Has anyone returned from an EU/EEA airport back to the UK (passport Q)

Howardfh

Member
Your date of arrival and departure should be logged, I read it has to be via a "wet stamp" on your passport Travelling from the United Kingdom to Spain (aena run many Spanish airports) so that they know if you have overstayed the 90/180 rule (thanks a ton, Brexit).

So my question is, what is the protocol for getting your passport stamped at your departure airport? Has anyone returning had difficulties getting that done, or do we now have special gates/areas as a third country?

I'm assuming when the ETIAS comes in (thanks, Brexit) that will all be done electronically inbound, but not the foggiest what will happen on return?
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
Yes we returned from the EU. My wife and daughters travelled on their British passports and it was stamped on entry and on exit.
 

Colin London

Well-known Member
Your date of arrival and departure should be logged, I read it has to be via a "wet stamp" on your passport Travelling from the United Kingdom to Spain (aena run many Spanish airports) so that they know if you have overstayed the 90/180 rule (thanks a ton, Brexit).

So my question is, what is the protocol for getting your passport stamped at your departure airport? Has anyone returning had difficulties getting that done, or do we now have special gates/areas as a third country?

I'm assuming when the ETIAS comes in (thanks, Brexit) that will all be done electronically inbound, but not the foggiest what will happen on return?
Yes - you now have a departure check where you are stamped out of the Schengen zone, which is important as you need the EU to stop recording you as being in Schengen as otherwise it will use up your 90/180 allowance.

This of course means you need to queue with the Russians and Chinese whereas before you had a brief check or could use an electronic gate. No more rocking up to the gate on final boarding announcement!

And yes, in future the Etias system should enable this check much faster both in and outbound. In fact it will likely require Etias to be up and running before we can start using electronic gates on departure again. But at small provincial airports you can look forward to wet stamps and in person checks if they can’t afford the gate systems.
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
Yes - you now have a departure check where you are stamped out of the Schengen zone, which is important as you need the EU to stop recording you as being in Schengen as otherwise it will use up your 90/180 allowance.

This of course means you need to queue with the Russians and Chinese whereas before you had a brief check or could use an electronic gate. No more rocking up to the gate on final boarding announcement!

And yes, in future the Etias system should enable this check much faster both in and outbound. In fact it will likely require Etias to be up and running before we can start using electronic gates on departure again. But at small provincial airports you can look forward to wet stamps and in person checks if they can’t afford the gate systems.
It just Schengen countries, non Schengen’s countries in the EU do the same. Swipe of passport plus electronic stamp. Departure to non Schengen country gates hasn’t really changed. Arrivals, well unless you are very unlucky with your timing with another arrival, all passports was often the fastest way through anyway 🤪🤣

The UK still allows EU nationals (and several other nationalities) join the fast track queues. And upon my last return I was guided that way. Bit of a pain as the non border force ground staff wouldn’t let me go to all passports and thus I had to join the queues. But alas my EU passport didn’t work, so then had to join yet another queue. If only they didn’t try and help grrrr.
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
Whereabouts was the stamp given - at check-in, at the gate, or where? Are these desks easy to find/well signposted?
The stamp can only be provided by border officials. Therefore it was upon arrival at the EU border. And upon exit, thus after checkin, then security, then border checks where they stamp your passport on the way out.

You don’t have to find them, you can’t bypass them. It’s a one way system.
 

david1974b

Well-known Member
The stamp can only be provided by border officials. Therefore it was upon arrival at the EU border. And upon exit, thus after checkin, then security, then border checks where they stamp your passport on the way out.

You don’t have to find them, you can’t bypass them. It’s a one way system.

I bet getting through wasn't in an instant upon walking into the check zone.
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
I bet getting through wasn't in an instant upon walking into the check zone.
Queues vary naturally depending on what other flights arrive/depart, time or day etc. Other than the stamp the same as it was before when you went in and out of the Schengen zone that the UK wasn’t part of.
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
This of course means you need to queue with the Russians and Chinese whereas before you had a brief check or could use an electronic gate. No more rocking up to the gate on final boarding announcement!

