Passport Photo Guide

Passport photos are typically around 2 inches by 2 inches in size, with your head centered and filling up most of the frame. But it is different for each country. If you need a passport photo, it's important to ensure it meets the requirements. At Visas for Future, we offer a fast and reliable service that ensures your photos meet the standards.

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A Passport Photo Guide is a set of instructions and specifications that outline what kind of photo you need to submit for your passport application. These guides ensure consistency and accuracy in passport identification photos, making the process smoother for everyone.

Here’s a general overview of what a Passport Photo Guide usually covers:1

Photo Specifications

  • Size: This varies slightly between countries, typically around 2×2 inches (51×51 mm).
  • Background: Plain white or light grey is essential for good contrast with your face.
  • Image Quality: High-resolution, clear, and focused, without red-eye, blur, or shadows.
  • Facial Expression: Neutral expression, mouth closed, eyes open, and visible. No smiling or grimacing.
  • Headwear: Not allowed unless for religious or medical reasons. It must not cover facial features.
  • Head Position: Facing forward, looking directly at the camera. No tilting.
  • Clothing: Avoid uniforms, except for religious attire worn daily.
  • Digital vs. Printed Photos: Some countries accept digital submissions, while others require physical prints.

If you are unsure whether your passport photo meets all the requirements, use Visas for Future passport photo service.

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 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 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, 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.

Resolution and quality of passport photos

When it comes to passport photos, resolution, and quality are crucial. A blurry, pixelated image can lead to application delays or even rejections.


  • Required: While specific requirements vary by country, most passport photos need a resolution of 300 pixels per inch (ppi). This translates to 600 pixels wide and 600 pixels high for a standard 2×2 inch photo.
  • Higher is better: While 300 ppi is the minimum, a higher resolution (e.g., 400-600 ppi) ensures high quality when printed.
  • Avoid low resolutions: Photos with resolutions below 300 ppi will appear pixelated and won’t meet application standards.


  • Overall sharpness: The image should be crisp and clear, with a good focus on your face and eyes.
  • No blurring or motion: Movement or camera shake can cause blurry photos. Ensure you’re still and the camera is stable.
  • Proper lighting: Use even, natural lighting without harsh shadows or reflections on your face.
  • Color balance: Colors should be natural and accurate, reflecting your true skin tone.
  • No red-eye: Use the red-eye correction feature on your camera or edit tools to remove red-eye.
  • No edits or filters: Don’t alter your facial features, remove blemishes, or add filters. Authenticity is key.

Guidelines for passport photos for minors and infants

While many aspects of passport photo requirements are similar for minors and infants, there are some additional considerations for these younger applicants. Here are some general guidelines:

General Requirements:

  • Same size and background: The photo size and background color requirements are the same as for adults, typically 2×2 inches and plain white or light grey.
  • Head size and position: Similar to adults, the head should be centered and fill approximately 50-60% of the frame. However, for infants, slight variations in head position due to support are acceptable.
  • Facial expression: For infants, eyes open or partially open are acceptable. For older children, eyes should be open and looking directly at the camera. A neutral expression is best, avoiding smiles or grimaces.
  • Headwear: Not allowed unless for religious or medical reasons, and must not cover facial features.
  • Clothing: Simple clothing without distracting patterns is recommended. Uniforms are generally not allowed, except for religious attire worn daily.

Specific Tips for Minors and Infants:

  • Infants
    • Lay the baby on their back on a plain white or off-white sheet or blanket.
    • Use a brightly lit room with even lighting to avoid shadows on the face.
    • Take multiple photos and choose the one with the clearest focus and most natural expression.
    • A parent or guardian’s hand can support the baby’s head but ensure the hand is not visible in the photo.
  • Young children
    • Explain the process calmly and patiently to help them relax and cooperate.
    • Use toys or games to keep their attention focused on the camera.
    • Avoid using flash, as it can startle young children.
    • Be prepared to take multiple photos and choose the best one.

Online services for obtaining a passport photo

If you are looking for a reliable and fast passport photo service, Visas for Future is the perfect choice if you need an online passport photo service. We offer a fast and reliable service that ensures your passport photos meet the requirements. Our user-friendly online platform lets you upload your picture and receive a digital copy within minutes.

Our team of experts will also review your photo to ensure it meets the necessary standards before it is delivered to you. Overall, if you are looking for a hassle-free passport photo service, Visas for Future could be a great option.

