Canadian Passport Photo Damaged

If your Canadian passport photo is damaged, you must replace it as soon as possible to avoid any issues when traveling outside Canada. Get a new passport photo and complete the passport application. Once you've completed the application form, submit it with your damaged passport and the new passport photo. Keep reading to learn more about dealing with a damaged photo on your Canadian passport.

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You’ll need a valid passport if you plan to travel outside Canada. However, what happens if your Canadian passport photo gets damaged? A damaged passport photo can lead to severe problems, including denial of entry or even deportation.

Obtaining a passport is essential if you plan a trip to Canada. As you may already know, a passport photo is crucial for obtaining a passport. While getting the perfect photo may seem like a hassle, our Canada passport photo service makes it easy and convenient. With our help, you can rest assured that your passport photo will meet all the requirements, ensuring a smooth and stress-free application process.

If your Canadian passport photo is damaged, you must provide a new photo when you apply for a new one. The new photo must meet the following passport photo requirements and rules.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 needed: 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

If your Canadian passport photo was damaged, you must replace it with a new one. 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 the 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 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.

Considered a damaged passport photo in Canada and its Causes

In Canada, a damaged passport photo refers to one compromised, making it unusable for passport purposes. In this table, you will see the photo considered damaged passport and its causes.

Visible creases: These refer to the lines or folds that appear on the surface of the photo. Due to bending, folding, or wrinkling.
Tear: A small cut or rip in a photo.One common cause is water damage, which can occur if the photo comes into contact with moisture or is exposed to high humidity. Grease or oil from fingerprints or other sources can also cause stains to appear on an image. Exposure to sunlight or other forms of UV radiation can cause fading or discoloration in pictures over time, which can appear as stains or spots.
Marks: Refer to any scratches, smudges, or other blemishes in the photo.Some of the most common causes of overexposed photos include using the wrong camera settings, shooting in bright sunlight, or using a flash that is too strong. Reflective surfaces, such as water or glass, can cause overexposure.
Stains: Refer to discolorations or spots that appear on the surface of a print. This was caused by flaws in the photo printing process and mishandling of the photo.
Blurry: Refers to a lack of sharpness or clarity in the image.One common cause is camera shake, which occurs when the camera is not held steady while taking the photo. This can lead to a blurry image, especially if the shutter speed is slow. Another possibility is that the subject in the photo moved during the exposure, causing blurriness. Blurriness can also be caused by a misfocusing of the camera lens or the subject being out of focus.
Overexposed photos are too bright or washed out, making it difficult to see the details of the person’s face.One common cause is water damage, which can occur if the photo comes into contact with moisture or is exposed to high humidity. Grease or oil from fingerprints or other sources can also cause stains on an image. Exposure to sunlight or other forms of UV radiation can cause fading or discoloration in pictures over time, which can appear as stains or spots.
Underexposed photos are too dark, making it difficult to see the facial features.One of the most common causes of underexposure is using the wrong camera settings, such as a low shutter speed or a wide aperture. Shooting in low light conditions or against a bright background can also lead to underexposed photos. Additionally, using a flash that is too weak or not using a flash at all can cause underexposure in your photos.

What do you do when your Canadian passport photo is damaged?

Here are the steps you can take when your passport photo is damaged:

1. Assess the damage

  • How severe is the damage? Can you still identify yourself clearly in the photo?
  • Does the damage affect any crucial details like your facial features or background?

2. Check the validity of your passport

  • Is your passport still valid? Depending on the severity, damaged photos might pose an issue upon renewal or travel.

3. Consider the options

  • Minor damage: If the damage is minor and doesn’t obscure your identity, you might still be able to travel with your passport. However, it’s advisable to consider replacing the photo at your earliest convenience to avoid potential issues.
  • Significant damage: If the damage is substantial and hinders identification, you must replace the photo immediately.

4. Replacing the photo

  • Renewal: If your passport is nearing expiry or you plan to renew it anyway, include a new photo with your renewal application. This is the recommended and most straightforward option.
  • Replace damaged photo only: If your passport is still valid and you only need to replace the photo, you can apply for a “Passport Amendment.” This involves submitting a new image and paying a fee.

5. Where to apply

  • You can apply for a renewal or passport amendment at a Service Canada Centre, by mail, or online (if eligible).

How to report, and what forms to fill out for your damaged Canadian passport photo?

While a damaged Canadian passport photo doesn’t require direct “reporting,” specific actions are necessary depending on the severity of the damage and your travel plans. Here’s what you need to know:

Minor Damage

  • If the damage to your photo is minor and your identity is still recognizable, immediate action may not be necessary. Nonetheless, it is highly advisable to replace the image as soon as possible, especially before international travel or the expiration of your passport.

Significant Damage

  • If the damage significantly hinders your identification, you need to replace the photo as soon as possible. There are two ways to do this:

1. Renew your passport:

  • This is the simplest option if your passport is nearing expiry or you plan to renew it anyway. Include a new photo with your renewal application.

