Category Archives: International

The standards of passport photos worldwide

Passports are among the most widely accepted forms of identification in the world. One of the reasons for this is that passports are given only after the background of the applicant has been thoroughly verified and his or her bona fides have been established. A key element of the passport as a means of identification is the passport photograph. Very few countries now accept black and white photos for passports and photographs are now starting to be be gathered by some countries in a digital form so that it can be used for computerized facial recognition. The digital photograph is validated against the actual appearance of the person either by a physical verification at the time the passport is collected, or through internal processes and interviews – the procedure varies from country to country but still always requires the validation against an actual passport photo..

While each country has its own conditions and specifications for the photographs to be used in its passports, the need for a clear and recognizable image of the passport holder means that certain basic requirements remain the same:

  • The image should be front facing – photos showing profiles or taken from oblique angles are not accepted.
  • The focus must be clear and sharp.
  • The eyes should be open and the ears must be visible- they should not be covered by hair.
  • Teeth should not be visible in the photographs as this will affect the biometric scanning and recognition of the photographs.

Biometrics is a technology that more and more countries are using to make, counterfeiting of passports almost impossible and to allow for automated authentication of the passports and recording of the passport holder’s arrivals and departures. A biometric passport is one that adds a remotely readable computer chip to the traditional passport booklet so that it becomes a kind of smartcard. The computer chip stores a great deal of information, but for identification purposes the most important is a digital image of the passport holder. Using this, digital image facial recognition software can be used to verify the identity of the person carrying the passport with a far greater degree of certainty than traditional visual comparison.

Children’s photos, especially those of infants are often difficult to take, but again, while specifications may vary according to the country in question, certain basic requirements are common.

  • The baby or child should be clearly visible with the facial details clear.
  • There should be no other objects in the photos –no toys, decorations or other people.
  • The full face must be visible.
  • Both eyes should be open. This condition may be relaxed for infants but is essential in the case of older children for the computerized facial recognition.

The basic passport photograph requirements for some countries are as follows:

  • The United States: 2” x 2” Photos must be less than six months old. Headwear is only allowed id it is a religious requirement. The face must be completely exposed.
  • Canada: 5cm x 7cm. Only photos on plain high quality photographic paper are acceptable. Heavy weight paper may not be used for printing photos
  • Mexico: 2” x 2”. Four copies to be submitted and the background must be white or very lightly colored
  • United Kingdom: 4.5cm x 3.5cm. No “red Eye” is permitted and the photos should not have nay folds or creases.
  • Germany: 4.5cm x 3.5cm. The face and ears must be clearly seen.
  • France: 4.5cm x 3.5cm. Skin tones must be natural and not changed for cosmetic purposes. Wearing of spectacles in the photos is not allowed.
  • Italy: 4.5cm x 3.5cm
  • Spain: 4cm x 3cm
  • ·Russia: 4.5cm x 3.5cm. The head must occupy 75% of the total photo. No light should reflect off spectacles if they are worn in the photos.
  • Turkey: 4.5cm x 3.5cm
  • Netherlands: 4.5cm x 3.5cm. Teeth must not be visible in the photos.
  • Australia: 4.5cm x 3.5cm. The photo should not be more that 6 months old.
  • China: 4.8cm x 4.3cm
  • Japan: 4.5cm x 3.5cm
  • India: 3.5cm x 3.5cm
  • Singapore: 4.5cm x 3.5cm. Eyes must be wide open. Background should be white unless your hair is of that color in which case a darker background may us used to make the hair visible.
  • Korea: 4.5cm x3.5cm
  • Brazil: 7cm x 5cm. The ears must be clearly visible and the face not covered.

Please note that the first measurement, in all cases, is the height of the photos and the second is the width. All countries require that the photos be in color and no other person or objects be present in the photos. As can be seen, many countries are standardizing on the 4.5cm x 3.5cm size. However, due to the heightened security measures that all countries are enforcing, it is always best to check from a reliable source and be sure that there have been no changes in the passport photo specifications before applying.

Passport photographs are also used for many other applications since the specifications are so strict that they meet most requirements for driving and other license and identity card photographs. The only difference is that the size of the photograph may vary depending on where and for what it is being used. Most countries also require the same size and specification photos both for issuing passport to its citizens’ and also for the issuing of visas to foreign nationals who want to visit the country. passes the TWO MILLION FREE PASSPORT PHOTOS mark
continues to revolutionize the passport photo market, achieving 100%
year-over-year growth and increasing global market penetration

Palo Alto, Calif. – October 20, 2008 –,
the leading online passport photo service, has provided over 2 million free
passport photos to users around the globe. provides a unique
system that allows users to upload photos and generate digital passport photo
sheets meeting the specific requirements of over 60 passport issuing
authorities. is a truly global online service
provider, able to provide passport photos according to the exact specifications
for over 60 different countries. This includes ensuring the photos are of the
exact size and resolution requirements, and that the subject is properly
positioned in the photo. The process is incredibly simple; the user uploads a
suitable image to, specifies which country the passport
application is for, and a digital passport photo sheet is returned, matching
that country’s requirements exactly. is used not only for
passports, but for any photo identification, ranging from immigration permits
to student IDs and ski passes.

In the last year has seen year-over-year
growth of more than 100% in visitors and revenues. Increased exposure has come
about though online and offline marketing, word of mouth and the localization
of the interface to eight languages. Fastest growing markets are within Europe,
especially in Italy, France and Germany, where is achieving
significant market penetration and acceptance.

In addition to providing a service for consumers, has started to market its white-label solution for companies
wishing to enhance their photo ID applications. A recent example is the
UK-based Boomerang student debit card (
Boomerang selected as a provider of ID photos, enabling
students to complete the entire application process online. By avoiding the
need to rely on standard mail to accept student photos, Boomerang was able to
significantly streamline the approval process and dramatically reduce costs.

“I’m extremely excited about the full online experience our
customers get with the photo engine,” said Andy Dagger,
Managing Director at Boomerang. “Our customers get access to a proven and
tested experience while we get the operational peace of mind.”

