How does SmartGate work?

​SmartGate is based on the science of biometrics. Advanced facial recognition software compares your face with the digital copy of your photo in your ePassport chip. This is done to carry out the necessary 'face-to-passport' match that's needed for emigration checks.  


In order for the system to work correctly, it is important that your appearance is as similar to the passport photo as possible. Veils, scarves, hats and any other headgear that obscures your facial features should be avoided, if appropriate, or the system may not work for you. 

Prescription glasses can be left on if  you are wearing them in your passport photo and if the rims of your glasses are relatively thin. SmartGate can have difficulties during face matching with thick rimmed glasses, so it is better to remove them, if possible.

SmartGate is usually able to handle minor changes in your facial features. A weight gain in your face, for instance, or a different hairstyle shouldn’t be a problem – unless it covers your face.

This description was last updated on: Friday, 04 December 2015