I am applying for a UK visa and I am using the 'UK Immigration: ID Check' app to verify my identity.

Question: The app takes several photos of me. How are these used?

I am asking because I am nervous about doing something wrong while taking the photos (wrong background, with/without glasses, etc.). These worries are intensified by the fact that the step that uses the app seems to be the only one that cannot be repeated when using the online application form.

Here are the options that I can think of:

  • These photos are just used internally by the app (e.g. for instant face-recognition and automated comparison with the passport photo), and as soon as the step "Confirm your identity" on the online application form states "Completed" the photos are no longer used and I can be sure that I made no mistake while taking them.
  • The photos are stored and used only after I submit the application. The photos can then be a reason to reject my application because something is wrong with them.

Maybe even the following?

  • The photos are part of my visa documents and I should make sure to look decent when taking them.

2 Answers 2


According to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-the-uk-immigration-id-check-app, the app will:

  • check that your identity document is genuine
  • verify that the document belongs to you

There is a ‘Photo standards and quality assurance’ guide which is published by the UK Home Office and refers to passport applications: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/971218/Photo_Standardsv8.pdf I haven’t been able to find an equivalent guide for visa applications, but it would seem logical to presume that the core standards apply to them too. My understanding therefore is that:

  • the app is the initial verification

  • a subsequent ‘quality control’ check of the outcome of the digital check takes place

  • the photos are part of the visa documentation, so you should indeed ‘try to look decent’ when taking them.

  • I think my question is then whether the "Photo standards and quality assurance" requirements are used here mainly to make sure that the app can recognize me, and if it does, that this is already a reasonably safe confirmation that I met the requirements and that there will be no later objection when actual people take a look at the photos.
    – M. Rumpy
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 9:41
  • I might ask like this: Is there any known case where the visa got rejected based on the photo even though the app accepted it?
    – M. Rumpy
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 9:44
  • 2
    I doubt a visa application would be rejected outright solely on the basis of a digital photo that doesn’t pass a quality assurance check. It’s much more likely you’d be contacted and asked to provide another photo, IMHO. On the other hand, a visa refusal seems the most likely outcome if the photo submitted meant the automated document verification check or a subsequent manual check failed. I’m not aware of any official data published on this subject.
    – Traveller
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 11:22

The photo taken during the process will be also used when you try to view your immigration status after the visa is approved.

  • 1
    How do you know this? Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 15:20
  • 1
    @DavidSupportsMonica My recent experience.
    – K.T.L. Lo
    Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 8:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.