Scanning Passport Photo

For a scanner, the user needs to open the scanner software on their computer, place the passport photo on the scanner bed, adjust the settings, click the scan button, save the scanned image as a JPEG or PDF file, and upload the saved file to the online application for their passport or visa. For a smartphone, the user needs to find a plain, light-colored background, make sure the lighting is even, stand in the center of the frame and face the camera directly, keep a neutral expression and both eyes open, review the photo to ensure it meets the requirements, save the image as a JPEG or PNG file to their phone, and upload the saved file to the online application for their passport or visa. To discover how to take and upload a photo that meets the requirements for a passport or visa using a device like a scanner or smartphone, keep reading.

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Scanning a passport photo refers to scanning the photo page of a passport document. This is done to capture the passport holder’s image, which can be used for identification purposes. The scanning process involves using a specialized scanner to capture high-resolution images of the passport photo page. The resulting image is then stored digitally, making it easy to access and share when needed, such as during border crossings or other security checks.

There are several reasons why it is essential to scan your passport photo:

  • Convenience: Scanning a passport photo lets you have a digital copy of your image on hand, which can be convenient for various purposes. 
  • Versatility: A scanned passport photo can be used for various purposes.
  • Safety: Scanning passport photos can help to protect you from identity theft. If you lose your passport or if it is stolen, having a digital copy of your image can help you to replace it more quickly and easily.

Tips for scanning passport photo

  • Use a high-resolution scanner or camera.
  • Make sure that the passport photo is well-lit and in focus.
  • Place the passport photo on a flat surface.
  • Center the passport photo on the scanner bed or the camera’s frame.
  • Crop the scanned passport photo to the required dimensions.
  • Save the scanned passport photo in a standard image format, such as JPEG or PNG.

Visas for Future Passport Photo Service

If you’re worried about the hassle of scanning passport photos on your own, Visas for Future passport photo service can help. With our reliable service, you can quickly get a passport photo that’ll work for your application without worrying about the quality of the image. 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 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 more manageable.
  • 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 a passport photo?

While technically possible, scanning a passport photo with your phone or a scanner has limitations and potential risks, especially for official applications like passports and visas. Here’s what you need to consider:


  • Meeting official requirements: Passport and visa photos have specific size, format, and quality requirements that vary by country. Scanning might not guarantee these requirements are met, potentially leading to rejection.
  • Editing risks: Digitally altering the photo for background removal or other adjustments might violate regulations or affect security checks.
  • Compliance uncertainty: Not all scanning apps or methods guarantee compliance with specific country requirements.


  • Application rejection: Non-compliant photos can lead to delays or rejection of your application, causing inconvenience and additional costs.
  • Privacy concerns: Sharing your passport photo electronically involves privacy risks. Ensure a secure service if editing or uploading online.


  • Professional services: Visas for Future offers online passport photo services that ensure a smooth and high-quality process.

How to scan my passport photo?

There are two main ways to scan your passport photo, depending on whether you have a printed image or the photo is still in your passport:

Scanning a Printed Passport Photo

Use a scanner: This method is preferred as it usually produces the best image. Ensure your scanner is set to a high resolution (at least 300dpi) and scan the photo in grayscale mode. Most scanner software will allow you to crop and adjust the image as needed.

  1. Gather your tools
  2. Prepare your workspace
  3. Position the scanner and passport
    • Open the scanner lid and place the passport face down on the scanner bed, ensuring the entire photo area is visible within the scanning frame.
    • Close the scanner lid gently.
  4. Scan the passport photo
    • Follow the instructions for your specific scanner software or hardware interface. This might involve selecting the “scan” option or pressing a scan button.
    • You can often preview the scanned image before saving it.
  5. Adjust scan settings (optional)
  6. Save the scanned image
    • Choose a suitable file format like JPEG or PNG, depending on requirements.
    • Save the image with a clear and descriptive filename for easy identification.
  7. Edit the scanned image (optional)
  8. Verify and check:

Use your phone: If you don’t have a scanner, you can use your phone camera to take a picture of the photo. However, getting good lighting and holding the camera perfectly straight is essential to avoid distortion. Several apps, such as PhotoScan from Google or Scanner Pro, can also help you scan photos with your phone.

  1. Open the Notes app and create a new note.
  2. Tap the Camera button and then tap Scan Documents.
  3. Place your passport photo given the camera.
  4. If your device is in Auto mode, your document will automatically scan. If you need to capture a scan manually, tap the Shutter button or press one of the Volume buttons.
  5. Then drag the corners to adjust the scan to fit the page, then tap Keep Scan.
  6. Tap Save or add additional scans to the document.

What are the tools to scan a passport photo?

