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.