Scan a passport photo for a Canada visa

Scanned copies of physical photos will not be accepted. You are not allowed to alter the file in any way, including editing, cropping, or compressing it through repeated saves. Your photo must be in either .jpeg or .jpg format and can be in color or black and white. Continue reading and learn more about the photo guidelines for your Canada visa application.

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If you have been researching how to apply for a Canadian visa, you might have come across the requirement to submit a good-quality digital copy of a photo of your passport. You cannot scan a physical photo, as it will not be acceptable.1 This is where our product offering of Canada passport photos comes in handy. Our service lets you quickly and conveniently have your printed passport photo for a Canada visa application and ensures that it meets all the guidelines and requirements.

Canada’s passport photo requirements and rules are:2

  • Size: The photo must be 50 mm wide by 70 mm high (2 inches wide by 2¾ inches high).
  • Head size: The height of your face must measure between 31 mm (1¼ inches) and 36 mm (1⁷⁄₁₆ inches) from your chin to the crown of your head (natural top of your head).
  • Recency: Photo taken within the past six months.
  • Expression: The expression must be neutral.
  • Eyes: The eyes must be open and facing the camera.
  • Glasses: If you wear glasses, they must not obscure your eyes.
  • 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 are not permitted, except for religious head coverings worn for religious reasons. If you wear a religious head covering, it must not obscure your face.
  • Background: The background must be plain white or light-colored.
  • Lighting: The lighting must be even and bright but not harsh.
  • Digital photos: Digital photos must be taken on a high-quality camera and printed on plain, white photographic paper.
  • Original photos: The photos must be original and not copies.
  • Quantity of photo: Two (2) identical and unaltered photos.
Click the photo to view the full-size Canada passport photo size infographic.

Special Condition for your printed passport photo:

On the back of one (1) photo,

  • The photographer must write or stamp the
    • Date the photo was taken.
    • Name and complete address of the photo studio.
  • Your guarantor must
    • Write “I certify this to be a true likeness of (applicant’s name)” for an application.
    • Sign the back of the photo.
  • You do not need a guarantor if you’re renewing an adult passport.

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

Source: Government of Canada Website.3

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 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

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 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 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.

Can I scan my passport photos for my Canada visa application?

It is essential that the file is saved directly from the original file taken by the camera, uploaded to an online file-sharing service, saved onto a USB flash drive, or sent by email. Scanned copies of a physical photo will be rejected, and any modification to the file, including editing, cropping, or compression through repeated saves, is strictly prohibited.1

What are the guidelines for image quality for the Canada visa application?

Here are the guidelines for image quality for the Canada visa application:


  • Recent: The photo must be six months old at maximum.
  • Size: 50 mm wide by 70 mm high.
  • Color: Either color or black and white is acceptable.
  • Format: Paper prints or high-resolution digital files (JPG/JPEG, 420×540 pixels minimum), and at least 500 pixels by 705 pixels
  • No alterations: Digital editing or filters are not allowed.


  • Neutral expression: No smiling, frowning, or other exaggerated expressions.
  • Canada visa photo neutral expression
  • Open eyes: Both eyes are visible and look directly at the camera.
  • Bare head: Only the head and shoulders are visible. No hats, headwear, or religious coverings (unless for medical or religious reasons with supporting documentation).
  • Plain background: Light gray, white, or off-white background with no shadows or patterns.
  • Clothing: Plain clothing that doesn’t cover your face. Avoid busy patterns or bright colors.
  • Jewelry: Remove large jewelry or anything that might obscure your face.

Things to remember for photos used in a Canadian visa application

Aside from the guidelines, there are a few more things to remember when submitting a photo for a Canadian visa application:

  1. Your face should be evenly lit, with no shadows or red-eye effect.
  2. The photo should not be altered or retouched in any way, such as removing blemishes or changing the background color.
  3. If you wear glasses, ensure no reflection or glare on them, and avoid using tinted glasses or sunglasses.
  4. Babies and young children should have their eyes open and visible in the photo, and they should not be holding any toys or pacifiers.
  5. If you use a digital camera, ensure it has enough battery and memory to take the photo and save it in the required format.

What are the requirements for a digital photo for a Canada visa?

The requirements for a digital photo differ from those for a physical photo.

  • Your photo must be provided in .jpeg or .jpg format in either colour or in black and white.
  • The file must be saved directly from the original file captured by the camera and uploaded to an online file sharing service, saved on a USB flash drive or sent by email.
  • Scanned copies of a physical photo will not be accepted.
  • No altering (editing, cropping or compression through repeated saves) of the file is allowed.
  • Have a 3:2 aspect ratio with the camera oriented in portrait mode.
  • Be at least 1800 pixels high by 1200 pixels wide
  • Be no larger than 4500 pixels high by 3000 pixels wide
  • Between 200 KB and 4 MB in size
  • Have a chin to crown (the top of your head) measurement between 45 to 50% of the photo’s height.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I upload a photo to a Canada visa?

The original file captured by the camera must be saved and then uploaded to an online file-sharing service, saved on a USB flash drive, or sent via email.

How do I check Canada visa photo size?

There are several ways to check the size of your Canadian visa photo:
Measuring tools:
1. Ruler: Use a ruler to measure the width and height of the photo.
2. Online size checker: Many websites offer “visa photo checker” tools to which you can upload your photo, and it will automatically verify its size based on government specifications.

How do I resize a photo for a visa?

There are different ways to resize a photo for a visa application. It depends on your tech skills and tools. You can use online tools such as visa photo editing websites that offer guidance for different countries and visa types. Alternatively, you can use general image editing software like GIMP or MS Paint. Ensure you maintain the correct aspect ratio (usually square) and resolution (at least 600 dpi) for a clear image.


  1. Government of Canada, P. S. and P. C. (n.d.). Information archivée dans le Web. Publications.gc.ca. Retrieved February 22, 2024.<https://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2022/ircc/Ci4-131-1-2021-eng.pdf>[][]
  2. Canada.ca.(2023). Passport photos – Canada.ca. Retrieved February 15, 2024 <https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/canadian-passports/photos.html>[]
  3. Canada.ca. Canada.ca. (2023). Passport photos. Retrieved February 15, 2024<https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/canadian-passports/photos.html>[]

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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
Published by Visas for Future

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MLA Style

Miguel, Charlyn. "Scan a passport photo for a Canada visa." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/scan-passport-photo-for-canada-visa/. Accessed on 15 September 2023.

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Miguel, Charlyn. "Scan a passport photo for a Canada visa." Visas For Future. September 15, 2023. https://www.visasforfuture.com/scan-passport-photo-for-canada-visa/.

Published: 15 Sep 2023 4:41 UTC

Last modified: 22 Feb 2024 23:50 UTC

Reading time: 9 minutes

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