U.S. Customs and Border Protection Form 6059B (arrival card)
The old Singapore embarkation card, no longer used

An arrival card, also known as an incoming passenger card, landing card or disembarkation card, is a legal document used by immigration authorities of many countries to obtain information about an incoming passenger not provided by the passenger's passport (such as health, criminal record, where they will be staying, purpose of the visit, etc.) and to provide a record of a person's entry into the country.[1][2][3][4] The card may also provide information on health and character requirements for non-citizens entering the country.[5] Some countries require an arrival card for each incoming passenger, while others require one card per family unit, and some only require an arrival card for non-citizens only.

Some countries, such as Thailand, attach a departure card to the arrival card, which is retained in the alien's passport until their eventual departure. This arrival card can also be combined with a customs declaration, which some countries require incoming passengers to fill out separately.

The procedure of compiling information from immigration cards is no longer required by the authorities of Singapore and the United States authorities following the introduction of the biometric recording system by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and the United States Customs and Border Protection respectively.[3][6] There is minimal cross-border formality between a number of countries, most notably those in the passport-free travel area of Europe's Schengen Zone.[7]

The requirement to produce an arrival card is usually in addition to a requirement to produce a passport or other travel document, to obtain a visa, and sometimes complete a customs declaration.

Information on the card itself

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The information requested varies by country. Typically, the type of information requested on the arrival card includes:

Travellers are generally required to sign, date, and declare the information is true, correct, and complete.

United Kingdom

Border Force officers staff the UK border at Heathrow Terminal 5, where landing cards were turned in

Non-EEA citizens were formerly required to complete a landing card on entry to the United Kingdom. The traveller was required to present the completed form at the Border Force desk at the point of entry. The form was usually supplied by the airline, train or ferry company.[8]

In the UK, the landing card system was governed by the Immigration Act 1971, schedule 2 paragraph 5, which states;[9]

The Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument make provision for requiring passengers disembarking or embarking in the United Kingdom, or any class of such passengers, to produce to an immigration officer, if so required, landing or embarkation cards in such form as the Secretary of State may direct, and for requiring the owners or agents of ships and aircraft to supply such cards to those passengers.


In August 2017, the Home Office announced that landing cards would be completely scrapped as part of digital border transformation and modernisation. It was expected this change would come into effect by the autumn.[13] Landing cards were abolished for all passengers effective 20 May 2019.[14]

Notably absent from the landing card was information on the purpose of the trip, destination, or any items brought into the country. Additional information requested from travellers was their occupation and the port of their last departure.[15][16][17]

See also


  1. ^ Passenger Cards. Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Australian Government.
  2. ^ "cbp.gov, What to Declare". Archived from the original on September 15, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Customs and Border Protection Declaration Form 6059B, CBP Issues New Customs Declarations Form, Features Expanded Definition of Family Members". Archived from the original on 2016-09-15. Retrieved 2016-08-31.
  4. ^ NZIS431 - New Zealand Passenger Departure Card Archived 2008-10-15 at the Wayback Machine. Statistics New Zealand.
  5. ^ NZIS431 - New Zealand Passenger Departure Card. Statistics New Zealand.
  6. ^ "For U.S. Citizens/Lawful Permanent Residents | U.S. Customs and Border Protection". www.cbp.gov.
  7. ^ per Article 21 of the Schengen Borders Code (OJ L 105, 13 April 2006, p. 1).
  8. ^ "Entering the UK". GOV.UK.
  9. ^ "International scholarship guide, 7 Things to do before your planes lands and once you alight at a UK International Airport". Archived from the original on 2018-09-24. Retrieved 2018-12-05.
  10. ^ Children & Immigration By Jeremy Rosenblatt, Ian Lewis, page 88
  11. ^ Immigration Law Handbook, 2013, By Margaret Phelan, James Gillespie, page 50
  12. ^ "Amendment text (17 July 2002)".
  13. ^ "'Outdated' landing cards to be withdrawn as part of digital border transformation". GOV.UK.
  14. ^ "UK to scrap passenger landing cards". BBC News. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  15. ^ "UK Landing Card, pic". Archived from the original on 2016-09-11. Retrieved 2018-12-05.
  16. ^ "UK Landing Card, pic".
  17. ^ "Do you need a Visa to go to London? - Go 2 London".