Everything you need know about ID photo for passport

The biometric passport is a document that certifies your identity and allows you to travel abroad. When creating your application, it is important that your passport photo is valid and correctly taken. It must be in line with rules at national and international (ICAO) level.

The size of passport photo

Each country can decide on its own format, so make sure to note that before taking a photo on your own. Additionally, some countries have different requirements for printed and digital format (like the United Kingdom). In Europe the official photo size is 45mm high by 35mm wide. The size of the face should be 32 to 36 mm, from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head (excluding the hair). Many countries also require quadratic ratio picture (e.g. United States).

What are the international mandatory regulations for passport photo?

Below you will find the main mandatory standards for passport photo in all countries to be able to travel. Take not that your passport photo must be less than 6 months old when submitting and resemble you the best way possible.

1. LIGHTING/ COLOR

The photo should have a good balance between overexposure and underexposure. It should be high contrast, with no shadow on the face or in the background. A color photo is recommended.

2. PHOTO QUALITY

The photo must be of high quality (clear, without traces or folding lines). If you submit it in digital format, make sure that the file size is not too big or too small and that it has the appropriate resolution and image depth.

3. Background

The background should be in plain color. Some countries are more specific : allowing only off-white or white (e.g. Russia) background.

4. HEAD IN OFFICIAL PHOTO

Your head must be bare, without a hat, scarf, headband or any other decorative object and your hair must be seen. No visible accessories should be noticeable on your official photo. That includes barrettes, elastic bands and other extras. If your hair is bothering you, tie it in a ponytail behind your head. It will not be visible in the photo.

Only little make-up is allowed because it can affect computerized as well as human facial recognition capabilities.

5. EYE DIRECTION AND HEAD POSITION

The subject must face the lens, hold head straight and look directly into the lens. A neutral expression must be maintained with closed mouth.

6. FACE AND EYES

Face must be clear. Eyes must be open. The aim is to recognize you as well as possible.

7. GLASSES

Thick frames are prohibited on an id photo. Glasses must not obscure the eyes, therefore tinted glasses are prohibited. Note that there should be also no reflection on the glasses. Due to high number of refused photos, we kindly ask you to remove glasses when taking photo with Smartphone iD app.

8. BODY

Wearing clothes is obligatory and it cannot be uniform.

The photo must show only your head, neck and shoulders.

How to make succesful passport photos with Smartphone iD?

Stand one meter from the wall to avoid the shadow.

Hold your arm straight at the level of your shoulders.

Fit your body within the lines.

Your back camera can produce a higher quality picture

Remember if your iD photos are not accepted, the process of getting passport or any other official document will be prolonged. So let our team make sure that your photo conforms with the national and ICAO standards, and spare yourself the unease about a possible refusal!

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