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I have a flight from Copenhagen arriving at Heathrow in a few weeks. I'd like to ask if anyone here has flown into Heathrow lately and what is their experience in terms of time clearing immigration for non-UK citizens and questions asked by the border police.

Thanks!

  • Make sure to keep an eye on gov.uk/uk-border-control in the run up to the trip, the rules on arriving into the UK do keep changing, and the list of "safe" countries where you don't need to do the 14 days self-isolation alters almost weekly based on virus numbers! That also has the link to the Passenger Locator Form you need to complete – Gagravarr Aug 19 '20 at 7:57
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    You're flying from Copenhagen, fine. But do we just assume you're a Danish citizen, or will you tell us? :) – Chris Melville Aug 19 '20 at 11:32
  • @ChrisMelville I'm a Philippine national with a Danish residence permit because of my status as a Ph.D. student at the University of Copenhagne. I've been here since March this year to attend Ph.D. courses but got stuck because the flights I booked on two different airlines from Copenhagen to Manila got canceled. – Eliza Aug 19 '20 at 13:15
  • @Gagravarr I do keep abreast of which countries remain in the safe countries list by the UK. Denmark has so far done a great job keeping the infection rate low and stable, although there have been spikes in some cities lately. – Eliza Aug 19 '20 at 13:22
  • @Eliza According to recent posts in this very long thread on FlyerTalk, the 14 day rolling measure is the one the UK mostly considers, and Denmark has been above the 30+ danger zone for the last few days now. Might be OK for this week's announcement (likely tomorrow), but iffy for next week if it stays up there.... – Gagravarr Aug 19 '20 at 22:25
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I landed in T5 at Heathrow earlier this month and have a non EU passport. The queue in front of me was fairly short (4-5 people) and there were just two immigration officers. It took a bit longer than usual for a queue of that size because the officers were checking the passenger locator forms, and in my case it took about 10 minutes.

After they moved many non-EU nationalities to e-gates (June 2019) but before the pandemic, I used to get through in less than 2 minutes because there were more officers back then.

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    SgrA mentioned the Passenger Locator form. You are supposed to complete this on line before arrival and show the Immigration Officer the acknowledgement e-mail on your phone or hard copy. If you have not done this you will be required to complete it before Immigration will allow you to proceed. – canonacer Aug 19 '20 at 6:17
  • @canonacer yeah, I'm aware of that. I plan to do so as advised by the UK Home Office, which is 48 hours before my flight. – Eliza Aug 19 '20 at 13:17
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My wait time was longer than SgrA. Last time I was at Heathrow was before COVID19, and was traveling with non EU passport. Line had at least 150 people, but some those people travelled together. For them, more than one person cleared each time.

6 separate immigration counters (one officer at each counter) were running, but I waited at least one hour in that queue before seeing officer.

Next to line is waiting area or penalty box. I saw immigration officers asking people seat there and wait. Then officers went to back and went to some door and disappeared, probably to investigate things? After they are done, they come back and fetch you in waiting area. Thus if you have to wait in penalty box, you will wait even longer!

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