I entered the UK from Paris once (riding the Eurostar train), and after the UK border control officer placed an entry stamp in my passport, he added a notation in pen (picture below). What does it mean?

I suspect it is some sort of "warning" (the border control officer was not happy with me, though thankfully did not refuse entry). I've always been curious about what it means more precisely or whether my prediction is even correct. I've entered the UK only once again after getting this stamp. I was admitted then too, but it took a while (the border control officer went away for about 10 minutes to do something before letting me in).

enter image description here

  • 1
    Their badly written initials? ;)
    – Mark Mayo
    Aug 18, 2015 at 3:01
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    He probably went away to find out what that writing was, couldn't find out, and gave up. Aug 18, 2015 at 3:53
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    Generally speaking, for my case, the border officer writes down my UK permit number. I have a residency permit. What passport you have or what visa you had ? And that is a very old stamp, 5 years now. the border control officer went away for about 10 minutes to do something before letting me in, if that happened means you are probably a marked person in their records, because of the first time.
    – DumbCoder
    Aug 18, 2015 at 7:54
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    @MarkMayo, their id/rank is the star and number; no need for initials. It's a one-off code in this case, probably the OP said they were staying for 6 weeks on this visit or he estimated the OP's spent leave or whatever. Honestly, you can ignore it :)
    – Gayot Fow
    Aug 18, 2015 at 16:19
  • 1
    @GayotFow the ';)' indicated a joke :)
    – Mark Mayo
    Aug 19, 2015 at 1:55

3 Answers 3


This is what they refer to as a 'coded landing'. There is a very brief passage about it in the Wiki article, UK Immigration Enforcement. You can also do a Google search on 'coded landing uk' to see where lots of people have experienced anxiety about them.

You can obtain a list of some of the codes using the Freedom of Information Act, others are ad-hoc.

Essentially, they are like 'cookies' that are passed between successive Immigration Officers. It's shorthand for something they wanted to pass along. When you returned again, the IO spotted it and then disappeared for a while to access your stuff on the secured workstation.

The best advice I can give if someone gets a coded landing is: ignore it. If you are playing things straight up, there is nothing to worry about.

Another thing they will write in pen on your stamp is the serial number of your landing card (and more recently, your residence card). They will do this if your visa leads to a settlement status.

You can always make a Subject Access Request to find out what your transcript contains, but it will not change anything and they do not have to disclose whatever attracted the coded landing if they don't want to.

Also, if you see the IO giving you a coded landing, it's fine to deal with it right then and there. To be specific, you can ask "Would you please explain why I am receiving a coded landing?" Or even "Would you please explain the significance of the stamp you have just used and the amendment(s) you have made on it?" or "Does this stamp contain any information or terms I need to be aware of?". They will explain what they think you need to know and make sure that your understanding is complete (it's their job to do that). If there are lots of people in the queue, they will ask you sit in the secured area until they finish with the other customers. What they will NOT do is change their minds about it.

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    "it's fine to deal with it right then and there" -> meaning what? Ask the IO straight up what it means? Aug 18, 2015 at 12:04
  • @jpatokal good point, edited, please see the edit history
    – Gayot Fow
    Aug 18, 2015 at 12:39

IT means 'in transit'. This is given to passengers who are going to stay in the UK for up to 48 hrs only before leaving again. As this is a code 3 landing the successive IO had looked you up to make sure that you had indeed left the UK previously.

  • Is that really likely? The asker was given the stamp when arriving on a Eurostar train from Paris. The only way the asker could have been in transit then is if they were travelling from Paris to London by train to then take a flight out of the UK from a London airport. That's certainly possible but it seems unlikely, since Paris has one of Europe's largest and busiest airports so most people who want to fly somewhere from Paris can just do that without needing to travel to London instead. And simply visiting the UK for less than 48hrs wouldn't constitute transit. Nov 10, 2018 at 14:02
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    @DavidRicherby There are airports that have direct flights from London Heathrow, but not from Paris. I live less than 25 miles from one of them. Jun 12, 2019 at 16:20
  • @PatriciaShanahan True, but taking the Eurostar to London and then another train (or two) to Heathrow or Gatwick sounds quite a bit less convenient than a flight connection, to me. (Obviously, different people have different ideas about what is convenient.) Jun 12, 2019 at 16:25
  • I was indeed "in transit", taking the Eurostar from Paris to catch a flight out of Heathrow the next day. I was intending to fly Paris-->Heathrow, but had to take the Eurostar instead at the last minute because of a Paris transit strike (no train to the airport, no taxi, uber didn't exist at the time). Oct 3, 2022 at 15:52

As above. 'IT' means 'In Transit'. This helps you because it shows you did not stay in the UK on that occasion for more than a few hours. If you transit the UK frequently and didn't have 'IT' showing it could possibly indicate to the Immigration Officer that you were frequently staying in the UK.

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