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How to take your own biometric photo
Get the perfect biometric ID photo in 3 minutes or less.
Check out just how easy it is!
Take or upload a photo
First, snap a photo or upload one from your device. Our photo editing tool will help you frame the picture correctly.
Get your photo fine-tuned by AI
Next, AI fine-tunes your photo by adapting the background to meet all requirements. It also crops and resizes the image.
Let our experts verify the pictures
Finally, one of our experts carefully verifies the picture against official requirements. You get the feedback in under a minute.
Enjoy your new photos
Your 100% compliant photos are ready for instant download. You can also order printouts and get them delivered to your door.
Tips for taking your own biometric photos
Follow these steps to get the best results
Mind the distance
Pose 4–6 feet (1–2 meters) from the camera. Use a timer to take your photo or have someone snap it for you.
Face the camera directly
Keep your head straight. Avoid tilting your body or looking away. Remember: portrait mode is not suitable for any ID photos.
Ensure good lighting
Take your photos in daylight e.g., next to a bright window. Shadows on your face or in the background are not allowed.
Schengen visa photo in a nutshell
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Need more details? Read the information below
What are the requirements for a Schengen visa photo?
According to the official requirements of the Schengen countries, your biometric visa photograph must:
- Measure 35x45 mm (1.37x1.77 inches)
- Be in color
- Have a brightly colored background (preferably light gray)
- Reflect your natural and current appearance
- Have the applicant’s head occupy 70%–80% of the picture’s height
- Present the individual posing directly in front of a camera with a fully visible face, open eyes and closed mouth
These regulations also apply to children’s Schengen visa photos; however, some of the rules are more relaxed, just like in the case of passport photos.
Who needs a Schengen visa?
According to the European Commission, nationals of 106 countries must hold a valid Schengen visa to enter or cross one of its countries’ borders. There are also countries whose citizens can stay in a Schengen area for up to 90 days without a visa (e.g., US citizens). Here’s a full list of countries.
Depending on your traveling goals, you can apply for one of the following Schengen visas:
- Transit, if you are traveling from one non-Schengen country to the other with a stop in a Schengen country
- Short stay, if you are planning to stay or travel within the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within 180-days period
- Long stay, if you are planning to stay in a Schengen country for longer than 90 days to either work, study, or live permanently
The Schengen visa photo specifications apply to all countries in the Schengen zone. They’re also the same for every visa type.
What is the background for Schengen visa pictures?
Schengen visa photos must be in color. Authorities will not accept black-and-white pictures.
The background of a Schengen visa photo should be brightly colored. The one that authorities recommend is light gray but you can choose blue or beige as well. The background mustn’t have any patterns or objects visible in the picture.
What should I wear for a Schengen visa photo?
There is no one unified dress code for Schengen visa pictures. Most importantly, this biometric photograph must resemble your natural and current appearance. Choose the clothes you wear daily and limit the accessories that may cover or obscure your facial features, like dark optical glasses or head coverings (worn only for religious reasons).
Can I use a US passport photo for a Schengen visa?
Unfortunately, no. The US passport photo size is 2x2 inches (51x51 mm), which doesn’t comply with the Schengen visa photo size requirement—it must measure 35x45 mm.
Where can I get a Schengen visa photo in the USA?
Those residing in the US can visit any photography studio and request Schengen visa photos. Or, you can prepare your photos comfortably at home with our visa photo maker.
Are there any specific requirements for the photo if I am applying for a Schengen visa for a minor?
It depends on the minor’s age. The Schengen visa photo requirements are more relaxed for newborns, infants, and children under 5. Their facial expression can be unnatural, and small babies can have their eyes closed.
Can I use a digital photo for my Schengen visa application?
Not yet. The authorities plan to introduce an online Schengen visa process by 2025. Until then, applicants must submit their Schengen visa photos printed on high-quality paper.
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