About is the leading online passport photos Web
site and has been operating since 2005, revolutionizing the way people obtain
passport photos.
offers a branded service, as well as a white-label solution that allows photo
ID providers, such as universities, sports facilities and credit card
companies, to shorten the application and review processes and significantly
reduce costs. is a privately held company headquartered in
Palo Alto, CA.  For more information
about, visit

Visa and Passport Photographs for Mexico

Tourism is one of Mexico’s largest industries and the country is the largest destination for travelers from South and Central America. It is also the world’s 8th most popular tourist destination and in 2006 the country received over 21 million foreign tourists. Besides the famous resorts like Acapulco and Cancun with their long golden beaches and hectic nightlife, there are a number of smaller more secluded sea side getaways for those looking for a quieter and more relaxed time.

The other famous tourist attractions are the ruins of the Maya and Inca cities which offer an awe inspiring glimpse into long dead but, for their time, very advance civilizations. Mexicans are a warm and friendly people and go out of their way to make visitors feel welcome.

The temperate climate and the unique culture – a blend of Spanish and Native American, are other reasons why the country has become one of the world’s major tourist hot spots. The best time to visit is from December to July. However, if you are going to any of the sea side resorts during the college breaks; be prepared for hordes of noisy college students enjoying their vacations there.

Mexican passport photos are of a fairly simple nature. The main requirements are:

  • The picture should be submitted in 4 copies. While 3 is the official quantity required, the authorities are known to often ask for an additional one while the application is being processed and submitting an extra one will save time.

  • The photos should be of the standard size – 3.5cms X 4.5cms

  • They should be in color and taken against a white or lightly colored background.

  • You should be looking directly at the camera. Pictures even slightly in profile have been known to be rejected.

  • Your face should fill between 70 to 80% of the photo area.

  • One important requirement is that the photos should be images captured on film and printed on photographic paper. Digital image printed out on glossy paper like you would do for photos you have taken are not accepted.

Mexican Visa photos should meet the same specifications as the passport ones. Once again it is advisable to submit and extra copy (4 in all) of your photos along with the visa application to be in the safe side.

While the specs Mexican visa and passport photos are not as highly defined as those of some other countries, be careful not the take the requirements for granted and ensure that you submit the right kind of photos.

Citizens of some countries do not require visas to enter Mexico. Before traveling to the country is makes sense to check with the Mexican Embassy nearest you as to whether or not you need a visa.



Swiss Passport and Visa Photos

Switzerland is a land of mountains, lakes, snow capped peaks, the world’s best watches, chocolates and cheeses, an international banking hub and one of the cleanest and well maintained countries in the world. What more is there to say? Everyone knows Switzerland and has their own reasons for going there.

The Swiss are know for their methodical and organized approach in all things. This is evident in the clear cut requirements for obtaining a visa which are:

  • A passport which should be valid for at least three months from the expiry of the Swiss visa
  • The application for completed in every respect a confirmed round trip ticket from your country of residence to Switzerland and back. If the ticket is not immediately available proof of purchase in the form of written confirmation for a travel agent or airline giving details of your itinerary is acceptable. If you are proceeding to another country after Switzerland, you may be required to show a valid visa for that country. This is best confirmed from the Swiss embassy.
  • You will have to show proof that your are financially able to make the trip. This could be either in the form of a copy of the most recent bank statement or a letter from your bank confirming your bank balance. The basis for deciding your financial viability will be that you will need at least $100 per day of your visit.
  • You will be required to submit a letter from our employer (unless you are retired) that will confirm your position in the company and your salary.


The requirements for both Swiss passport and visa photographs are the same. To apply for either a passport or a visa you must submit 2 photos of a 3.5cms X 4.5cms size along with your application. Your face, from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin, should measure between 29 to 35mm. In the case of children below 11 years of age, the face should be between 23 to 34 mm, measured in the same way.

The background should be either pure white or off white with no patterns, designs or external objects in the frame. If you wear glasses they should be worn in the photo but neither the frame not any reflection from the glass should obscure the eyes. Head wear is allowed if religious beliefs require it to be worn, but the head wear should not in any way cover the face or restrict identification. The photos should be less than six months old and your facial expression should be neutral. It is essential that your mouth is closed and your teeth are not visible in the photos as this will affect is applicability for use with facial recognition software.

Sweden – Passport and Visa Photos

Famous as the land of the Vikings and the home of the two great Bergmans of cinema – Ingrid and Ingmar, the Volvo and also of ABBA, Sweden is unique in that it’s long and interesting history has had little outside influences on it. Like Switzerland, it has maintained both it sovereignty and neutrality through the ages.

Sweden is a land of beautiful countryside and abundant natural wonder ranging from innumerable lakes to snow capped mountains. A variety of flora and fauna make it a great destination for the nature lover. The country is also a popular destination for business travelers who are attracted by the country’s professional work ethic and the cutting edge technologies that its companies’ are creating.

Sweden has many different types of visas and you should always contact the Swedish Embassy to ascertain which category you fall under and what type of visa you should apply for. Sweden has a liberal tourist and business visitor policy and getting a visa is not difficult. However, although the requirements may appear to be fairly simple, including those of the photos to be submitted along with your application, please make sure that the forms are completed in every respect since the Swedish policy is not to ask for additional information in the case of incomplete forms, but to reject them. If your application has been rejected once, even for the most innocuous reason, future applications will be subject to even greater scrutiny.

As with most countries, Sweden has standardized on the type photos required for both passports and visas. The photos must be in color and of the standard passport photo size, which is 3.5cms X 4.5cms. The face should occupy about 70% of the photo and you must be looking directly at the camera so that both sides of your face are visible.

The background should be light colored and should contain no shadows or objects. It is important that your expression be neutral which means that you should not have a big smile on your face and your teeth should not be visible. While regularly worn spectacles should be worn in the photo, there should be no reflection that limits the visibility of the eyes in the photo. Head gear of any kind and dark or heavily tinted glasses are not allowed. The photos must be submitted in duplicate with the applicants name clearly printed on the back of the photos in pencil.

