Canada Passport Photo Rejected

The Canadian passport photo was rejected because it did not meet Passport Canada's guidelines. Common issues leading to rejection include incorrect size, lack of color, unclear image, background problems, off-centered face, eyewear, headwear (except for religious or medical reasons), open mouth, and inappropriate facial expressions. To ensure compliance, consider using our reliable and affordable Visas for Future passport photo service.

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Several factors can lead to the rejection of a Canadian passport photo. Among the most common reasons are:

  • Incorrect Size: The photo doesn’t meet the required dimensions of 50mm x 70mm for Canadian passport photos.
  •  Lack of Color: Passport photos must be in color according to Canadian requirements.
  •  Lack of Clarity: The photo needs to be more transparent and well-focused.
  •  Background Issues: The photo is not taken against a plain white or light-colored background.
  •  Off-Centered Face: The applicant’s face is not properly centered in the photo.
  •  Eyewear: The applicant is wearing glasses or sunglasses.
  •  Headwear: The applicant wears a hat or other headwear except for religious or medical reasons.
  •  Open Mouth: The applicant’s mouth is open in the photo.
  •  Facial Expression: The applicant displays an inappropriate expression on their face.

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

  • Size: The photo must be 50 mm wide by 70 mm high (2 inches wide by 2¾ inches high).
  • Color: The photo must be in color.
  • Background: The background must be plain, white, or light-colored.
  • Head size and position: The head must measure between 31 mm and 36 mm (1¼ inches and 1⁷⁄₁₆ inches) from the chin to the crown (natural top of the head).
  • Glasses: Your eyes must be visible. There must be no glare on the lenses.
  •  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 worn daily for religious beliefs or medical reasons are permitted.
    • Your full face must be visible.
    • The head covering must not create shadows on your face.
    •  Facial expressions: You must have a neutral expression on your face. Your mouth must be closed.
  •  Wheelchair users: If you place a white blanket behind your head, your facial features and the edges of your face must be visible.
  • Image Quality:
    • Ensure clarity, sharpness, and focus.
    •  Uniform lighting without shadows, glare, or flash reflections.
    •  A clear distinction between your face and the background.
    •  Reflect on your natural skin tone.
    •  Taken in person by a commercial photographer or studio.
    •  Professionally printed on plain, high-quality photographic paper.
    •  Photos printed at home or on heavy paper are not accepted.
    •  The photo must be original and unaltered.
    • The photo must be printed on plain, high-quality photographic paper. Any other paper is unacceptable.
  • Child Photos: 
    • Follow the same rules as above for child photos.
    •  Photos should show only the child’s head and shoulders.
    •  Recognize variations for newborn expressions.
    •  Use a white blanket in a car seat with no shadows for newborns.
  • Medical Considerations: 
    • If in a wheelchair, use a white blanket behind the head.
    •  Headwear or nasal cannula with visible eyes is allowed for medical reasons. Include a signed explanation, and a doctor’s letter may be requested.
  • Additional notes (on the back of one (1) printed photo):
    • The photographer’s or studio’s name, full address (including street name, civic number, and suite number if applicable), town, postal code, and the date the photo was taken must be directly provided on the back of one image (refer to the illustration below).
    • This information must be stamped or handwritten by the photographer; stick-on labels are unacceptable.
    • Adequate space must be reserved for the applicants’ names, the guarantor’s signatures, and the guarantor’s declaration.
Canada Passport Photos
Click the photo to view the full-size Canada passport photo size infographic.

Here is a sample of what the back of your photo looks like.1

Visas for Future Passport Photo Service

Having a photo that aligns with the government’s guidelines is crucial. Ensure your photo meets strict Canadian government guidelines with our reliable and affordable Visas for Future passport photo service. Send a photo 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 the 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

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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.

What happens if they reject my passport photo?

If your passport photo is rejected, you will receive a notice explaining the reasons and providing corrective guidance, such as adjustments to size or background. Generally, you must promptly retake a compliant photo and resubmit it. Remember that this process can lead to delays, highlighting the need for swift rectification to prevent additional application delays.

What are the common reasons for Canadian passport photo rejection?

Passport photos are essential for verifying your identity and preventing fraud. If your photos meet the specifications, your application may be completed on time.

There are several reasons why a passport photo may be rejected in Canada. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • The head size needs to be corrected. The head must be centered in the photo and take up between 31 and 36 millimeters from the chin to the crown of the head.

Here is a sample of the correct passport photo size.1

  • Background Issues: The photo is not taken against a plain white or light-colored background.
  • Off-Centered Face: The applicant’s face is not properly centered in the photo.
  • Facial expression is not neutral. The applicant must have a neutral facial expression, with no smiling, frowning, or other facial expressions.
  •  Eyes are not open and visible. The applicant’s eyes must be open and visible, without obstructions such as sunglasses or hats.
  •  Head covering is not allowed unless for religious or medical reasons. If a head covering is worn, it must not cast shadows on the face, and the whole face must be visible.
  •  Glare or shadows are present. The photo must be taken in even lighting, without glare or shadows on the face or shoulders.
  •  Skin tone is not natural. The photo must represent the applicant’s natural skin tone without distortion from flash photography.
  •  The photo is not printed on high-quality photo paper. The image must be printed on high-quality photo paper, preferably glossy.

In addition to these common reasons, passport photos may also be rejected for more specific reasons, such as:

  • Apparent signs of tampering or alteration.
  • The photo needs to be lighter and lighter.
  • The photo is blurry or out of focus.
  • The photo is not taken in front of a solid white background.
  • The photo contains any identifying marks or symbols.

Tips to ensure the acceptance of their Canadian passport photo

Here are some tips for getting your passport photo accepted:

  1. Follow the Rules

Stick closely to the guidelines set by Passport Canada. Check that your photo matches the size, composition, and other specifications they require.

  1. Pick a Pro Photographer

Choose a professional photographer or a photo service with experience in passport photos to ensure they meet the necessary standards.

  1. Keep a Neutral Face

Don’t smile or frown in your photo. Follow the guidelines for open eyes, a closed mouth, and a clear-face view.

  1. Good Lighting is Key

Make sure your face is evenly lit with no shadows. Avoid reflections on glasses, and ensure your whole face is well-lit.

  1. Choose a Plain Background

Take your photo against a simple white or light-colored background. Your face should stand out clearly against it.

  1. Size Matters

Confirm your passport photo is the correct dimensions, usually 50mm x 70mm. Don’t resize or crop it, as this could cause issues.

  1. Go for Color

Canadian passport photos must be in color, so avoid submitting black-and-white images.

  1. Remove Headwear

Unless it’s for religious or medical reasons, take off hats, scarves, or anything that covers your face.

  1. Don’t Edit Digitally

Keep the photo natural and avoid digital alterations, like retouching or editing. It should show your actual appearance.

  1. Use Trusted Services

If you’re using a photo service, choose one that is reliable and reputable to ensure they follow the guidelines.

  1. Double-check before Submitting

Review your photo carefully before submitting it to ensure it meets all the requirements.

How to resubmit your Canadian passport photo?

To resubmit your Canadian passport photo, you can follow these steps: 

  1. Visit the Government of Canada’s website for passport services.
  2.  Select the option for “Resubmit photo” or “Photo specifications,” depending on the reason for the resubmission.
  3.  Follow the instructions provided for uploading or mailing your new photo.
  4.  Pay any necessary fees and wait for confirmation from Passport Canada that your new photo has been accepted.

It’s essential to ensure that your new photo meets all of the specifications outlined by Passport Canada to avoid any further delays or issues with your passport application.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I be denied a passport in Canada?

Yes, you can be denied a passport in Canada under certain circumstances.

How long does it take to know if a passport photo is rejected?

The timeframe for finding out if your Canadian passport photo is rejected depends on how you submit your application.

Can I get a passport if I have a criminal record in Canada?

If you have a criminal record in Canada, you may still be able to obtain a passport, but it will depend on the severity of the offense and whether or not you are currently under any restrictions or conditions.

How can I tell if my passport photo will be accepted?

If you follow the rules and guidelines provided by the Canada Passport program.

  1. Canada.ca. (2023). Passport Photos, Canada.ca, Retrieved February 6, 2024, <https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/canadian-passports/photos.html#photo> [] [] []

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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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MLA Style

Miguel, Charlyn. "Canada Passport Photo Rejected." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/passport-photo-rejected-canada/. Accessed on 17 September 2023.

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Miguel, Charlyn. "Canada Passport Photo Rejected." Visas For Future. September 17, 2023. https://www.visasforfuture.com/passport-photo-rejected-canada/.

Published: 17 Sep 2023 12:47 UTC

Last modified: 24 Mar 2024 7:53 UTC

Reading time: 11 minutes

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