Religious Exemptions for Passport Photo

While many countries have standardized requirements for passport photographs, exemptions are available for individuals whose religious beliefs conflict with them. However, these exemptions aren’t guaranteed and vary greatly depending on the specific country’s policies and religious practices.

General Process

  1. Understand the country’s requirements: The first step is to thoroughly research the passport photo requirements of the country you’re applying to. Their official website will have detailed information.
  2. Determine if your situation qualifies: Not all religious beliefs or practices qualify for an exemption. Only recognized religious attire or headwear worn continuously in public are typically considered.
  3. Gather supporting documentation: You’ll need a signed statement explaining your religious beliefs and their justification for requiring headwear/atypical attire in photos. Include details about the nature and denomination of your religion, the specific practice requiring the attire, and how it adheres to your religious obligations.
  4. Submit the request with your application: Include your signed statement and any additional documentation required by the country’s guidelines.
  5. Expect potential processing delays: Processing religious exemptions often takes longer than standard applications. Be prepared for additional scrutiny and possible requests for further information.

Important Considerations

  • No approval guarantee: Even with a sincere and well-documented request, receiving a religious exemption isn’t guaranteed. Each country evaluates them individually based on their policies and interpretations of religious freedom.
  • Specific requirements vary: Each country has different criteria for accepting religious exemptions. Some may ask for additional documentation, like letters from religious leaders or photographs supporting your claims.
  • Limited scope: Exemptions usually only apply to headwear or specific attire. Other requirements like facial expression, background color, or pose will still need to be followed.
  • Alternative options: Some countries offer alternative solutions, like covering part of the headwear with a translucent veil or providing separate photos demonstrating facial features without the headwear.

How do I print my passport photo?

At Home

  • If you have a color printer and photo paper:
    1. Ensure your photo meets all size and quality requirements (typically 2×2 inches, 300 ppi resolution). Use Visas for Future passport photo service.
    2. Choose high-quality photo paper (matte or glossy is usually acceptable).
    3. Many online passport photo services offer downloadable templates with multiple photos on a single sheet, saving paper and money.
    4. Print your photo using the highest quality setting on your printer.
    5. Carefully cut out the individual photos following the template or size guidelines.

Online Service

  • Visas for Future specializes in passport and visa photos.
    1. Visit Visas for Future and click on “Get passport photo now“.
    2. Fill out the order form and pay the fee.
    3. Choose a clear photo and upload it.
    4. Receive your printed photos by mail or download them digitally (depending on the service).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best color to wear for a passport photo?

There isn’t a “best” color for passport photos, as it depends on the background color. Generally, choose darker solid colors like navy blue, black, or dark grey, as they contrast well with white or light grey backgrounds typically used in passport photos.
Avoid white or similar light colors that might blend in with the background, making your head appear detached. Remember, clarity and adherence to size and quality requirements are far more important than color.

Do I need to wear a collared shirt for my passport?

Not necessarily! While collard shirts are perfectly acceptable, you don’t have to wear one for your passport photo. Many countries have fairly lenient dress codes for passport photos, focusing more on ensuring your face is clearly visible and free from distractions.

Can I tie my hair for a passport photo?

Yes, you can usually tie your hair for a passport photo. As long as the hairstyle meets specific criteria, it shouldn’t be an issue.

Should I smile in a passport photo?

It depends on your country’s specific requirements. Most countries do not allow smiling in passport photos. They require a neutral expression with closed lips and eyes open. This helps with facial recognition software and ensures consistency in identifying photos.

  1. Travel State Government. (2023). U.S. Passport Photos. State.gov. <https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/how-apply/photos.html#:~:text=The%20correct%20size%20of%20a,the%20top%20of%20the%20head> []

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Apple Gajes
Written by

Apple is a skilled content writer of Visas For Future who had a bachelor's degree in Education. She does well at producing high-quality visa articles and continuously upgrading her skills by actively engaging herself to various courses and training opportunities. She also contributes to travel forms and visa fulfillment in Turkey and India. Committed to writing exceptional visa articles, she performs real visa orders and provides customer support quarterly to stay abreast of the visa processing process.

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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Cite this article

MLA Style

Gajes, Apple. "Passport Photo Guide." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/soft-copy-of-passport-photo/. Accessed on 25 September 2023.

Chicago Style

Gajes, Apple. "Passport Photo Guide." Visas For Future. September 25, 2023. https://www.visasforfuture.com/soft-copy-of-passport-photo/.

Published: 25 Sep 2023 7:47 UTC

Last modified: 24 Mar 2024 8:44 UTC

Reading time: 10 minutes

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