New Zealand Passport Photos Guide

Obtaining a New Zealand passport requires a compliant photo that meets specific government regulations. The photo submitted should measure 35mm x 45mm and be taken on a plain white or light grey background. The photo should show a clear, full-frontal view of the face with the head centered in the frame, eyes open, looking directly at the camera. The face should occupy about 80% of the photo, with no shadows or reflections. Additionally, glasses must be removed, and the subject should have a neutral expression and closed mouth. For more specific requirements, please continue reading.

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A New Zealand passport requires a recent, high-quality photograph that meets specific government standards. This guide aims to assist you in understanding and fulfilling these requirements to ensure a smooth application process. By following these guidelines, you can capture an acceptable photo and avoid potential delays in receiving your passport.1

Size and Format

  • Actual size
    • Width: 3.5 centimeters (cm)
    • Height: 4.5 centimeters (cm)
  • Orientation: Portrait (vertical)
  • Aspect ratio: 4:3 (3:4 on a smartphone)
  • File size: Between 250KB and 5MB
  • Dimensions: Between 900 and 4500 pixels wide and 1200 and 6000 pixels high
  • File format: JPG or JPEG


  • Number of photos: Two (2) identical photos (digital only).
  • Purpose: Used for your New Zealand passport application.
  • Clarity: Sharp and focused, no blurriness.
  • Age: Recent photo, preferably taken within the last six (6) months.
  • Expression: Neutral, mouth closed, no smiling or frowning.
  • Eyes: Open and clearly visible.
  • Head Covering: Only allowed for religious or medical reasons, with face fully visible and endorsement required.
  • Digital Alterations: Not allowed, no filters or edits to change your appearance.
New Zealand Passport
Click the photo to view the full-size New Zealand passport photo size infographic.

Technical Specifications

  • Background: Plain, light-colored (light blue, light gray, and cream) with no patterns or objects.
  • Clothing: Wear plain clothing; avoid busy patterns or anything that blends with the background.
  • Position: Face the camera directly, head straight and centered.
  • Distance: The photo was taken from 1.5 meters away.
  • Number of People: Only one person in the photo.

Visas for Future Passport Photo Service

Use the Visas for Future passport photo service to get a New Zealand passport photo that’ll work for your application. Simply take a photo of yourself using our guidelines, send it in 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 deliver your passport photos to your inbox, which you can print at home.

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 – we check your passport photo to make sure 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 own 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, which will make 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.

What are the requirements for children or renewals for New Zealand passport photos?

Newborns & Infants

  • You can lay them on their backs on a plain white or off-white sheet.
  • Ensure no shadows on their face, especially when taking the photo from above.
  • Alternatively, use a car seat with a plain white sheet.

Babies & Toddlers (Unable to sit unsupported)

  • Similar to newborns, use a plain white sheet or a car seat with a sheet.
  • Encourage them to look at the camera with a rattle or toy.
  • Capture a neutral expression, even if they smile briefly.

Young Children (Can sit unsupported)

  • Sit them in a chair with a plain, light-colored background.
  • Use neutral colors in their clothing.
  • Explain the process and encourage them to cooperate.

Older Children & Adults (Including Renewals)

  • Follow all general requirements.
  • Maintain a neutral expression, even for renewals.
  • Ensure hair doesn’t cover their face.

Online services for obtaining a valid New Zealand passport photo

  1. Choose Visas for Future Passport Photo Service.
  2. Fill out the order form with your personal information, including your country of residence.
  3. Review your information and pay the fee with a valid credit or debit card.
  4. Upload your clear and neutral expression photo.
  5. Download your passport photo in 24 hours.

Tips and Recommendations for Getting Your Passport Photo Approved

Before You Start:

  • Review official requirements: Every country has specific guidelines for passport photos. Check your government’s passport website for detailed specifications, including size, format, background color, expression, and other restrictions.
  • Prepare your materials: You’ll need a camera (a phone camera can work), a plain white or light-colored background (sheet, wall), good lighting, and a friend or tripod (optional).

Setting Up for Success:

  • Lighting: Natural light is ideal. Avoid harsh shadows on your face or background. Diffuse direct sunlight with a thin curtain or sheet.
  • Background: Use a plain white or light-colored background with no patterns, wrinkles, or objects. A seamless backdrop is best.
  • Camera settings: Set your camera to the highest resolution possible and disable any automatic filters or edits.
  • Positioning: Stand about 1.5 meters away from the camera. Ensure your head and shoulders are centered and fill most of the frame.
  • Expression: Maintain a neutral expression with your mouth closed and eyes open, looking directly at the camera. A slight smile is acceptable for some countries, but check regulations.
  • Clothing: Wear plain clothing that contrasts with the background. Avoid busy patterns or anything that blends in.
  • Hair: Ensure your hair doesn’t obscure your face. Pull it back if needed.

Taking the Photo:

  • Use a tripod or have someone else take the photo: This ensures proper framing and eliminates blurry selfies.
  • Take multiple shots: Experiment with different angles and expressions to capture the best one.
  • Check focus and clarity: Ensure your face is sharp and in focus with no blurriness.
  • Review the photo: Use a mirror or screen to check if you meet all requirements and look natural.

Taking your passport photo at home can be a cost-effective and convenient option, but ensuring that it meets all regulations is crucial. We recommend using our passport photo service here at Visas for Future to ensure your photo is regulation-compliant.

Correct and Incorrect New Zealand passport photo

Source: Te Mata Uruwhenua Identity and Passports New Zealand Government

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I smile in a passport photo of New Zealand?

No, you cannot smile in a New Zealand passport photo.

Can I have hair down in a passport photo of New Zealand?

Yes, you can have your hair down in a New Zealand passport photo if it doesn’t obscure your face.

What is the best color to wear for a passport photo?

The best color to wear isn’t about choosing the “best” color but rather ensuring it meets specific requirements and contrasts well with the background.

Can I wear makeup for my passport photo?

Yes, you can wear makeup for your New Zealand passport photo, but must be natural.

  1. New Zealand Government. (2023). Check your photo meets the technical requirements | New Zealand Passports. Govt.nz. <https://www.passports.govt.nz/passport-photos/check-your-photo-meets-the-technical-requirements/> []

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Apple Gajes
Written by

Apple is a skilled content writer of Visas For Future who had a bachelor's degree in Education. She does well at producing high-quality visa articles and continuously upgrading her skills by actively engaging herself to various courses and training opportunities. She also contributes to travel forms and visa fulfillment in Turkey and India. Committed to writing exceptional visa articles, she performs real visa orders and provides customer support quarterly to stay abreast of the visa processing process.

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

Gajes, Apple. "New Zealand Passport Photos Guide." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/new-zealand-child-passport-photo-requirements/. Accessed on 21 September 2023.

Chicago Style

Gajes, Apple. "New Zealand Passport Photos Guide." Visas For Future. September 21, 2023. https://www.visasforfuture.com/new-zealand-child-passport-photo-requirements/.

Published: 21 Sep 2023 10:58 UTC

Last modified: 12 Mar 2024 2:44 UTC

Reading time: 7 minutes

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