Passport Photo Requirements

By Aleksandra

March 15, 2023

Passport Photo Requirements

The requirements for a passport photo differ according to the country. Before applying for a passport, you need to check all conditions to avoid rejection of the application. Usually, getting a passport photo is very easy.

You can take it in a professional photo studio, passport facilities, market, or home, but previously check if the places offer that. It won’t take much time and money, so you can relax.

Can You Smile in Your Passport Photo?

In some countries, it is acceptable to have a natural smile in the picture. It all depends on the location – in the U.S., it is possible to smile in a passport photo, while in Canada, you should have a neutral expression. You need to check the rules before you decide to take a photograph.

What is Acceptable for a Passport Photo?

You should wear casual clothes and look directly into the camera. Your head shouldn’t be tilted, your ears and eyes must be visible, and the background needs to be white. There are many rules for a passport photo, but they differ according to the country. However, facial piercings or tattoos are acceptable.

Do You Have to Wear Something Specific for a Passport Photo?

You shouldn’t wear anything specific for a passport photo. Wear normal clothes that are your usual ones. Mainly, it is not advisable to wear glasses, uniforms, headbands, headphones, or head covering (the only exception are religious reasons).

Acceptable Passport Photos

It is advisable to see some passport photo examples to know what kind of images are possible. In that way, you can avoid rejection of the application, as the photo is an essential part of it.

The UK Photo Requirements

You can get a printed or a digital image for a UK passport, and the requirements are as follows:

  • 2 identical copies are required in case of printed photos.
  • The passport photos must be recent, taken in the last month.
  • The correct size should be 45 mm high and 35 mm wide or at least 600 x 750 pixels and no more than 10MB in digital photo case.
  • The passport picture must be in color, unedited, clear, and focused.
  • It can’t show other objects or people.
  • The background must be plain and light-colored.
  • Eyes must be visible and without a red effect.
  • You need to look straight at the camera, have a plain expression, a closed mouth, and no head covering (in case of religious or medical reasons, it is possible to have a head covering).
  • No shadows should be visible on the applicant’s face.

The U.S. Photo Requirements

When it comes to the U.S. general requirements for a passport photo, you should consider that:

  • The full face should be visible without any shadows.
  • The color photo must be in a square ratio of 2×2″ (5×5 cm) or at least 600 x 600 pixels (max. 1200 x 1200 pixels) in digital case.
  • The head should be between 1″ to 1 3/8″ (2.5 to 3.5 cm) and face the camera directly with both visible ears.
  • The photograph must be on a white or off-white background.
  • The facial expressions should be neutral (a smile is acceptable when it is natural).
  • You can’t wear headphones, glasses, headbands, uniforms, etc.
  • The photograph should be high resolution one.

Australian Passport Photo Rules

You can get a passport photo from professional services such as post offices, photographers, chain stores, camera stores, some pharmacies, etc., in Australia. The photo should:

  • Be focused and clear without the ‘red eyes’ effect.
  • Not be retouched.
  • Be recent (not older than 6 months) and have good quality.
  • Be on a light-gray or white background.
  • Have an appropriate brightness.
  • Show a full-face view with opened eyes and closed mouth*.
  • Have a neutral facial expression (smiling, frowning, or laughing is not acceptable).
  • Be without glasses, head coverings (except for religious reasons), and jewelry that obscures the face.
  • Your photo must be signed on the back.

*Infants can have opened mouths.

Canada Passport Photo Rules

If you want to obtain a Canada passport photo, you need to meet these general conditions:

  • The recent photo (no older than 6 months) needs to be 50 mm wide and 70 mm high (2 inches x 2¾ inches).
  • A clear, focused, and sharp image without shadows, flash reflection, and glare is required.
  • The face and background must be clearly visible.
  • Your natural skin color must be shown in the picture.
  • The photo must be professionally printed out on high-quality photo paper and can’t be altered.
  • Eyes should be opened, and look at the camera
  • The mouth should be closed, you can’t smile or frown.
  • Face and shoulders must be centered, not tilted.
  • The background should be white or light-colored.
  • Glasses are acceptable as long as the eyes are visible and there is no glare.
  • Hair must be off the face.
  • Hats and head coverings can be accepted if they are worn because of religious reasons.
  • You need to sign your photos.
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Aleksandra is an experienced visa expert passionate about writing and creating professional content. She loves reading fantasy books, traveling, and board games. 📚🐱✨