been back twice since then Commented Jun 20, 2020 at 16:22

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