Sweden permits citizens of many countries, epically those of the European Union, to enter the country without a visa or obtain a visa on arrival. However, since the rules on these are very strict, it is better to check with the embassy to know your eligibility and also the visa fees which vary form country to country.

Russia – Passport and Visa Requirements

For most of the 20th century Russia, or the USSR as it was then called, was a victim of its self imposed isolation and cut off from the rest of the world. Business travel was rare since foreign trade and investment was not encouraged and while there was no ban on tourists coming to the country, the visa policies and the conditions and limitations imposed on the visitor, made a trip there something only the hardiest traveler would undertake.

With the fall of communism Russia is once again open to the world and the wonders of the country are once again accessible to all who wish to go there. Russia is a huge country, straddling both Europe and Asia and if you want to see it properly, be prepared to spend at least a few weeks so that you will be able to cover the country in some detail.

Russian passport photos must meet the following specs:

  • They should be 3.5cms X 4.5cms

  • 6 copies of the photos have to be submitted with the application

  • The head must occupy approximately 75% of the total photo area

  • Photos should be recent and bear a clear resemblance to the applicant

  • Any for covering of the face, even because of traditional costume requirements is not allowed

  • If you are wearing spectacles in the photo, there should be no light reflecting off them and your eyes should be clearly visible through the lenses.

There is not much detail given about the specs for visa photos expect that they should match passport photo requirements. However to be on the safe side, please ensure that you are looking straight at the camera, if you have long hair, make sure it does not cover any part of your face, and that the background is either white or of a light color. Avoid any patterned backgrounds in your visa photos. The best way to ensure that your Russian visa photo is accepted easily, besides following the guidelines mentioned above, is to make sure they are in line with the generic visa photo specs of European countries.


Russia has a somewhat complicated procedure for applying for a visa. The policies are also known to be subject to frequent changes (often not formally announced) caused by changes in the international security scenario and bilateral problems with some countries. It is advisable to contact the nearest Russian Embassy or Consulate to find out what are the actual polices and restrictions prevailing at the time you are applying for your visa.

Getting a visa to visit Russia may entail answering more questions than you would have to for other European countries and it may also take longer to come through, but it is worth the effort to be able to visit the land full of ancient history, incredible beauty and friendly people.

Photos for Finnish passports and Visas

Finland is a country of contrast, from the modern urban areas to the wild and majestic countryside. Full of forests and lakes with great winter sports opportunities, it is a leading outdoors, adventure and sporting holiday destination. It is also a place where you can experience the Midnight Sun – during the summer months the sun remains in the sky for several weeks on end making a land of continuous daylight.

Finnish Passport and Visa photo
and other specifications are among the most stringent in the world. This odes not mean that there is anything extra or unusual about them but every parameter is defined and needs to be followed if you want your application for a passport or visa to have the right kind of photos so it in not rejected. Here is what is expected of the photos:

  • While the present policy is that both black and white as well as color photos are accepted, this will change soon, so it is safer to submit only color photos

  • The photos must be less than six months old

  • The photos should be 47mm X 36mm

  • The size of your face in the photos should be between 32 and 36mm measured from the opt of the head (not including the hair) to the base of the chin.

  • The background must be plain gray with no shadows

  • The contrast must be such that the facial features are clearly discernible

  • Your head should be in the center of the photo

  • Both your head as well as your shoulders should be facing the camera

  • No portrait style photos with profiles of special effects will be accepted

  • Your expression must be neutral and you mouth closed sp that your teeth are not visible

  • Your eyes must be wide open but not unnaturally so

  • No part of your face should be covered by any headgear or hair

  • Glasses should not be worn for the photo

  • Lighting must be uniform and there should not be any dark patches or spots in the photo

  • Natural light should be used and any tints will not be acceptable

  • There should be no red eyes effect caused by the use of a flash

  • It must be printed on top quality paper and be clear with a sharp focus

  • No scratches, stains or other marks should be visible

  • Digital retouching or other modification of photos is not allowed as this will affect the viability of face recognition software.


Having gone through all those specs, it is still preferable to contact the Finnish Embassy and see if anything else is required and also to know what documents are required to be submitted along with our application. While visa policy for European and some other countries is fairly straight forward, in some case special supporting documents are needed.

Passport and Visa Photos for Denmark

The land of the Vikings, the seafaring race that was once feared throughout Europe is now a peaceful and tranquil land of great natural beauty and warm and friendly people. Located on the Jutland peninsula, Denmark, including the 400 islands that line the coast, is one of Europe’s smallest countries. However that does not stop it from being a favored holiday destination not just for Europeans, but for people from all over the world. The Danes are a tidy and organized people who take great pride in maintaining the natural beauty of their country which can be seen from the pristine villages that dot the landscape, the crystal clear water in the fjords, the lush vegetation on the rolling grasslands and the mountains and the long stretches of clean beaches. Of course, the cuisine, especially the Danish pastries are world famous.

Passport and visa photographs requirements for Denmark
are the same and are not complicated. However, the photo specifications must be followed very carefully. Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives visa applicants this warning – “Photos will be scanned onto the sticker and it is very important that the following requirements are met. If not the application process will be delayed until a proper photo is handed in.”


  • The photos must be recent and identical

  • Photos must be 45mm high and 35mm wide

  • Only color photographs are accepted. Please note that the older policy of accepting either black and white or color photos is no longer valid.

  • The background should be light and plain. Patterns or designs in the background are not acceptable. The photos must be such that when scanned the image appears clearly.

  • Your face MUST fill between 70 to 80% of the total photos area.

  • While headwear is allowed if required because of religious beliefs, the face including the cheekbones and the chin must not be covered.

  • While both printed film based photos and digital images are accepted, the minimum resolution for digital photos is 300 pixels.

Citizens of European Union countries do not require a visa to enter Denmark. People from some other countries are also exempt from requiring a visa. These include Australia, Canada, Japan and the USA. If you are a citizen of another country, you should check with the Danish Embassy nearest you to see if you are required to have a visa to enter Denmark

People from other countries who do require a visa to enter Denmark should be in possession of a passport with at least 6 month validity left and a return ticket. If you have a Schengen visa which is common for many European Union countries, this will suffice for your entry into Denmark also.

