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A US citizen has been visiting the UK 4 or 5 times a year for either personal or business reasons. He is tired of the same procedure of filling out a landing card and waiting in the queue for his landing interview. He doesn't want to do it any more. He says that the procedure is a meaningless drudgery in his case and may curtail his visits because of this.

Is there any way he can get relief?

  • 2
    Interesting question. +1 – Burhan Khalid Jul 15 '15 at 19:09
  • 2
    Asking for a friend – blackbird Jul 15 '15 at 19:25
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    At least you don't have someone that NEVER smiles, with a gun, just waiting to shoot for any reason they can come up with, you asking you the questions unlike when someone arrives in the USA! – Ian Ringrose Jul 15 '15 at 20:09
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    Fly into Ireland, then fly from Ireland to Heathrow, where you'd exit through Customs but bypass Immigration? – Gagravarr Jul 15 '15 at 20:10
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    One might also say, given that UK citizens aren't allowed to enrol for Global Entry, that your friend should be forced to stand in a boring queue each time just like all UK citizens heading westwards are forced to, and they need to lobby their elected representatives to get that fixed! ;-) – Gagravarr Jul 15 '15 at 20:11
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He can apply for the Registered Traveller service:

Apply for the Registered Traveller service to get through UK border control faster. You won’t need to fill in a landing card.

You can apply if you’re 18 or over and you’re a national of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand or the USA.

One of the following must also be true:

  • you’ve got a visa (but not a Tier 5 concession (Creative and sporting), EEA family permit, discretionary leave or leave outside the rules)
  • you’ve visited the UK 4 times in the last 52 weeks eg for business, education, tourism, education or medical treatment

You’ll be able to use the:

  • ePassport gates if you have a biometric passport
  • faster entry lanes at Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, Heathrow, London City, Manchester and Stansted airports, and Brussels, Lille and Paris Eurostar terminals

It costs £70 to apply to use the service for 1 year. If your application is unsuccessful you’ll get £50 back.

If you’re already a member and you get a new passport, you’ll need to pay £20 to update your passport details. Updating your visa information is free.

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    is there an explanation for why you have to be a frequent visitor? Most other programs allow the applicants to decide if their travels are frequent enough to make using the program "worth it" and don't require a minimum number of visits. – Kate Gregory Jul 15 '15 at 19:24
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    My guess is because UK entry requires an interview to decide eligibility on each case; they use successful passes of the interview as a gauge of how likely you are not to abuse your visitation rights. – Burhan Khalid Jul 15 '15 at 19:26
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    well, I don't need a visa because I'm a Canadian and I only go once or twice a year so I think that means I can't apply. Bummer. I love my Nexus and would be delighted to have a UK equivalent. – Kate Gregory Jul 15 '15 at 21:26
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    you’ve visited the UK 4 times in the last 52 weeks eg for business, education, tourism, education or medical treatment Education is really important. – o0'. Jul 16 '15 at 8:36
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    @Lohoris: "Education, education, education" youtu.be/2kAhChC_qxU – CMaster Jul 16 '15 at 10:34
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I suppose this question could be put more succinctly as Does the United Kingdom have a known traveller programme, like ANZ SmartGate or the North American NEXUS/Global Entry? Indeed, they do: the Registered Traveller service.

Frequent visitors and some visa holders who are adult nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and the US can apply. According to the promotional video, users

  • don't have to fill in landing cards
  • may use faster European Economic Area (EEA) border queues
  • may use ePassport gates at participating UK international ports if they have a biometric passport

Per the website, the express queues are avaialble at Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, Heathrow, London City, Manchester and Stansted airports, and Brussels, Lille and Paris Eurostar terminals. The annual subscription is £70, though if your application is denied, £50 of that will be refunded.

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