To obtain a South African passport, you must provide a passport photo that meets the South African government requirements. Here are the full rules for Passport photos for South African passports:1
- The overall size is 35 mm wide by 45 mm high (3.5 cm wide by 4.5 cm high).
- High-quality printing on matte paper: the passport photos must be borderless.
- It is taken against a white background and a light gray background.
- The photo must show you alone with no chair back.
- The subject must look straight into the camera.
- The passport photo must show the eyes clearly.
- There must be no hair over the face.
Source: Department of Home Affairs, Republic of South Africa.2
Pose and facial expression:
- Face centered in the photo and looking directly at the camera
- Eyes open and visible
- Mouth closed
- Neutral facial expression, but a natural smile is acceptable
Glasses and headwear:
- Glasses are permitted, but your eyes must be visible. The frames of your glasses should not cover any part of your eyes.
- Headwear is not permitted except for religious reasons. If you wear headwear for religious reasons, your entire face must be visible from the bottom of your chin to the top of your forehead and both edges.
- The photo must be recent and taken within the last six months.
- The photo must be printed on high-quality photo paper.
- The photo must be free of any marks, creases, or damage.
- Provide two (2) identical passport photos.
If you need a South African passport photo, Visas for Future can provide an image that meets official guidelines and looks visually pleasing to ensure your photo is accepted. To avail of our photo service, click the button below.
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. Take a picture 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 the EU, US, and 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 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:
- You don’t have to leave your house.
- We know the passport photo rules of the country you’re applying to.
- We validate and check your passport photo to ensure it is in order.
- 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 more manageable.
- Speed: Your photos are sent in your email within a day!
- Unlimited retakes: You can also take as many photos as you want until you are satisfied with the result.
How to take the perfect South Africa Passport Photos at Home Using Smartphone
Taking passport photos at home using a smartphone can be a great way to save time and money. However, specific requirements must be met to accept the photo when applying for a South African passport. Here’s how to take the perfect South Africa passport photos at home using your smartphone:
- Find a plain white or light-colored background to stand against. A plain wall or a sheet can work well.
- Stand directly facing the camera, with your head and shoulders in the frame.
- Your face must be well-lit, so avoid taking the photo in a dimly lit area or with many shadows.
- Your eyes must be open and visible, and no reflections or glare on your glasses.
- Keep a neutral expression, with your mouth closed and no smiling.
- Ensure your hair is tucked behind your ears and no accessories cover your face.
- Use the rear-facing camera on your smartphone, as it will produce higher-quality photos.
- Have someone else take the photo or use a tripod or selfie stick to keep the phone steady.
- Once you have taken the photo, use a photo editing app to crop the image to 35mm x 45mm.
Common mistakes made in South African passport photos
By being aware of these common mistakes and adhering to the official South African passport photo requirements, you can significantly increase your chances of a smooth and successful application process. Some common mistakes made in South African passport photos include:
- The incorrect background color. The background must be plain white.
- Wearing glasses. Glasses are not allowed in passport photos.
- Poor lighting. The photo must be well-lit and not have any shadows.
- Incorrect facial expression. The photo must show a neutral facial expression with both eyes open.
- Improper head positioning. The head must be straight and facing the camera directly.
- The face is not filling the frame correctly. The face must take up 70-80% of the photo.
Correct and Incorrect South Africa Passport Photos Samples
Source: Department of Home Affairs, Republic of South Africa.3
Steps to get a South Africa passport photo Online
Here’s the step-by-step process for obtaining your South Africa passport photo through Visas for Future.
Step 2: Fill out the order form by providing your name, email, country of residence, and what country you are applying to.
Step 3: You can make the payment for the application fee through credit card, debit card, or PayPal.
Step 4: Upload a clear and recent photo of yourself.
Step 5: Receive your digital photo within 24 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I download my passport photo online?
Yes, at Visas for Future, digital download is available.
What is a passport-size photo for South Africa?
The South African passport photo size is 35mm wide x 45mm long.
What is the format for the South Africa visa photo?
To meet the photo requirements for a South African visa, your pictures should be in a passport-like format, with a height of 45mm and a width of 35mm. Your face should cover a minimum of 29mm in height, which includes your hair.
- Department of Home Affairs – Travel Documents. (2024). Dha.gov.za. Retrieved February 13, 2024<http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/civic-services/travel-documents>
- Passport & ID Photograph Specifications Style and lighting. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2024 <https://www.westerncape.gov.za/text/2015/February/passport_photo_specifications.pdf>
- Western Cape Government. (n.d.) Passport & ID Photograph Specifications Style and Lighting. Retrieved February 13, 2024 <https://www.westerncape.gov.za/text/2015/February/passport_photo_specifications.pdf>
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Cite this article
Santos, Byron. "South Africa Passport Photo Online." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/passport-photos-for-south-african-passport/. Accessed on 23 September 2023.
Santos, Byron. "South Africa Passport Photo Online." Visas For Future. September 23, 2023. https://www.visasforfuture.com/passport-photos-for-south-african-passport/.