Photo Requirements for Polish Visa and Passports

The home of Pope John Paul II, Fredric Chopin and Marie Curie, Poland’s long and tumultuous history is closely linked with that of the rest of Europe. Poland has been conquered, partitioned, and subject to wars at many times in its long history. Whatever has happened, the Poles have maintained their unity and have never lost their fierce patriotic zeal. Even while under post World War II communist rule, long before other countries in the same situation tried to will their freedom, the Poles made a valiant although failed attempt when they rose up against the foreign rule in 1956.

The Polish people are famous for their friendliness, hospitality and their strong family values. Poland today is a modern country but for the tourist looking for something different, there are old villages where time seems to stand still and you are taken back hundreds of years, pastoral setting that rival those to be found anywhere else in Europe in their beauty and serenity and ancient castles and forts that take the visitor back to the more turbulent times in Poland past. Its location in the heart of Europe makes it a great place to either begin or end an exploration of the rest of the continent.

Requirements for Polish passport photographs are:

  • Three identical photos must be submitted along with the application

  • The photos must not be more than 6 months old

  • The size should be 35mm X 45mm

  • The photos should be in color and must have a light grey background

  • The size of the facial image, as measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin must be between 31 to 36mm

  • The eye line should be between 20 to 30mm from the bottom of the photo.



Visa photo requirements are somewhat different and are spelt out in more details:

  • The photos should be submitted in 3 copies

  • They must be in color
  •  The photos must be printed of high quality paper and have a bright background

  • The photos should not be more than 6 months old.

  • The person should be looking straight at the camera and both sides of the face should be clearly visible.

  • The head should occupy about 75% of the total picture surface

  • The shoulders should be visible

  • Facial coverings and hats or other headgear are not permitted in the photos

  • Hair should not cover any part of the face and the eyes should be clearly visible
  • The mouth must be shut and teeth not visible in the photosWhile there is no restriction on the wearing of glasses in the photos, it is preferable to remove them to ensure that reflections do not affect the visibility of the eyes.


Passport and Visa Photos for Pakistan

Pakistan, until about half a century ago, was a part of India. When India became independent, the North West part of the country became an independent state. Much like India in many ways and sharing much of the same heritage, it is a place of great charm and has many places of natural beauty. Visitors should be aware that it is an Islamic state and Islamic laws and conventions, including those on women travelling alone or how women are required to dress, apply. The unrest in neighboring Afghanistan has affected the tourist inflow to the country but the volume of business visitors has remained unaffected.

Photos for Pakistan passports and visas must meet the same criteria. While the specifications for the photos are not a demanding as some other countries, you should ensure that what you submit meets the laid down photo requirements.

The photos should be recent and never more than six months old. Two copies of the photos need to be submitted along with either the passport or visa application. Be careful of the size since it is not that used by most countries – the photos need to be of a 2 inch X 2 inch size. The size of your face in the picture, measured from the bottom of the chin to the top of the hair, should be between 1 and 1 3/8 inches in size and you need to be looking directly at the camera. The photos should be in color and have a white or near white background. You should be wearing normal clothing, as appropriate for your country, when the picture is taken and hats, scarves or other head coverings are not allowed. If your religion  or a medical condition requires you to wear a head covering, you will be asked to submit a signed affidavit stating that it is worn for religious reasons or else provide a doctor’s certificate that the head gear is a medical requirement. There is no standard format laid down for this affidavit or medical certificate so the best thing to do, if you need to submit one, is to contact the embassy and ask them for the wording and other requirements.

An unusual requirement is that while the photos have to be printed on thin paper, the paper itself must be able to withstand temperatures of up to 225 degrees F. This because the passport photos are heat fused onto the document. This does not apply to visa photos, but since some embassies prefer to stick to a single standard, it is safer to ensure that even visa photos meet this requirement.

Pakistan exempts people from certain countries from requiring a visa. On the other hand, there are restrictions on entry into the country for certain categories of people, especially if they in the case of certain nationalities if they have been found to have travelled to India within a short time of their Pakistan visit. Your best option will be to contact your nearest Pakistan Embassy or Consulate and ask them about any restriction that may apply in your case.

Passport and Visa Photos for Indonesia

Made up of over 17000 islands and stretching over 5000 miles along the equator, Indonesia is a place of great natural beauty and offers the tourist a wide variety of topographies and ecological regions, which explains why it is growing in popularity as a tourist destination. An ideal destination for the outdoor tourist, it offers miles upon miles of coral reefs that lie in clear waters, making diving and snorkeling a joy. There are thousands of miles of pristine beaches, both at the popular tourist resorts and the remote locations – ideal for the adventurous traveler. Rainforests, volcanoes and an abundance of unique wildlife, including the famed Komodo Dragon make up just some of the other attractions.

Indonesian passport photo requirements are fairly simple:


    6 photos of 50cms square size are to be submitted along with the passport application. Please note that some Indonesian government departments and Embassies give slightly different photo sizes. To be safe, please contact the embassy or office you are submitting the passport application to and check on the size they require.

  • The photos should be in color with a medium red background. This means that the red should not be so bright as to reflect light and affect the clarity of the picture and not so dark as to cause the details of the face to be lost in a dark background.

  • You must be looking directly at the camera

  • Your face should be in the center of the photos and occupy about 75% of the photo area

 Specifications for visa photos are more clearly defined:

  • The size should be 50cms square
  • 2 copies are to be submitted with the visa application.
  • The photos should be in color with a white background. Light shades and patterns will not be accepted.
  • The size of your face in the photos is very important. Measuring from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin, the image should be not less than 1 inch and not more that 1 and 3/8 of an inch

  • The photos should not be more than six months old

  • Your clothes should be normal daily wear. Uniforms are not acceptable in visa photos even for those whose work requires them to wear one.

  • If you normally wear a wig or hair extensions or use a visible hearing aid or other such device these should be worn in the photo. However, spectacles should not be worn.

