Iris recognition immigration system (IRIS)
(IRIS) closed at London Heathrow airport at Terminal 3 on 15 September 2013 and on 16 September at Terminal 5.
Our IRIS email service will remain open for 6 months until 21 March 2014 to allow IRIS passengers who need a record of their travel history to make a subject access request.
Once our email service is closed, all information on the IRIS database will be destroyed as required by IRIS.
Why has IRIS closed?
Due to the age of the system it is no longer affordable to keep using IRIS, so the decision has been taken to decommission it.
What are the alternatives to IRIS?
For most IRIS users convenient alternatives are available to help them pass through the UK border. You can use these options if you:
- possess an EEA or UK biometric passport, via self service e-passport gates located at all terminals where IRIS was used.
- are a non EU Traveller previously registered for IRIS and are eligible to use the registered traveller scheme (see below).
Registered traveller scheme
The registered traveller scheme is a pilot scheme which will improve the way regular visitors can pass through the UK border. It will initially be available at Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
Who can use it?
Passengers can apply for the scheme if they:
- previously registered to use IRIS; and
- are from the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia or New Zealand; and
- have completed at least 4 trips to the UK in the last 52 weeks; and
- are a short term visitor to the UK aged over 18.
Eligible travellers can apply and register online.