Visitor Information for social visits

Book a visit online

COVID-19 Update - April 2021: All visitors will be required to take a lateral flow test upon arrival and must wait 30 minutes for the results to come through before being allowed entry. 

If the test gives a positive result, you will not be allowed entry and will be asked to return home. 

Visiting times

Visiting hours between 14:00 and 21:00 on Monday - Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. On Friday's the visiting hours are from 14:30 to 21:00. Last admission is at 20:30.

You must book at least one day in advance, between 8:00 and 21:00.

Book a social visit using the online booking form or via:

Tel: 01293 566 500 for Brook House
Tel: 01293 434 800 for Tinsley House

What identification is required?

Social visitors (i.e. personal visitors to residents) must provide one of the following:

  • A passport (current or if expired within 5 years of expiry date). This can include foreign passports and travel documents recognised by HM Government.

  • European Community identity card

  • Photographic driving licence

Or two of the following:

  • Birth certificate

  • Marriage certificate

  • Rail or bus pass with photograph

  • Employer’s ID card or NUS student card

  • Young person’s proof of age card

  • Trade union membership card

  • Senior citizen travel pass issued by a local authority

  • Home Office ARC card (asylum support application registration card)

  • Benefits book

Remember to bring your ID for each and every visit you attend, failure to provide the correct forms of ID can and will result in refusal of entry to the centre in accordance with this Detention services order (DSO).

Prohibited items

Gatwick Immigration Removal Centres Visitors Prohibited Item List


Extension leads
Plug adaptor
Recording devices
Cameras (including camcorders)
Cassettes and tapes
Personal copied CDs/DVDs
USB sticks
Memory cards
Smart watches and Fitbits
Mobile phones


Chemicals (including Hydrogen Peroxide)


Needles or syringes
Any illicit substance
Psychoactive substances - PS
Any unknown / unquantified substance

*In-possession medication to be declared at booking in visitors centre.


Improvised weapons
Guns / Ammunition
Belts with large buckles
Self-defence weapons
Loose blades
Metal cutlery


Chewing gum
Coat hangers
Any flammable products (including White Spirit)
Lighter fluid / any lighters
Cash must be handed in on booking in at the centre
Ceramic plates / cups
All tobacco product (Cigarettes)
Blu tack
Marker pens / paint
Solvent based glue


This list is NOT exhaustive. Staff are to seek advice from Security should they come across an item not listed here which they feel may be prohibited. 

We take a zero tolerance approach to anyone bringing in any prohibited item or illegal substances into the centre and will refer any breaches to the local Police authorities.

Arriving for visits

All visitors should present themselves to either the Front Reception Desk at Tinsley House/Gatwick PDA or the Visitors Centre at Brook House where our staff will welcome you and assist you in your visit at the centre.

What information will I be asked to provide?

At Visitor Reception, you will be asked to provide sufficient ID, once that has been completed we will take a biometric scan of the tip of both your index fingers and your photograph will be taken. This information will be validated on your entry to and from the visits hall. This personal information will then be encrypted immediately and will be destroyed if not used within six months, in accordance with the UK Data Protection Act. This data will not be cross checked against any other database; it is purely used to ensure the same person exits the Centre as presented to the staff at entry.

What does Biometric mean?
Biometric means a piece of unique information about you, i.e. Iris recognition, Hand geometry Recognition, Face Recognition or Fingerprint recognition this cannot be reproduced by anyone as this information is unique to you. At Gatwick IRC we use information on the depth and length of ridges on your fingers,

What does the Data Protection Act say?
The Data Protection Act says that information should be kept for no longer than is necessary. The Act does not specify what a ‘necessary’ period should be for particular information. Each case would be considered on its own merits. If an organisation is obliged to retain data for a given length of time under any other laws, this should be taken into consideration.

Data Protection information can be obtained by contacting The Information Commissioner’s Office on 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45 or online at

Can I request the information used at Gatwick IRC to be removed when I finish my visit?
Unfortunately not, but our system is set to auto remove all of your details if you do not attend site for 6 months or more

What details are removed?
The system removes your picture any personal details and biometrics taken, we keep basic information about your visit i.e. time date and visit number for audit purposes

What do I do if I need further information or would like to provide feedback?
We welcome all feedback. Please write your request to:

Assistant Director Security
Brook House Immigration Removal Centre
Perimeter Road South
London Gatwick Airport

How do I send money to a resident?

Visitors are able to deposit money (sterling bank notes only) for residents via a secure kiosk in the Visitor’s Centre.