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Queueing at UK Border Control with wife on visa

Queueing at UK Border Control with wife on visa

Old May 6th 2012, 5:51 am
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Default Queueing at UK Border Control with wife on visa

Sorry if this is a mundane question but my wife and I will visit the UK next weekend, arriving at Gatwick Airport early on Sunday morning. I hold British passport. She holds Philippine passport and has 2 year multiple entry Family Visit Visa (6 month max stay) for UK issued with no problems and very speedily recently.

Just need some advice/guidance as to whether I can wait with her in the non-EU immigration line while she is being processed and whether my entry can also be processed by the same immigration officer at the same time. I don't want to find that I am sent to join the EU line after waiting with her for what could be a long time. Any advice gratefully received. Many thanks.
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Old May 6th 2012, 9:43 am
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Default Re: Queueing at UK Border Control with wife on visa

Hi, if you haven't already done so (I haven't checked Peens forum for a little while), might be worth posting in there. I'm sure you cannot be the only Brit with a wife from the Philippines who's travelling back to the UK. And/or the Moving back to UK forum?

If you want me to shift this thread into the Philippines forum, let me know.

Last edited by bakedbean; May 6th 2012 at 9:46 am. Reason: Forgot I can move threads <doh>
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Old May 6th 2012, 10:57 am
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Default Re: Queueing at UK Border Control with wife on visa

Originally Posted by PeteinHongKong View Post
Sorry if this is a mundane question but my wife and I will visit the UK next weekend, arriving at Gatwick Airport early on Sunday morning. I hold British passport. She holds Philippine passport and has 2 year multiple entry Family Visit Visa (6 month max stay) for UK issued with no problems and very speedily recently.

Just need some advice/guidance as to whether I can wait with her in the non-EU immigration line while she is being processed and whether my entry can also be processed by the same immigration officer at the same time. I don't want to find that I am sent to join the EU line after waiting with her for what could be a long time. Any advice gratefully received. Many thanks.
Ask as you are about to go in - they might (as it often happens to us) move you both over to the shorter EU queue
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Old May 10th 2012, 6:25 am
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Default Re: Queueing at UK Border Control with wife on visa

I used to go through then wait for my wife, going forward when she was called. Then I was told it was okay to go through with her next time. That I did, no problems at all. I queued with her and helped fill in the form. The desk officer checked my passport and handed it back. Then processed my wife, who had her original passport with visa, and new one. They validated the new passport with "Right Of Abode" before we were waved on.
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Old May 14th 2012, 7:41 pm
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Default Re: Queueing at UK Border Control with wife on visa

My actual experience was as follows.

Arrived Gatwick 6.20am on Sunday 13 May. When we arrived at Border Control I asked if I could queue with my wife in the non-EU line and was told I could choose to use that line with her or the EU line and she could accompany me. I was told I could do this next time as well - no need to ask.

There was no queue at all. By the time we had walked to the front of the lining-up area ready to move to a desk, there was already an officer available to process us which she did in a very efficient, friendly and courteous manner. My wife's fingerprints were checked against her biometrics and the officer confirmed with her that it was a family visit and that was it - 2-3 minutes at most.
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Old May 14th 2012, 11:44 pm
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Default Re: Queueing at UK Border Control with wife on visa

Border Control/Immigration are very good when they can see that it is a genuine case.
Glad that there were no problems for you or your wife.
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Old May 17th 2012, 9:37 am
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Default Re: Queueing at UK Border Control with wife on visa

I understand it is possible for spouses to accompany spouses through the Euro queue if one spouse has a Euro passport.
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Old Jul 11th 2012, 1:36 pm
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Default Re: Queueing at UK Border Control with wife on visa

In fact, they much prefer couples to go through together and, as mentioned, immigration officers are polite and efficient
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Old Jul 12th 2012, 8:59 am
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Default Re: Queueing at UK Border Control with wife on visa

makes a change from Bangkok then where they are not polite and efficient and it takes 2-3 hours ( slight exaggeration but you get the drift ) !
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Old Jul 16th 2012, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: Queueing at UK Border Control with wife on visa

This is encouraging news. I hope the same applies to Heathrow. My husband is nearly 74 and has a Guyanese passport but has a visa to visit the UK. We are visiting in a few weeks time. I have a British passport. I dread the long lines I am hearing about at Heathrow and am concerned that it will be too much for my husband. If he has to stand in the non EU line, I will definitely accompany him if the lines are long but I would also like to know if he can accompany me in the EU line if we present together? Are there people we can ask on arrival?
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Old Jul 17th 2012, 2:04 am
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Default Re: Queueing at UK Border Control with wife on visa

Michali, yes there are people you can ask which is what I did at Gatwick in May when we arrived. We were told we could queue in either line but as there was no queue at that time it made no difference. The general view seems to be that British passport holders accompanying a non-British spouse can take them through the EU line. The immigration counters are all equipped with the same biometric readers for fingerprint checking for visa holders. Heathrow is bound to be busier than Gatwick but I'm sure the same principle will apply.
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Old Jul 17th 2012, 11:40 am
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Default Re: Queueing at UK Border Control with wife on visa

As an aside, we returned from Marseille to Bristol last week and at Bristol were asked by some jobsworth to show her our passports which we did and she said to join a particular one of the three queues.
No one in either queue as for the first time ever we had been first off the plane.
Well the queue we were directed to was the biometric Passport queue, unbeknownst to us.
We tried all the three biometric machines with our passports a few times being told to 'try them again' again.
Then when they didn't work we were directed to the 'usual' passport queue which by this time had filled up with all the passengers from our plane and another recently landed.
So from first to last in one easy move.
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