Changing your Canadian passport photo

If you need to update your passport photo, you must apply for a new one. Canadian citizens must obtain a new passport at their own expense if their photo becomes outdated before the passport's expiry date. Keep reading to learn more about changing your Canadian passport's image.

Get professional Canada Passport Photo help

As seen on

To change your Canadian passport photo, you must apply for a new one and submit a new one. You can complete the application form online or at a passport office. You will also need to provide the required supporting documents and pay the fee for a new passport. Once your application has been processed and approved, you will receive your new passport with the updated photo. It’s important to note that your new photo must meet the Canadian passport photo requirements, which include specific size, lighting, and expression criteria.

Can I change my photo in my Canadian Passport? If you are a Canadian passport holder and wish to change the photo on your passport, you can easily do so by submitting a new image and application for renewal. However, if you want to change the picture on your current passport before it expires, you must apply for a new one and submit a new one. This process will ensure that your passport remains up-to-date and accurate with your current appearance.

It can be confusing and time-consuming if you’ve been researching how to change your Canadian passport photo. We understand that getting the perfect passport photo can be stressful, so we offer a hassle-free solution. We guarantee that your Canadian passport photo will meet all the requirements and be approved by the Canadian government.

The Canada passport photo requirements and rules are:1

  • Size: The photo must be 50 mm wide by 70 mm high (2 inches wide by 2¾ inches high).
  • Head size: The height of your face must measure between 31 mm (1¼ inches) and 36 mm (1⁷⁄₁₆ inches) from your chin to the crown of your head (natural top of your head).
  • Recency: Photo taken within the past six months.
  • Expression: The expression must be neutral.
  • Eyes: The eyes must be open and facing the camera.
  • Glasses: If you wear glasses, they must not obscure your eyes.
  • Hair: Your hair must be off your face so that the edges of your face are visible.
  • Hats and head coverings: Hats and head coverings are not permitted, except for religious head coverings worn for religious reasons. If you wear a religious head covering, it must not obscure your face.
  • Background: The background must be plain white or light-colored.
  • Lighting: The lighting must be even and bright but not harsh.
  • Digital photos: Digital photos must be taken on a high-quality camera and printed on plain, white photographic paper.
  • Original photos: The photos must be original and not copies.
  • Quantity of photo: Two (2) identical and unaltered photos.
Canada Passport Photos
Click the photo to view the full-size Canada passport photo size infographic.

Special Condition for your printed passport photo:

On the back of one (1) photo,

  • The photographer must write or stamp the
    • Date the photo was taken.
    • Name and complete address of the photo studio.
  • Your guarantor must
    • Write “I certify this to be a true likeness of (applicant’s name)” for an application.
    • Sign the back of the photo.
  • You do not need a guarantor if you’re renewing an adult passport.

Here is a sample of what the back of your photo looks like.

‌‌Source: Government of Canada Website.2

Visas for Future Passport Photo Service

Use the Visas for Future passport photo service to get a passport photo that’ll work for your application. Send a picture of yourself using our guidelines, and we’ll edit it. We’ll send you your passport photos by post with free shipping. We deliver to Canada, the EU, the US, and the UK. For individuals outside of those countries, we can provide your passport photos to your inbox, which you can print at home. For every product sold, we plant a tree!

How it works

Take a photo.
We verify your photo.
Passport photos are delivered by post or email.

How to take your passport photo

Here’s how you can take passport photos at home, to ensure that they’ll be high quality:

1.) Stand .5 meters or 2 feet from the wall. This ensures that there’s no shadow on your portrait.

2.) Place the camera 2 meters or 6 feet away from subject. This will prevent distortion and give you a prettier picture!

3.) Have the camera on the same level as the subject’s face.

4.) Use plenty of lighting. Natural light is preferred but plenty of light in general is the best. Make sure it is even and doesn’t leave a shadow.

Benefits of using an online passport photo service

There are many choices when it comes to getting a passport photo, but here are the reasons why you should go with an online agent:

  1. You don’t have to leave your house.
  2. We know the passport photo rules of the country you’re applying to.
  3. We validate and check your passport photo to ensure it is in order.
  4. Save money with bulk orders – you can order many passport photos and save.

Why choose us

Visas for Future is a convenient service that can help you with your passport photo needs. Here are six reasons why you should choose Visas for Future for your passport photo services:

  • Expertise: Our experts ensure that your passport photo meets the official requirements of your destination country.
  • Convenience: You can upload your photo or take one with your smartphone, and we will crop, resize, and enhance it to create a perfect biometric photo.
  • Support: We’re visa and passport photo experts. You can ask us travel questions, making your trip-planning process easier.
  • Speed: Your photos are shipped within a day!
  • Unlimited retakes: You can also take as many photos as you want until you are satisfied with the result.

Reasons for changing photos in the passport

The Canadian government outlines several reasons for changing your passport photo. Here are the main reasons listed:

Significant change in appearance:

  • Aging: While your appearance naturally changes over time, a new one is recommended if it’s so significant that you’re no longer easily recognizable from your current photo.
  • Weight loss or gain: Substantial changes can alter your facial features enough to warrant an update.
  • Facial hair: Growing a beard or changing your hairstyle significantly can sometimes necessitate a new photo, especially if it obscures critical features.
  • Major surgery or trauma: Scars or other permanent changes could impact identification, requiring a new photo.
  • Gender transition: If your passport photo doesn’t reflect your current gender identity, you should have it updated.