Yep, they don't have to pay Billions in EU membership fees either.
 

Colin London

Well-known Member
Queues vary naturally depending on what other flights arrive/depart, time or day etc. Other than the stamp the same as it was before when you went in and out of the Schengen zone that the UK wasn’t part of.
Except it isn’t because the checks they need to run on British citizens (you are not a British citizen) are now more than before.

They can ask about the purpose of your stay. Whether you have the means to support yourself. Whether you have any convictions. That you have a return ticket within the time you are allowed to remain in Schengen according to the 90/180 rule.

Because these checks take extra time, albeit seconds, that cumulatively results in longer queues at the rest of the world check in if you are on a plane that is mainly carrying British citizens arriving at the security check at the same time.
 

Colin London

Well-known Member
You obviously don’t have many experiences of having been able to waltz past the Russians and Chinese who are stuck at the outbound security check because you had the right to use the electronic gate.

This is a benefit now lost to British citizens which was particularly useful at hub airports where all the non-Schengen flights have to leave through designated gates. You get a huge queue of irate non-EU citizens at the checkpoint which we will now have to hang out with. Allow an extra 30 minutes for queueing to reach your gate each time you go through a hub.
 

david1974b

Well-known Member
Queues vary naturally depending on what other flights arrive/depart, time or day etc. Other than the stamp the same as it was before when you went in and out of the Schengen zone that the UK wasn’t part of.

But now it's not like in the days of the EU where you swiftly went through the EU gates though is it?

You only had to flash your passport to staff while in the EU, now you don't. Now instead of waltzing past all the non EU nationals and through the EU gate the way you did when we were in the EU, now you have to wait in the queue behind the now other non Eu nationals in the non Eu queue while all the EU nationals waltz past you through the EU gate.
 
Last edited:

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
But now it's not like in the days of the EU where you swiftly went through the EU gates though is it?

You only had to flash your passport to staff while in the EU, now you don't. Now instead of waltzing past all the non EU nationals and through the EU gate the way you did when we were in the EU, now you have to wait in the queue behind the now other non Eu nationals in the non Eu queue while all the EU nationals waltz past you through the EU gate.
The non Schengen gate remains the non Schengen gate. Try it and see for yourself.
 

Colin London

Well-known Member
The non Schengen gate remains the non Schengen gate. Try it and see for yourself.
If you are a Schengen citizen and use a non Schengen gate you will be subjected to only the checks you would get at a Schengen gate.

if however you are a UK citizen and use a non-Schengen gate you will be subjected to the checks due on a third country national.

And if you are a UK citizen and you use a Schengen gate you will likely be sent to the back of the queue to choose your path more wisely.
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
If you are a Schengen citizen and use a non Schengen gate you will be subjected to only the checks you would get at a Schengen gate.

if however you are a UK citizen and use a non-Schengen gate you will be subjected to the checks due on a third country national.

And if you are a UK citizen and you use a Schengen gate you will likely be sent to the back of the queue to choose your path more wisely.
Ahem there is no Schengen border control gate ;) That is the point of Schengen. They are only there upon entry into a Schengen zone.
 

Colin London

Well-known Member
Ahem there is no Schengen border control gate ;) That is the point of Schengen. They are only there upon entry into a Schengen zone.
You know what I meant. Ok - I was referring to gates for either EU/EEA/Swiss citizens only, or gates for rest of world, which exist at the entry points into the Schengen zone 🙄
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
You know what I meant. Ok - I was referring to gates for either EU/EEA/Swiss citizens only, or gates for rest of world, which exist at the entry points into the Schengen zone 🙄
It is interesting that the UK maintains UK/EU/EEA/Swiss/FiveEyes gates at Heathrow. But yes no EU gates for us, although I think with other non Schengen preparing for Schengen that would have been no different anyway. The ROW gates can often be quicker anyway. I often used to use them a lot anyway. As above it depends entirely on what other flights may or may not arrive at the same time.
 

