German Passport Photo Guide

The German passport photo requirements are quite strict, so it's important to follow the guidelines carefully to avoid any issues with your application. Ensure a full front view with a centered face, ensuring clarity from chin to hairline. Both sides of the face should be visible, filling 70-80% of the photo's height (32-36 mm). The front of the head, including hair, must be entirely visible. The photo should measure 35 x 45 mm without a frame, be in color, and be captured against a neutral gray background with even lighting and no shadows. Maintain a neutral expression with a closed mouth and open eyes; smiling or frowning is prohibited. For additional details, please continue reading.

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Here are the full rules for the German passport photo:1

  • Specifications:
    • The photo should be a full front view of the face, centered, with features from chin to hairline visible.
    • It is acceptable for the photo to be either black and white or colored.
  • Size and Format:
    • The photo size must be 35×45 mm or 1.37×1.77 inches.
    • Both sides of the face must be clearly visible, with the face filling 70-80% (between 32 and 36 mm) of the photograph.
    • The photo must be 600 DPI minimum print resolution.
  • Contrast:
    • The entire face should be clear, with proper contrast and sharpness.
  • Lighting:
    • The face should be well-lit, without flash reflections, shadows, or red eyes.
  • Background:
    • The background must be uniform and light-colored, ideally neutral grey, providing good contrast with the face and hair.
    • For light-colored hair, a medium-grey background is recommended, and for dark hair, a light-grey background is preferable.
    • The image should exclusively feature the intended subject without any other individuals or items present. This is particularly crucial when photographing young children, as distractions from additional people or objects within the frame can reduce the clarity and purpose of the photo.
    • Shadows or patterns on the background are unacceptable.
  • Photographic Quality:
    • The photograph should be printed on high-quality paper, with a resolution of at least 600 DPI, free of creases or marks, and representing natural skin tones.
  • Head Position, Facial Expression, and Direction:
    • The head should not be leaning or turned (e.g., half profile). The facial expression should be neutral, with a closed mouth, and the subject must look directly into the camera. Eyes should be open and clearly visible, without obstruction from hair or glasses frames.
  • Glasses:
    • Eyes must be clearly visible, and reflections on glasses or tinted/sunglasses are unacceptable. The edge of the glasses or frame must not cover the eyes.
  • Head Coverings:
    • Generally not allowed, except for religious reasons where the face must be visible from chin to hairline, with no shadows on the face.
  • Eye Coverings:
    • Ensure clear and prominent visibility of the eyes in the photograph.
    • Exceptions are permitted for medical reasons requiring obstruction or covering of the eyes.
    • Allowances can be made to address the unique circumstances associated with health or medical conditions.
Germany Passport
Click the photo to view the German passport photo-size infographic.

Visas for Future Passport Photo Service

Visas for Future provides an easy-to-use passport photo service, guaranteeing that your photo complies with all the official requirements for a German passport application. Designed to be a time-saving solution and to minimize potential frustration, follow our guidelines to capture a photo of yourself. Send it to us, and we will handle the editing. Your passport photos will be sent to you by post with free shipping, available for delivery in Canada, the EU, the US, and the UK. For individuals outside these regions, we offer the option to receive passport photos in your inbox for convenient at-home printing. As part of our commitment to sustainability, we plant a tree for every product sold!

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 your photo 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.

Tips for Taking a Perfect German Passport Photo

Here are some tips for capturing a passport photo successfully:

  1. Follow the guidelines

Follow the guidelines provided by your passport agency or embassy for a successful passport photo.

  1. Find a well-lit area

Ensure the area’s lighting is bright and even, without any harsh shadows.

  1. Use a plain background

The background should be a plain, light-colored surface, such as a white wall or a sheet.

  1. Dress appropriately

Wear clothing that contrasts with the background and doesn’t cover your face or head.

  1. Position the camera correctly

The camera should be at eye level and facing you directly.

  1. Hold still

Ensure your head and body are still and in the correct position for the photo. 

  1. Avoid shadows

Make sure there are no shadows on your face or background.

  1. Check the size and requirements

Ensure you know the size and other requirements for the passport photo in your country. 

  1. Don’t edit the photo

Do not edit the photo or add filters. It should be a clear and unedited image.

  1. Smile naturally

Smile naturally but do not show your teeth. 

German Passport photo for kids and babies

Guidelines for kids aged 6-9:

  • Ensure the face takes up 50-80% of the photo, measuring 22-36mm from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head (not including hair).
  • If figuring out the head’s top without hair is tricky, reject photos only if the face measures less than 17mm or more than 40mm.
  • Special rules for babies and young kids will be given separately.

For kids aged five and under, stick to the exact face measurements mentioned for 6-9-year-olds. But there are some differences:

  • Kids under five don’t need a neutral face or look directly at the camera.
  • Their heads don’t have to be in the center of the photo.
  • Babies under one year don’t need to have their eyes open.

Correct and Incorrect Samples of German Passport Photos

Here are the samples of correct and incorrect German passport photos.2

Steps to get a German passport photo Online

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to obtain your passport photo online through Visas for Future:

Step 1: Visit the Visas for Future website and find the “Get Passport Photo Now” button.

Step 2: Fill out the order form with essential details, including your full name, email address, and country of residence, and clearly indicate the country for which you are applying.

Step 3: Proceed to the payment section and finalize the transaction to settle the application fee, which amounts to $5.50.

Step 4: Upload your passport photo in accordance with the specified requirements, ensuring that it meets the necessary criteria regarding size, background, and other specifications.Step 5: Expect to receive your processed photo within 24 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

What color is the background for a German passport photo?

For a German passport photo, it is recommended to use a uniform light grey background.

What are the rules for German visa Pictures?

When applying for a Germany visa, ensure that the photo meets the following criteria:
1. The photo size should be 35×45 mm or 1.37×1.77 inches.
2. It must have been taken within the last six months.
3. Your face should occupy 70-80% of the picture.
4. Display a full frontal view of the face in the photo.
5. The photo should be high-quality, accurately representing your actual appearance.
6. The background should be light grey.
7. Ensure the photo is sharp-focused, clear, and properly contrasted.
8. Prohibit red eyes, reflections, and shadows across the face.
9. Maintain even lighting, avoiding extremes of darkness or brightness.
10. Print the image on high-quality paper, either glossy or matte.
11. The photo’s print resolution must be at least 600 dpi.
12. Submit two identical photos as required by the German embassy.


  1. Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Manama. Photo Requirements. manama.diplo.de. Retrieved February 9, 2024, <download-passfotosneu-data.pdf (diplo.de)>[]
  2. German Mission in the United States. Sample Photos. germany.info. Retrieved February 9, 2024, <Fotomustertafel_2007_english_R2.indd (germany.info>[]

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James Abel Diego
Written by

James Abel Diego is a content writer at Visas for Future who is an expert in travel and visa policies for Turkey, India, Colombia and Egypt. He is an Education graduate who is inclined with passion in writing informative content. He has been in several training sessions making him more of value in content and fulfilling customer orders efficiently. James maintains his understanding of visa processing by executing real visa orders once per quarter.

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

Diego, James Abel. "German Passport Photo Guide." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/german-passport-photo-requirements/. Accessed on 15 September 2023.

Chicago Style

Diego, James Abel. "German Passport Photo Guide." Visas For Future. September 15, 2023. https://www.visasforfuture.com/german-passport-photo-requirements/.

Published: 15 Sep 2023 8:37 UTC

Last modified: 23 Feb 2024 1:45 UTC

Reading time: 8 minutes

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