Other reasons:

  • Damaged photo: If your current photo is torn, faded, or otherwise damaged, you’ll need a new one.
  • The photo doesn’t meet requirements: If your current photo doesn’t adhere to the government’s specifications, you must retake it.
  • Personal preference: While not mandatory, you can get a new photo if you dislike your current one.

Steps for changing the photo in the Canadian passport

To change the photo in your Canadian passport, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Get a new passport photo taken according to the guidelines provided by the Canadian government.
  2. Complete the application form for a new passport, indicating that you want to change the photo.
  3. Gather all the necessary documents, including your current passport, a new passport photo, and any other supporting documents required.
  4. Submit your application at a Passport Office or Service Canada Center. You must pay the applicable fee and provide your fingerprints and signature.
  5. Wait for your new passport to arrive in the mail. The processing time for a passport application can vary, so check the current processing times on the Government of Canada website.

What is the necessary documentation needed?

When changing a Canadian passport photo, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • Application Form: You must fill out the application form for a Canadian passport and check the box indicating that you are changing the photo.
  • Current Passport: You must submit your current Canadian passport.
  • Two Passport Photos: You must submit two identical passport photos meeting Canadian passport photo requirements.
  • Additional Documentation: If you have legally changed your name or your current passport is damaged, you must submit additional documentation.

Guidelines set by Canadian authorities for making changes to the passport

The guidelines for making changes to the passport depend on the type of change and the status of the passport. Here are some common scenarios:

  • Renew Passport: You can use the simplified renewal process if your passport was issued within 15 years and was not lost, stolen, or damaged. You don’t need a guarantor or original documents; you need two photos, two references, your completed form, and the fees.
  • Updating Information: If you want to change the name on your passport, you need to apply for a new passport and provide documents showing you legally changed your name. You must also submit your previous passport, two photos, two references, your completed form, and the fees.
  • Damaged or Lost/Stolen Passport: If you want to replace a lost, stolen, or damaged passport, you can use the simplified renewal process if your passport was issued within the last 15 years. You must report your lost, stolen, or damaged passport and complete a declaration form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I travel to Canada with a new passport and visa on my old passport?

While the official Canadian government website states that you can use a valid visa in an expired passport as long as you also present your new valid passport, they strongly recommend obtaining a new visa in your new passport to avoid any issues at the border.

What happens if a passport photo is rejected?

If a passport photo is rejected, the applicant will be notified and must submit a new photo that meets the required criteria. It is essential to carefully review the passport photo requirements and guidelines before submitting the image to avoid unnecessary delays or rejections.

Can a Canadian enter Canada with a different passport?

Canadian citizens can enter Canada with a different passport if they have dual citizenship or multiple passports. However, they must present a valid Canadian passport or emergency travel document to board their flight to Canada.

Can I retake my passport picture if you don’t like it?

Unfortunately, you cannot simply retake your passport picture if you don’t like it once it has been issued.

  1. Canada.ca. (2023). Passport photos – Canada.ca. Retrieved February 15, 2024 <https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/canadian-passports/photos.html> []
  2. Canada.ca. (2023). Passport photos. Retrieved February 15, 2024<https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/canadian-passports/photos.html> []

Ask a question

If you still have a question about this topic after reading the article, let us know and we'll update the article. Include your email if you want us to reply to you.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Charlyn Miguel
Written by

Charlyn is a science researcher and a content writer at Visas for Future. She is trained to write informatively, engaging her contents about visas for Turkey, India, Colombia, Egypt, and Aruba. She also does and manages client orders for efficient customer service. She had published academic articles and co-authored a book. She handles actual visa orders once every three months to preserve his knowledge and communication with the factual visa processing system.

Glen Vidania
Managed by Glen Vidania

Glen Vidania is the Content Manager at Visas for Future, a company that offers online visa services for eco-friendly travelers. He is a certified Content Marketer and an experienced academic writer. He writes and promotes content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to the readers. He had work experience and gained skills in writing articles, data entry, SEO email marketing, and guest posting. He is also an expert in applying for visas for Turkey and India.

Glen Vidania
Published by Visas for Future

Visas for Future strives to help you virtually, so that your research is complete in one visit. Our articles are informative, complete and to-the-point. We write in an accessible way, so that non-native English speakers will understand. Our website is accessible for the visually impaired. We have full oversight of our articles and are unbiased in writing. Check our editorial guidelines.

Send fan mail

We love to hear from you! If our article helped you in anyway, let us know and we'll share it with the team on our Friday meetings.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Cite this article

MLA Style

Miguel, Charlyn. "Changing your Canadian passport photo." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/canadian-passport-photo-change/. Accessed on 15 September 2023.

Chicago Style

Miguel, Charlyn. "Changing your Canadian passport photo." Visas For Future. September 15, 2023. https://www.visasforfuture.com/canadian-passport-photo-change/.

Published: 15 Sep 2023 14:29 UTC

Last modified: 24 Mar 2024 7:50 UTC

Reading time: 9 minutes

Check our editorial guidelines

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 1 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.