Just because the Indonesian visa photo requirements are not too complicated, do not submit any old photos. You may find them being rejected and have to apply all over again.

The Indonesian government permits citizens from selected countries to enter Indonesia without a visa or to obtain an automatic visa on arrival. There are two types of visa – tourist and business and both have different requirements in terms of the application procedure and supporting documents required.

Indian Visa and Passport Photos

India is more than just a country. In size it occupies an entire subcontinent. Its population numbers over one billion and is second only to China. It is home to hundreds of cultures, languages and every religion known. Climatically it contains just about every environment you could ask for, from snow capped peaks to lush valleys, from the desert to the rain forest and everything in between.

India is one of the world’s oldest civilizations with a history dating back to at least 4000 BC and probably beyond that. From the prehistoric Aryans who came from the steppes of Central Europe to the Mughals from Central Asia to the British who occupied the country till it became independent in the mid 20th century, it has assimilated all the cultural influences it has received and made these influences its own.

Tourism is a major industry in the country and no matter what the tourist is looking for, they will find it here. The people are warm and friendly and Indian tradition holds hospitality as being almost a holy trait. In the last decade the economy has been growing at a very high rate and today it is one of the worlds leading economies and most experts feel that the 21st century will see both China and India emerging as super powers.

Indian visa and passport photos specs are fairly straight forward but they must be strictly adhered to or the application will be rejected. The photos must be 3.5cms X 4.5cms and in color. The background must be white. While that is about all the official visa sources have to say, please do keep the following in mind because applications have been known to be rejected for not confirming to the these factors:

  • If you are wearing glasses, please make sure that reflection from the lenses do on limit the visibility of your eyes

  • If you have long hair, ensure that it does not obscure your face.

  • It is preferable not to wear a hat or any kind of head covering in the photos.

  • You should be looking directly at the camera and both sides of your face should be visible in the photos

  • Your face should occupy about 75% of the total photo area.



There are both tourist and business visas available for visiting India. The tourist visas are fairly easy to obtain. All you need is a passport with at least six months validity left and a confirmed round trip ticket. Business visas too are easy to obtain but may require the submission of more details about the nature of the business the visit is for. India does not bar the entry of people form any country, although in the case of certain countries where there are diplomatic or security concerns, some special requirements may exist. Contacting the Indian Embassy to check on any special requirements (unlikely though it may be) and the visa fees is a good idea.

French Passport and Visa Photograph Requirements

France is one of the world’s most frequented destinations. It is one of the most popular holiday locales and offers the tourist everything from the glories of Paris to the famous wines of the Burgundy and Champagne regions, to the beaches of Nice and St. Tropez and incredible scenery in the interiors of the country. From the Loire valley to the French Alps, there is something here for everyone. And of course, the delights of French food are known throughout the world. The country is also one of the world’s largest economies and has trading ties with every corner of the planet which translates into huge volumes of business adding to the already huge tourist inflow.

French requirements for both passport and visa photographs are spelt out in detail and any deviation from these specifications will result in the passport or visa application being rejected. The following conditions must be met for both passport and visa photos:

  • The photos should be submitted in 2 copies

  • The photos should be less than six month old

  • The photos should be of a 3.5cms X 4.5cms size

  • The size of the head in the picture, measured from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin should be approximately 3cms.      That is, the face should make about 80% of the total photo area.

  • If possible, the ears should be exposed

  • Photos should be in color showing natural skin tones.

  • The background should be either white or a very light color. Anything else is not acceptable.

  • Glasses or other eyewear of any kind that affects the appearance of the person is not allowed. To be on the safe side, it is best to remove your spectacles before having your photo taken even if you normally wear them.

  • Face masks and veils, even if traditional and part of normal wear, are not permitted.

  • The photos should not have any flash reflection on the skin

  • There eyes should not appear red in color as often happens with flash photography.

  • Hair should not obscure, even partly, a clear view of the person’s eyes. 



France exempts citizens of many countries from require a visa to enter the country for short durations.

Because of increasing security concerns France is very particular that citizens applying for a passport and visitors wanting a visa should comply with all the specifications and requirements of the photographs failing which the applications will be rejected without any reference to the applicant. So please be sure that the photos you submit along with your passport or visa application for France, do not deviate in any way for the conditions mentioned above.

German Passport Photo Requirements

Like many other countries, Germany has also adopted the new biometric system that requires a contactless smartcard chip and 13.56 MHz loop antenna embedded into the back cover page. The passport also includes two scanned fingerprints added in the chip. The passport photo specifications must be followed by all passport applicants. The validity period of the German passport for the holders under the age of 24 is now six years, while it is ten years for the older applicants. The cover design for the passport has been accepted to be burgundy red in accordance to the design of other EU passports.  

The guidelines for the German passport mention:

  • The size of the photograph should be 36mmx45mm
  • The height from top to bottom face must be between 32- 36mm.
  • The photograph should be centrally aligned with a full front view of the face for German passport and visa.
  • All the features from chin to hairline and both sides of the face need to be clearly visible.
  • The whole face is required to be clear, with proper contrast and sharpness.
  • There should be no reflections, shadows, or red eyes visible in the photo.
  • The background of the photo must be uniform and light colored, preferably a neutral grey.
  • There should be no other object or support to the subject in the photograph. The shadows in the background are also not acceptable.
  • There should be neutral face expressions with closed mouth avoiding smile.
  • The subject has to look straight into the camera.

Requirements for German passport visa

  • Head coverings of any type are not permissible in German passport and visa photographs.
  • The eyes of the subject should be clearly visible, and not covered by hair or frame of the glasses. Sunglasses, tinted glasses, or reflections of glasses are not acceptable in the photos.  
  • Passport photos must be printed on high-quality paper.

Passport Photo Requirements in China

Whenever the name China appears, we are reminded of a country preserving its tradition, ancient cultures and religion. China is also a country with beautiful landscapes, monasteries, Buddha temples, and martial arts. It is one of the most favored tourist destinations with millions of tourists visiting China every year. However, due to the growing concerns of the security worldwide, the Chinese visa and passport requirements have also changed. Now, the country complies with new biometric standards. No wonder, many Chinese passports or visa applications are rejected due to incorrect passport or visa photographs.

