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Arrival Cards - Know Before You Go

Arrival Cards

Which countries require passengers to present an arrival card before entering the country? All you need to know about arrival cards.

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What are arrival cards?

An arrival card is also known as an incoming passenger card, landing card or disembarkation card.

Some countries require every passenger to carry an arrival card to enter the country. An arrival card is a legal document to be submitted to imigtration officials upon landing. Other countries will only require one card per family unit, and some may only require an arrival card for non-citizens only.

The card is a form, which passengers will complete, and is used by immigration authorities to be able to obtain certain information about an incoming passenger, which is not provided by the passenger’s passport. This information might include health, criminal record, and the purpose of the visit. The arrival card can also be required in addition to a customs declaration, which some countries require incoming passengers to complete out separately.

In recent years, several countries have stopped requiring landing cards on arrival, including Canada and the UK. Countries in the Schengen Zone (many EU nations), also do not require landing cards at all.

For some countries, an arrival card is usually required in addition to a passport, or other accepted form of travel document, to be able to obtain a Travel Visa.

What is an Electronic Arrivals Card?

An Electronic Arrival Card is an e-Service being trialled in some countries, such as Singapore, as a digital alternative to the traditionally paper arrivals form. With the Electronic Arrival Card, foreign visitors can submit their personal information and trip details online, or via a mobile application. Some countries will eventually replace the paper-based landing form with an electronic version.

Do I need a Travel Card?

Entering the United States

Following the introduction of the biometric recording system by the United States Customs and Border Protection, the immigration cards are no longer required by United States authorities.

Entering the United Kingdom

Formerly, non-EEA citizens were required to complete a landing card to enter the United Kingdom. The form needs to be completed at the UK Visas and Immigration desk at the point of entry, such as an airport or port. However, landing cards were abolished on May 20th 2019, and are no longer required.

Travellers from certain countries outside the EU are now also able to use the same queue as EU nationals, as the UK has opened its ePassport lanes to foreign nationals.

Entering Thailand

All foreign nationals will need to submit fully filled Thailand Arrival Card to an Immigration officer in order to enter Thailand. This is true no matter which Thailand Visa you are using to travel, and no matter your nationality, including American, British, Australian, Chinese, or Indian. Thailand Arrival Card forms are often handed out by airline crew during international flights, so passengers can save time at the airport and complete the form before landing.

Immigration Officers will also attach a departure card to the arrival card, which is to be kept in the traveller’s passport until their eventual departure.

Entering Singapore

Every visitor is required to produce a completed landing card for immigration clearance every time they enter Singapore. Travelers will need to present their completed D/E card and travel documents to the ICA officer at the immigration counter. Electronic Arrival Cards are currently available in Singapore, on a trial basis. Airlines included in this trial are: AirAsia, Jetstar Asia, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines. Passengers flying with these airlines can submit their Electronic Arrival Cards online or via the SG Arrival Card mobile app within 14 days prior to the date of arrival within Singapore. Singapore aims to replace paper carrival cards with electronic arrival cards by 2021.

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