There are several tools you can use to scan a passport photo, depending on your preference and resources:

Hardware Scanners:

  • Flatbed Scanners: These are the most common type of scanner and offer the best image quality. They work by placing your photo face on a glass platen and scanning it with a moving light source.
  • Sheetfed Scanners: These scanners are more compact and affordable, but they may need to be better for scanning photos than flatbed scanners. They work by feeding your photo through a slot, like feeding paper into a printer.
  • Mobile Scanners: These portable scanners are perfect for scanning on the go. They are typically smaller and lighter than traditional scanners, and they connect to your computer or phone via USB or Bluetooth.

Software Tools

  • Scanner Software: Most scanners have software that allows you to scan photos and documents. This software usually includes features for cropping, resizing, and adjusting the image quality.
  • Scanner Software
  • Photo Editing Software: You can also use photo editing software to scan your passport photo. This software typically offers more advanced features than scanner software, such as red-eye reduction and blemish removal.
  • Photo Editing Software
  • Mobile Apps: There are several mobile apps available that can scan photos and documents. These apps are often more convenient than traditional scanners but may produce different quality results.

Best phone applications to scan a passport photo

While phone apps can’t compete with dedicated scanners for pure image quality, they offer a convenient and portable option for scanning your passport photo in a pinch. Here are some of the best phone apps for scanning passport photos:

Free Apps

  • PhotoScan by Google Photos: This app is excellent for scanning printed photos. It uses clever algorithms to remove glare and shadows, automatically crop the image, and ensure a straight scan.
  • Scanner Pro: This app offers more comprehensive features than PhotoScan, including the ability to scan documents and receipts. It also has a “batch scan” mode for multiple photos simultaneously.
  • Adobe Scan: Another well-rounded option, Adobe Scan boasts automatic border detection and document cleanup features. It also integrates with Adobe Acrobat, allowing for further editing and managing your scanned documents.

Paid Apps

  • Passport Photo: This app is specifically designed for scanning passport photos. It guides you through taking a picture that meets all the requirements, including background color, facial expression, and head size. It also offers a money-back guarantee if your photo is rejected.
  • ID Photo-Passport Photo maker: This app offers features similar to Passport Photo but with a broader range of supported ID formats. It also allows you to print your scanned photo directly from the app.

Things to remember when scanning a passport photo

Here are some essential things to remember when scanning your passport photo, regardless of the method you choose:

Image Quality

  • Resolution: Aim for at least 300 dpi (dots per inch) for good quality. Check the specific requirements of the application you’re submitting it to.
  • Lighting: Ensure even, glare-free lighting to avoid shadows or distortions.
  • Flat surface: Place the photo on a flat surface to avoid warping or blurry edges.

Photo Content

  • Correct size: Crop the photo to the required size, typically 2 inches by 2 inches.
  • Background: Some applications require a specific color (e.g., white).
  • Facial expression: Maintain a neutral expression with your mouth closed and eyes open.
  • Head position: Center your head with a full frontal view; avoid tilting or leaning.

Technical Considerations

  • Scanner settings: Adjust resolution and format settings based on requirements.
  • File format: Use JPEG or PDF formats for most applications.
  • App permissions: Be cautious of data access permissions requested by apps.
  • Data security: Choose apps with strong security measures for sensitive documents.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is passport size for scanning?

Generally, the ideal size for scanning a passport photo is:
Two (2) inches (51 mm) wide by 2 inches (51 mm) high.

Is it better to scan or photograph photos?

Scanning produces higher-quality images with accurate colors and less distortion but can be slower and require additional equipment. Photographing is faster and more convenient but results in lower-quality pictures with a higher risk of distortion, glare, and damage to fragile photos. The choice between scanning and photographing depends on individual priorities, the quality and condition of the images, and the resources available.

What is high-resolution scanning?

In the context of scanning photos or documents, high resolution refers to the amount of detail captured in the digital image. It is typically measured in dots per inch (dpi), representing the number of individual dots that comprise the image within each linear inch.
1. Low-resolution (72-150 dpi)
2. Medium-resolution (200-300 dpi)
3. High-resolution (300-600 dpi
4. Very high-resolution (600+ dpi)

Does scanning photos lose quality?

Yes, scanning photos can potentially lose quality depending on several factors. However, the extent of quality loss can be minimized by following best practices and choosing the correct settings.

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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

Visas for Future strives to help you virtually, so that your research is complete in one visit. Our articles are informative, complete and to-the-point. We write in an accessible way, so that non-native English speakers will understand. Our website is accessible for the visually impaired. We have full oversight of our articles and are unbiased in writing. Check our editorial guidelines.

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MLA Style

Miguel, Charlyn. "Scanning Passport Photo." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/scanning-passport-photo/. Accessed on 1 October 2023.

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Miguel, Charlyn. "Scanning Passport Photo." Visas For Future. October 1, 2023. https://www.visasforfuture.com/scanning-passport-photo/.

Published: 1 Oct 2023 11:17 UTC

Last modified: 29 Feb 2024 7:40 UTC

Reading time: 11 minutes

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