The citizens of China also have to adhere to the latest norms of the passport photo requirements in the country. These requirements include:

* The overall size of the passport photo must be 48mmX33mm taken against a white or light blue background.

* The height of head should be between 28mm – 33mm.

* The head width has to be between 21mm–24mm.

* The validity of passport was 5 years previously, but since the year 2007, it will be valid for 10 years for the people above 16 years of age or more.

The Chinese visa requirements are similar to those of the US passport photos. Those applying for Chinese visa, must agree to:

Submit the 2X2 inches photograph.

* Submit photo with a full frontal view of the face, and taken within last 6 months.

It is not allowed to wear hats while posing for the visa photo. The People’s Republic of China does not recognize the dual nationality. For example, if a Chinese national has settled abroad and has acquired the foreign nationality, the person will automatically lose the Chinese nationality. So, a non-Chinese national is not eligible to apply for Chinese Passport or travel documents.

Passport Photos in Turkey

Turkey is a democratic country with huge resources and diversified cultures and climates. The country is known to be a Eurasian nation, as it is located between Europe and Asia.

So, it carries the influence of both the continentals. Also, Turkey is a member to many international organizations such as OECD and G 20. This is a growing economy with a large base of industrial and financial institutions.  For the people, who want to apply for the Turkish passport have to submit two recent identical photographs measuring 35mm x 45mm of size along with their documents.  

As far as the non-immigrant visa of Turkey is concerned, one un-retouched photograph of size 2 x 2 inches (5 x 5 cm) has to be produced along with the visa application. The photographs should be a full face photo with applicant facing the camera directly. The face should cover at least 50 percent of area of the photo with a white background. The dark glasses are not acceptable unless for medical reasons. The subject should be dressed in normal street attire wearing no hat, uniforms and no head coverings obscuring the applicant’s features, hair, or hairline. If at all the head covering is essential, the forehead and ears should be completely visible. No border at the frames of the photo is allowed.

 The photo must be taken with single reflex camera using film required standard processing and hence, the instant-type or digital-quality photograph is not acceptable. Though the guidelines for the photographs required for Turkish passport and visa are very simple to be matched, still you should be careful while getting the photographs printed for the getting Turkish visa or passport.

Photographs for Passport, Visa, Citizenship and Immigration in Canada

Canada is one of the most prosperous countries in the world with lots of places worth visiting at least once in a lifetime. Millions of tourists visit Canada every year for different reasons. Canadian visa, immigration, citizenship, and passport requirements are the strictest in the world. So are the photographs requirements for these purposes.

Canadian Passport Photos

The Canadian passport photo requirements strictly mention the procedure for reproduction of the photographs. Two identical colored or black and white photographs produced from the same film or electronic file are required. The maximum size of the photographs is 50 mm x 70 mm on a high quality photographic paper. The photos produced on heavy weight papers are unacceptable. The photograph must be taken by a professional photographer with the stamp revealing his name, business address, and date of the photograph must to be provided at the back of one photograph. Stick-on-labels are not allowed and ample space must be allowed for the name of the applicant, the signature of a guarantor and his declaration below the photographer’s address. Glasses and their frame should not disguise the eyes of the applicant. A neutral expression with no teeth showing with normal skin color has to be maintained. The image of the subject has to be in center of the photo with no shadow on the background and face. The length from the chin to the crown of the head should be 31 mm to 36 mm. The background color required has to be white or light color. No head coverings are allowed unless for the religious cause.   

Passport photos for Canadian Visa

The frame size of the Canada passport photo should be 35 mm x 45, with full front view of the head and face placed in the middle of the photograph. The size of the head from chin to crown (top of the head including hair or head covering) must be between 31 mm x 36 mm. Two identical colored or black and white photographs taken within the last six months are to be provided along with the application. The clear, well defined photographs with white or light-colored background have to be printed on quality photographic paper. Subject should neither be frowning nor smiling, has to show neutral face expressions in the photograph. The glasses can be worn unless they do not hide any part of applicant’s eyes and also the sunglasses are not allowed. If a head covering is worn for religious reason, ensure that the full facial features are visible in the photo.

Passport photos for Canadian Citizenship

Two identical photos with matt finish have to be provided while applying for the Canadian Citizenship. The passport photos have to measure the frame size as 35 mm x 53 mm. The image size should be 35 mm x 43 mm leaving a blank space of 10 mm below the image for a signature. The photograph should include the matt finish with the stamp or write up of the photographer mentioning his name, address, and date of the photo taken on. 

Canadian Immigration Photo

The requirements of the Canadian immigration photo include some of the most unusual requests that they have to be done on negative film and the applicant has to provide a set of 8 identical colored or black and white photos. The photo must show full frontal view of the subject’s head and top of the shoulders, which have to be centrally aligned. The background of the photo is required to be plain white and the name, date of birth of the applicant and date of the photo was taken on has to be mentioned at the back of one photo of each set. The frame size of the photo is required to be 35 mm x 45 mm, while the distance from chin to the crown of the head is required to be between 25 mm and 35 mm. Each set of photo has to be enclosed in a separate envelope and the name of family members, date of birth and relationship has to be written on the corresponding envelope, which has to be closed by a paper clip. The photo must not be stapled, bent, scratched, and should not bear any ink mark or stain.

Passport Photo Requirements in Italy


According to the GDP calculations, Italy is ranked as world’s 7th largest economy. Moreover, it is the sixth largest exporter of manufactured goods in 2004 as per the OECD. Famous for its ancient culture, traditions, and the religious practices, Italy is a place that attracts many tourists from around the world as it is also an all-time favorite location for the tourists and researchers. Today, Italy is a democratic republic and a one of the most famous world heritage sites that also boasts of a versatile landscape.