Colin London

Well-known Member
It is interesting that the UK maintains UK/EU/EEA/Swiss/FiveEyes gates at Heathrow. But yes no EU gates for us, although I think with other non Schengen preparing for Schengen that would have been no different anyway. The ROW gates can often be quicker anyway. I often used to use them a lot anyway. As above it depends entirely on what other flights may or may not arrive at the same time.
If you are an EU citizen, and are in immigration at an EU airport, then yes it might be quicker to use a ROW gate of there are free ones available. But you will be processed as an EU citizen and will not be subject to the checks and questions a UK citizen will now face at those same positions.
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
If you are an EU citizen, and are in immigration at an EU airport, then yes it might be quicker to use a ROW gate of there are free ones available. But you will be processed as an EU citizen and will not be subject to the checks and questions a UK citizen will now face at those same positions.
What are you on about? You make it sound like they are going to do all sorts to you. It is still just a swipe of your passport to read the MRZ, that gives the factors with which they can instantly open your embedded chip, which then provided them with the untampered photo. They then compare that photo with your passport, and with you. In the meantime the various database checks against the no-fly systems and watch lists happen, and then they just stamp your passport.

Except for the stamp, it is the same as before.
 

Colin London

Well-known Member
What are you on about? You make it sound like they are going to do all sorts to you. It is still just a swipe of your passport to read the MRZ, that gives the factors with which they can instantly open your embedded chip, which then provided them with the untampered photo. They then compare that photo with your passport, and with you. In the meantime the various database checks against the no-fly systems and watch lists happen, and then they just stamp your passport.

Except for the stamp, it is the same as before.
I am on about this table here:

You as an EU citizen just have the checks in the first column.
We as UK Third Country citizens have the checks in the second and third columns.

THAT is what I am on about. It is NOT the same as before.
 

david1974b

Well-known Member
I am on about this table here:

You as an EU citizen just have the checks in the first column.
We as UK Third Country citizens have the checks in the second and third columns.

THAT is what I am on about. It is NOT the same as before.

That's certainly a hefty price not worth paying, but needs to be paid regardless and is being paid by millions of Brits travelling into the schengen zone.
 
Last edited:

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
I am on about this table here:

You as an EU citizen just have the checks in the first column.
We as UK Third Country citizens have the checks in the second and third columns.

THAT is what I am on about. It is NOT the same as before.
Have you actually travelled?

Yes I have an EU passport, but my family is on a British passport and we go through together. The checks are as I described above and include what is in that table and actually do a few more things in the background as well that aren't included in that article, almost entirely automatic. Border Force staff around the world have always made what may seem to some chit chat, but through that they check purpose of visit, who the travelling party are to each other and so on.

Seriously, other than getting a stamp it doesn't take any longer.
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
That's certainly a hefty price not worth paying, but needs to be paid regardless and is being paid by millions of Brits travelling into the schengen zone.
Hefty price? What hefty price? Have you actually travelled? The time to take to stamp your passport you see as a hefty price? Let's keep some perspective...
 

Ignominious

Member
I've been to Mallorca twice recently - the first time was very manual with a physical check and a stamp applied to my passport at the same time. This involved a 20 minute queue. The second time a week ago we were back using the electronic passport readers whilst the passport was physically stamped afterwards. The process only took a few minutes this time around. Obviously you then have to provide your QR code for Covid proof further into the airport which was relatively quick as well.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Sky Glass, Epson Laser Projectors plus Home Cinema Subwoofers and More…
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

PrimaLuna debuts Evo 300 Hybrid integrated amplifier
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Astell&Kern announces AK ZERO1 in ear monitor
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
McIntosh launches MI1250 power amplifier
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 13th October 2021
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Vestel launches Red Bull TV app on European smart TVs
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom