Europe Passport Photo Guide

For a European passport photo, you need a recent, high-quality color photo of 35x45mm in size. The background should be plain and light-colored. Your face should be neutral, with a closed mouth and open eyes. The head and shoulders should fill the frame with no shadows or obstructions. If you want to learn more about the full specifications of a European passport photo, keep reading.

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Here are the full specifications of a European passport photo:1

  • Dimensions
    • Standard size: 35mm x 45mm (3.5cm x 4.5cm)
    • Digital resolution: At least 400 dpi (minimum)
    • Format: Portrait (upright).
    • Color photograph: Color photograph only. Black and white photos are not accepted.
    • High quality: Sharp focus, no blurring or pixelation
    • Plain background: Plain white
    • Neutral expression: Mouth closed, eyes open and unobstructed
    • Head and shoulders: Fill the frame, with your face taking up 70-80%
    • Recent: The photo must be recent, typically within the last six (6) months.
    • Number of photos: Two identical photos are required.
    • No: Sunglasses, tinted lenses, headwear (except for religious reasons), shadows, reflections, red-eye, clothing blending with the background
  • Additional notes
    • Children under the age of five (5): Neutral expression not required, head doesn’t need to be perfectly centered.
    • Babies less than one-year-old: Can be photographed lying down, without specific expression or centered head.
    • Headwear: Allowed for religious reasons if plain, contrasting, and shows full face.
    • Medical conditions: Exceptions may apply with doctor’s documentation.
Europe Passport Photo
Click the photo to view the full-size Europe passport photo size infographic.

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. 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 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.

Exceptions for Europe Passport Photo

Head covering exemption

  • Religious headwear: Individuals who wear head coverings for religious reasons can usually keep them on in their passport photo, provided:
    • The face is fully visible from the forehead to the chin.
    • The headwear is plain and single-colored, contrasting with the background.
    • No shadows or reflections obscure the facial features.
  • Medical headwear: Those with conditions like alopecia or undergoing chemotherapy can wear headwear in their photo, but:
    • A medical certificate confirming the need for the headwear is typically required.
    • The face should still be clearly visible.

Expression and posture exemption

  • Medical conditions affecting facial expressions: Individuals with neurological conditions that impact facial expressions might be granted an exemption.
    • Medical documentation will likely be necessary.
    • Alternative options like a slightly open mouth or a mild smile might be explored.
  • Physical limitations affecting posture: People with limited neck mobility or other physical limitations may be allowed to adopt a modified posture.
    • Again, medical documentation is usually required.
    • The head should still be centered and facing the camera.

Other potential exceptions

  • Prosthetic eyes or facial disfigurements: In special cases, authorities might accept photos with prosthetic eyes or depicting facial disfigurements.
    • Medical documentation and prior consultations are recommended.
  • Vision impairments: For those with severe vision impairments, slight variations in head position or use of assistive devices might be considered.
    • Consult the issuing authority beforehand.

Other possible exceptions

  • Children: Some countries may have slightly different requirements for young children.
  • Minority groups: Specific exceptions may exist for certain minority groups based on cultural or traditional reasons.

Europe Passport photo for kids and babies

While most European countries follow similar passport photo guidelines, there are some specific allowances for kids and babies:

Children under 5-year old

  • Same head size requirement as children 9 and under (25-35mm from chin to top of head).
  • Neutral expression is not required, but a closed mouth and open eyes are preferred.
  • The head doesn’t need to be perfectly centered.

Babies under one (1) year

  • Can be photographed lying down on a plain, light-colored surface (no hands visible).
  • No need for a neutral expression or open eyes.
  • The head doesn’t need to be centered or fill the frame perfectly.

General tips:

  • Use a plain, light-colored background (white, light grey, etc.).
  • High-quality photo with good lighting and no shadows.
  • No pacifiers, hats (except religious), or other objects covering the face.
  • Recent photo (within six months).

Correct and Incorrect Samples of a European Passport Photos

Steps to get a European passport photo Online

To obtain your passport photo through Visas for Future, please follow these steps:

Step 1: Go to Visas for Future.

Step 2: Click on the “Get Passport Photo now” button.

Step 3: Fill out the order form by providing your full name, email, phone number, country of residence, and destination country.

Step 4: Pay the application fee.

Step 5: Upload your photo.

Step 6: Your photo will be delivered to you within 24 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

What format is a passport photo in Europe?

All European passport photos, regardless of country, share the same basic format:
Dimensions: 35mm x 45mm (or 3.5cm x 4.5cm)
Additional key points:
1. Recent (within six months).
2. Color, high quality (sharp focus).
3. Plain, light-colored background (white, off-white, light grey).
4. Neutral expression, mouth closed, eyes open, and unobstructed.
5. Head and shoulders fill the frame (face takes up 70-80%).
6. Avoid shadows, reflections, red-eye, and blending with the background.

Are Schengen visa photos matte or glossy?

There’s no strict requirement for Schengen visa photos to be matte or glossy. Both finishes are generally accepted, as long as the photo meets other quality standards like high resolution, sharp focus, and appropriate contrast.

What to wear for a Schengen visa photo?

Stick to plain clothes that contrast the light background (avoid white or similar). Ditch hats, sunglasses, and heavy jewelry. Religious headwear is allowed if it doesn’t obscure your face. Keep it simple and neat, and ensure your entire face is clearly visible from chin to forehead.

  1. Requirements for photos. (2023). Government.nl. <https://www.government.nl/topics/identification-documents/requirements-for-photos> []

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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
Published by Visas for Future

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Cite this article

MLA Style

Diego, James Abel. "Europe Passport Photo Guide." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/passport-photo-size-europe/. Accessed on 27 September 2023.

Chicago Style

Diego, James Abel. "Europe Passport Photo Guide." Visas For Future. September 27, 2023. https://www.visasforfuture.com/passport-photo-size-europe/.

Published: 27 Sep 2023 8:02 UTC

Last modified: 24 Mar 2024 7:57 UTC

Reading time: 7 minutes

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