  Italian biometric passport

If you are planning to apply for an Italian passport, you have to enclose two identical color photographs of size 30 x 40mm along with other documents. The passport photo should show the frontal view of the subject with a white background. The photographs should not be more than 6 months old. The passport photo specifications are similar to the standards adopted by the European Union (EU).  

In case you are planning to visit Italy, you need a valid passport except for the citizens of some of the countries such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Switzerland, Chile, Costa Rica, United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, United States, and Venezuela. The citizens of these countries do not require a visa while entering as a tourist. They just require a document of identification instead of a passport. While applying for a visa to Italy, you have to submit the documents, such as application form, valid passport with one full blank page, as well as the evidence of sufficient funds to support your stay in the country. Apart from these documents, you need to provide one passport-size photograph with the visa application.

The photograph for Italy visa must be taken within past six months of applying for the visa, and should be pasted or stapled on the application form. The size of the photo must be 5 cm square (approx. 2 inches) with the head at the center of the frame. The visa photo can be color or black and white, but it needs to be taken against a white background. Head coverings or hats are not acceptable until they are used for religious beliefs. The head covering should not cover any part of applicant's face. One is not allowed to wear sunglasses unless they are recommended for medical reasons, such as an eye patch.     

Since the passport and visa requirements are liable to change at a short notice, hence the travelers are suggested to check the latest requirements with their respective embassies or consulates.                    

Passport Photos in Korea

The Korea is one of the leading economic powers in Asia. It is steadily advancing technologically and scientifically, step by step with other rapidly growing countries. Korea is a place rich of culture and diversity, and is now respected all over the world for its rapidly growing industries. If you are living in Korea and you want to apply for a passport, you need to submit your application along with two identical colored passport photographs other than the desired documents.

There are certain norms that need to be fulfilled for the photographs. The photograph with white background should not be more than six months old and the measurement of the photograph should be of 3.5 cm wide and 4.5 cm high. The face should display the front of the applicant measuring approximately 2.5 cm wide and 3.5 cm high. The hats, head-gear, and sunglasses are strictly not allowed. While applying for the extension of the validity one year before or after the expiry date of the current passport, you are required to submit one color passport photo. The remaining requirements the about size and composition of the photograph are same as for the new application photograph. 


In case of applying for a travel certificate, two colored identical photographs have to be submitted all other requirements being similar to the photographs for new passport. Beside passport photographs, all applicants are required to furnish their exact residential number of Korea along with their permanent residential address in country. Otherwise, they are required to submit their Family Census Register. Male applicants between the ages of 18 and 35 years have to submit the proof of extension from military services. However, those who have completed their military service are not required to submit this document.

 If you are applying by mail, you are required to send the application enclosed with all documents and a stamped envelope with a return address. Do not forget to mention your preferred mailing service for the secure arrival of your passport.  If you are a foreign national and want to apply for Korean visa, you have to furnish one recent colored photograph measuring 2”X2” along with copy of your passport and other documents.

Dutch Passport Photo specifications

The Dutch passports are valid for a period of five years from the date of issue. The rules complied by the Dutch passports are similar to those of the European Union. All passports include an embedded contactless smartcard RFID chip for storing biometric data since August 26, 2006. The requirements for the passport photo are one of the strictest and the most difficult to be followed or produced.

The Dutch government has issued clear guidelines if how the photograph has to be produced for the purpose of passport.  The passport photograph must be recently pictured, which is not more than six months old. The size of the photograph must be at least 2”X2” in measurement with a plain, uniform, light gray background. The length of the face of adults, from the chin to crown of head must be 26mm to 30mm. while in case of children aged 11 or below, the length of the face is required to be between 19mm to 30mm. The distance from one ear to another has to be between 16 mm to 20 mm for the adults. In case of children also, the distance from one ear to the other is same. The head of the subject is needed to be in the middle of the photograph. Though, the glasses can be put on, but generally it is advisable not to wear the glasses. Shadows across the face or on the background are not permissible. Hats and scarves are allowed for religious purpose. Any kind of support even to the children is not permissible. 

The requirements for the visa photograph by the Netherlands consulate are specific. The size of the photograph should be 2”X2” and the recent photograph must not be 6 months old. The face of the subject should cover at least 50 percent of the area with the head at the center of the photograph. The full face front view of the applicant should face the camera directly. The color photograph should have a white background with both ears visible in color. Sunglasses or other wears are not acceptable unless required for the medical reasons, for example, an eye patch. Any person wearing a traditional facemask or veil that prevents the adequate identification is not allowed.

Brazilian Passport and Visa Photo

The Federative Republic of Brazil situated in South America is the fifth largest country in the world. Brazil is blessed with beautiful landscapes and soothing climate throughout the year. ]

The country with rich cultural and traditional values is also famous for its festivals and carnivals. The specifications of the Brazilian passport and visa are unusual and unique in the world. Thus, you have to be very careful while selecting a studio for a shoot up for the passport and visa photos. Although, different Brazilian consulate specify different criteria time to time but the common specifications are as given below.  While, applying for a Brazilian passport 3 identical and recent photos of size measuring 5×7 cm are to be submitted along with the passport application. The full front view with light background color has to be shown. The passport booth instant photos are not accepted for the passport.

The photograph requires a date to be shown on the photo, but the digitally added dates are not acceptable.  Brazilian passport & visa photo are similar to the US visa standards. The photos for the Brazilian visa should be recently taken with a measurement of 2” x 2”. The photo should show the front view of the face. The background of the photos should be white. The snapshots and computer pictures are not allowed. Though, these specifications are the most recent, still you should confirm the specifications for the photographs while applying for the Brazilian passport and visa. There are many countries of the world, whose citizens do not require the visa to visit Brazil, such as Belgium, Bolivia, Ecuador, France, Finland, Malaysia, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey.

Japanese Passport Photo Specifications

  If you want to get a Japanese Passport, you have to apply with required documents including birth certificate, certificate of identity, proof of citizenship, one self-addressed stamped envelope, and valid passport photos. Normally, Japanese government issues passports for two different durations: five years or ten years. The Japanese citizens up to 19 years of age can get a passport, which is valid for a term of five years. However those above 20 years of age, can opt for a blue colored passport valid for five years’ duration, or a red colored passport valid for ten years’ duration. So if you are planning to apply for a Japanese passport, Japanese visa, or Japanese Alien Registration, remember, each one of them has different sizing requirement as far as the sizes of the passport photographs are concerned. So you must ensure that you follow the specifications set for these documents.  