2. Apply for a Passport Amendment:

  • This option allows you to replace the damaged photo without renewing your passport. It’s ideal if your passport still has considerable validity.

Forms and Reporting

  • Renewal: Submit the “Passport Application Form” (IMM5000), your new photo, and the required fees.
  • Passport Amendment: Use the “PPTC 203 E Declaration Concerning a Lost, Stolen, Inaccessible, Damaged or Found Canadian Travel Document” form. This form declares the damaged photo and initiates the amendment process.
  • No Official Report: No formal “report” is needed for a damaged photo. But be aware that border officials might scrutinize a significantly damaged photo, potentially causing delays or even denial of entry.

Effects of a damaged passport photo

Understanding that a damaged passport photo can lead to significant problems when traveling internationally is essential. Immigration officials and automated passport scanners rely on the image to identify the passport holder. If the photo is blurry, torn, or smudged, it may not be recognized, resulting in various issues.

For instance, immigration officials may ask additional questions to verify your identity, leading to delays in processing your entry into the country. In some cases, if the photo is severely damaged, the passport may be rejected altogether, and you may be denied entry into the country.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that some countries have strict regulations regarding passport photos. For example, the photo should have a transparent background, and the person’s face should be visible. Failure to adhere to these regulations can lead to rejection or delay in processing your passport.

Procedures for replacing a damaged passport photo

You must get a new one if your passport photo has been damaged and is no longer suitable. To replace a damaged passport photo, you will need to follow these procedures:

  1. Get a new passport photo taken: You will need a new one at a photo studio or a drug store offering passport photo services. Ensure that the photo meets all the requirements the passport agency sets.
  2. Fill out form DS-11: You will need to fill out form DS-11, which is the application for a U.S. passport. You can fill out the form online or print it out and fill it in by hand.
  3. Apply: You must submit the completed form DS-11 to a U.S. passport agency or acceptance facility along with your old damaged passport, the new passport photo, and any other required documents.
  4. Pay the fee: You must pay the appropriate fee for the passport replacement service. The cost will depend on the type of passport you are applying for and the processing time you choose.
  5. Please wait for your new passport. It will be mailed to you once it is processed. The processing time will depend on the type of service you choose.

Tips to avoid damaging your passport photo

Here are the tips to take care of your passport photo to prevent damage:

  1. Protect your passport from physical damage: Store your passport in a safe and secure place to prevent any physical damage. Avoid carrying it loosely in your pockets or bags, as the photo surface can easily get scratched or smudged.
  2. Keep it dry: Ensure your passport is not exposed to water or moisture, as water can easily damage the photo surface.
  3. Avoid direct sunlight: Direct sunlight can cause fading or discoloration of the photo, so it is best to keep your passport away from direct sunlight.
  4. Keep it away from chemicals: Avoid exposure to chemicals like perfume, hair spray, or any other chemical that can cause damage to the photo surface.
  5. Handle it with clean hands: Always handle your passport to avoid getting fingerprints or dirt on the photo surface.

Correct and Incorrect Canada passport photo

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a damaged passport still valid?

A damaged passport may not be considered valid by immigration officials, as it may indicate tampering or alteration of the passport. Keeping your passport in good condition and avoiding physical damage is always best. If your passport has been damaged, it is advisable to renew it before traveling to avoid any issues.

Why do passport photos get rejected?

Some common reasons include poor image quality, incorrect size or format, incorrect background color, and incorrect facial expression or position. It’s important to carefully follow the guidelines provided by your country’s passport agency to ensure that your photo meets the necessary requirements.

What is acceptable vs unacceptable for passport photos?

Acceptable passport photos should have a clear, focused image with a plain white background. The person should face the camera directly with open eyes, and their face should take up 70-80% of the photo. Unacceptable photos may have issues like dark or light images, glasses reflecting light, patterned or colored backgrounds, headwear or accessories covering the head or face, and facial expressions.

How much is a damaged passport fee?

The fee for a damaged Canadian passport depends on the extent of the damage. If the damage is minor, such as a slightly bent cover or a small tear, there is no fee to replace it. However, the damage is significant, such as water damage or a missing cover. In that case, the cost for a replacement passport is the same as for a lost or stolen passport, which is currently CAD 153 for a standard 5-year adult passport or CAD 203 for a standard 10-year adult passport.

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

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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
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Cite this article

MLA Style

Miguel, Charlyn. "Canadian Passport Photo Damaged." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/canadian-passport-photo-damaged/. Accessed on 15 September 2023.

Chicago Style

Miguel, Charlyn. "Canadian Passport Photo Damaged." Visas For Future. September 15, 2023. https://www.visasforfuture.com/canadian-passport-photo-damaged/.

Published: 15 Sep 2023 15:40 UTC

Last modified: 24 Mar 2024 7:51 UTC

Reading time: 14 minutes

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