Indian vs U.S. Passport Size Photo

Indian flag and US flag and inscription "India vs USA passport size photo"

Have you ever wondered what the differences are between an Indian passport size photo and a United States one? In this blog, we will go over the requirements and rules when it comes to passport size photos for both countries.

Indian vs U.S. passport photos: size

An Indian passport photo has a size requirement of 2 x 2 inches, or 51 x 51 mm. It is not just the basic photo size that has a requirement either, as the size of your head in the photo also has a requirement. Your head in the Indian passport photo should measure 1 inch to 1-3/8 inches, which is 25 – 35 mm, from the bottom of the chin to the top of the crown. Your eye height should be between  1-1/8 of an inch to 1-3/8 inches.

Whilst both the United States and India are vastly different countries, this is one area where they have something in common, as the size of the U.S. passport photo requirements, for size, are exactly the same as the Indian requirements.

Indian vs U.S. passport photos: requirements

When posing for your new Indian passport photo, you:

  • must look directly into the camera and keep your head, and eyes, straight at all times; 
  • you must also maintain a neutral facial expression, which means that you cannot be smiling, frowning or making a face of any kind; 
  • keep your eyes open and mouth closed. 

There can be no objects, including hair, or shadows obscuring your face at all. This is in order to ensure that your photo is machine readable and that all of the features of your face are clearly visible, for identification purposes.

The lighting in your passport photo must be correct and the best way to ensure the lighting is evenly distributed is to take your photo while facing a window the sun is shining into, because natural light is the best light and thus you will avoid the red eye effect.

The background of your passport photo is equally as important as the way you pose. However, there is a solution available to you if you can not find the correct one. Indian passport photos are required to have plain white, or off-white, backgrounds, with no objects or shadows appearing. In case you can’t get the correct one, you can use a passport photo app, such as Passport Photo Online, to ensure the background is correct.

Clothing, and the accessories you wear, in passport photos is often seen as the most important aspect. The clothing you wear is not subject to any requirements, although we do advise you not to wear white clothing or anything that is low-cut, this is to ensure you do not blend into the background or appear naked. 

Accessories, such as headwear, eyeglasses, or wireless hands free devices, are not allowed, except for religious purposes. If you need to wear a head covering for religious purposes you must ensure that the oval of your face is uncovered. Sunglasses or tinted glasses are strictly forbidden, and if you do need to wear eyeglasses then be sure that the frames aren’t covering your eyes and that there is no glare on the lenses.

A standard requirement is that your passport photo should be printed on high-quality photo paper and not damaged in either way. If you use a digital camera or phone to take your image for an Indian passport then you must ensure there are no pixels on the photo.

The U.S. requirements as to passport photos are exactly the same, other than a few additions to the requirements.

In the U.S. passport photo it is strictly forbidden to wear a uniform or clothing that looks like a uniform, such as camouflage clothing. Your clothing should always be your daily attire that is neutral, the best advice is to wear a regular dress-shirt or a T-shirt.

If you need to wear a head covering for religious or medical reasons in U.S. passport photos, you will be required to have a signed statement from a religious leader in your community for the former, and from your doctor for the latter, in order to show that they are necessary garments.

Child’s passport photos – Indian vs U.S. 

When it comes to the size of the photo, it is exactly the same for children as it is for adults, 2 x 2 inches, 51 x 51 mm.

U.S. or Indian passport photos for a child tend to have more relaxed requirements, as it can be a little more difficult to get a child or baby to sit straight, look directly at the camera, and smile. 

A light background that is coloured white or off-white is required, and the lighting should be evenly distributed and show the baby’s face clearly. 

There can be no other people or objects visible in the photo, so if you do need to hold your baby up, then try to position your hand behind them, and in a way that allows it to be hidden.

Both India and the U.S. allow for the child to not be looking directly in the camera, but they do need the front of the child’s face to be clearly visible in order to ensure identification of the child. There is one minor difference in that for children under the age of 1, the Indian passport photo allows their eyes to be closed.

Age of photo: U.S. and Indian passports

Whether you are applying for U.S. or Indian passport renewal, your first passport, the photograph must show your current look and, ideally, be taken within the month before you submit your application.

If you already have the document then there are some situations that will require you to take a new photo. You must get a new passport image taken if you have:

  • undergone significant facial surgery
  • undergone a gender transition
  • experienced weight loss leading to a significant change in appearance
  • experienced any facial trauma
  • had tattoos added to or removed from your face.

If you have simply changed your hairstyle, in any way, or grown, or shaved, your beard, then this isn’t necessary and you can keep the photo as it is.

Indian and U.S. passport pictures with Passport Photo Online

There are many ways to get one taken, from going to a professional photographer or a photo booth, to having one taken at home. That’s right, at home. Taking photos wherever you like has never been easier, thanks to online apps such as Passport Photo Online. All you need is a mobile/cell phone with a good camera, a digital camera, and a friend, or tripod, to help take the picture.

Passport Photo Online is an app that allows you to upload a picture and receive one that is ready for your application in seconds. The app is easy to use, all you need to do is select the document you are applying for, and the AI algorithm that the app uses will change the background to the correct one, crop and edit your photo and verify if it is correct for the document. You can take your photo as many times as you require and you won’t pay until you choose the one you will use.

You can find the app on both the Google Play and Apple App stores, both in the U.S. and India.

Indian vs U.S. passport size photo – summary

There are a lot of the same requirements for both Indian and U.S. passport size photos, although there are a few extra rules when it comes to the United States, as they are a little bit more strict.

Indian vs U.S. passport size photo: FAQ

Is there an online Indian passport size photo converter?

If you use Passport Photo Online, it will convert your photo to ensure it fits the Indian passport size. All you need to do is upload your photo and select the correct document and your photo will be ready very quickly.

What is the correct Indian passport photo size and background color?

The correct size for an Indian passport photo is 2 x 2 inches, which is 51 x 51 mm. The correct background color is white or off-white.

What is the size difference between a U.S. and an Indian passport photo?

There is no size difference, as both Indian and U.S. passport photos are the same size, which is 2 x 2 inches, 51 x 51 mm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.