While Applying For A Japanese Passport

In case you require photographs for the Japanese Passport, get a passport photo in the specified size of 45X35mm. The height of the face from bottom of chin to the top of the head is 32mm to 36mm. In addition, the distance between top of the head to the top of the picture is between 2 to 6mm. The face of the applicant must be positioned almost in the middle of the passport photograph. The background of the photograph has to be a completely white or off-white. These provisions for the Japanese passport photos are also confirmed by the standards of EU specifications.

While applying for a Japanese visa

If you are applying for a Japanese visa, get the passport photographs in 45mmX45mm size with a white background. The applicant is not allowed to show the teeth and the facial expressions in the photographs. So, the mouth of the applicant should be closed with neutral expressions on the face. You must submit three identical photographs along with the visa application. The photographs should not be more than 6 months old. Again, these stipulations are similar to the EU passport specifications.

While applying for the Japanese Alien Registration

If you are applying for the Japanese alien registration, you need to get two identical passport photographs in 45mmX35mm size. All of these passport photo requirements match the standards of EU and UK passport specifications. In case of Japanese visa certificate of eligibility, you must produce two identical photographs in 40mmX30mm size.  

Guidelines for Passport photo in Australia

As Australia is one of the largest countries in the world, majority of airlines fly here. Like any other country, there are certain formalities and regulations that you need to follow to ensure a pleasant trip to Australia. 

Those applying for a new passport in Australia need to provide two identical passport photos, which are not more than six months old. The back side of your passport photo must contain words “This is a true photo of (your full name),” and should be signed by the guarantor. In case you are applying for the renewal of your passport, then get your name printed on the back of one passport photo.Some of the Australian passport photo guidelines that you need to comply with are listed below: 

Passport photo instructions

The height and width of the photograph should be 45 – 50mm and 35 – 40mm respectively. The measurement of the face from the bottom of the chin to the top of the forehead must be between 32mm and 36mm. 

The passport photo for Australia should have high-quality print and resolution without person’s face looking washed out. The passport photo should show natural skin tones, appropriate brightness and have clear contrast. There should be no reflections and red eye visible in the passport photo. You should show the neutral expressions with closed mouth. The background of the photo has to be plain and light colored, such as white, cream or pale blue. You should be looking directly into the camera and should not show tilted head. Both edges of your face should be clearly visible with no hair across your eyes. Also, there should be no manipulation, stains, or marks in the passport photo. 

Head coverings

Head coverings are not allowed unless for religious reasons. Wearing a hat or sunglasses is not permitted. In case of religious head coverings your facial features from bottom of the chin to top of the forehead and both edges of the face, must be clearly visible.  


If you wear the glasses, you should either remove them or they must show your eyes clearly. Dark and tinted sunglasses, which bar the view of your eyes, are not permitted. In addition, the reflection of your lenses is not acceptable. The frame of your glass should be lighter and any part of your eye should not disguise behind the frame of the glasses. 

Photos of children and babies

Your baby should be awake, looking straight into the camera with closed mouth in the photograph. The child’s face should be clearly visible without any object or pacifier such as a toy, another child, or parent’s hand. There should be no hair across the child’s eyes. Moreover, the background of the photo should not be dark.

Passport photos to China


A trip to China is a big deal. 
If you’re going there, chances are pretty good that you’ve been planning
your trip for a while.  No doubt you are
looking forward to seeing family and friends that you’ve been away from for
years.  Or, perhaps you’re going to
explore and experience
China for the very first time.  That’s why you don’t want to risk any issues
from an improperly prepared passport.

Beginning in 2007, Chinese passports are now valid for 10 years from the date of issue.  If you're planning to visit China for the 2008 Olympic Games and are not a special guest, you want to consider beginning the process for updating and applying for your passport immediately to avoid any delay.

The passport photo for China has specific requirments that you must adhere to if you will have your passport approved:

  • Photo must be 48mm x 33mm
  • The head height must be 8mm – 33mm
  • The head width must be 21mm – 24mm
  • Background may be white or light blue

You can create your own passport photo using the photo wizard on

Cherish your kids' passport photos forever

So you have decided to apply for a passport for your newborn? Many of you would agree that it’s quite challenging to take good shots of such young babies. This is because newborns often fall asleep during a passport photography session. Though getting a passport photo of your child can be a tiresome job, but you won’t be able to resist smiling when you recollect these small but important moments of his childhood. Therefore, if you want to succeed in getting a beautiful picture of your child, you should consider each step of getting a good passport photo for your child as a step towards attaining his true identification in this world.  

Wondering how can you get your child’s passport photos, which you would love to cherish forever? Here are few tips:

1)       Ensure that the child has got a good amount of sleep before you take him for a passport photo session. The baby must be in good mood with his eyes open. 

2)       The background of the passport photo should be white. Therefore, you should dress up the baby in contrasting color, which doesn’t blend much with the background color.

3)       Keep the copy of your baby’s birth certificate and his social security card handy.

4)       Babies may get cranky during passport photo session, so you should immediately take a break. Feed the baby if he is hungry, but you can use a bright colored toy to ensure he doesn’t fall asleep.

5)       If the baby is too young to hold his head straight, you can make him lie on a white cardboard and shoot a nice passport photo. You can also put the child in his car seat and put a white towel around him and then take the passport photo.

6)       Always check the passport rules set by government authority, it would help you take the desired shot without wasting much of your time and keeping the child calm.

7)       Parents should not try to support the child by putting their hand or holding the child from the back side.

8)       Don’t put any toys or dummies to console the child, which are visible through camera.

9)       The passport photograph of your child should look identical and should be printed on a low-gloss, plain white paper.

10)   The passport photo of your child should be in sharp focus and should be devoid of any unwanted shadow at the background.