Polish Passport Photo vs U.S. Passport Photo

Polish Passport Photo vs U.S. Passport Photo

Getting a perfect and valid passport picture is a matter of regulations. These rules, however, change depending on the country your passport relates to.

In this article, you’ll see how Polish and American passport photos compare, what similarities they share, and what exactly differs between those two. You will find out if your Polish passport photo is okay for a U.S. passport application or if you need to take a new one.

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Polish vs U.S. passport photo requirements

Below you will find the official passport photo guidelines for Polish and American passports. You will see how subtle the differences can be and how much attention to detail a passport applicant needs when taking one.

Polish passport photo requirements

A Polish passport photo needs to adhere to a variety of rules that, when combined, create a detailed guide on how to take a picture that will meet the requirements and find its way to the newly-issued passport.

  • the correct size of 35 x 45 mm;
  • head centered in the photo, with a head size between 30 and 36 mm;
  • the resolution should be 600 pixels;
  • color photos only;
  • photo should be 6 (six) months old at a maximum;
  • a light color in the background;
  • no smiling allowed;
  • eyes open and perfectly visible, looking at the digital camera;
  • you can wear prescription glasses if they don’t hide your eyes;
  • a head covering for medical and religious purposes is allowed;
  • attire that resembles a uniform or is the same color as the background is discouraged;
  • you can take the photo yourself (it must be compliant with all the requirements and not be a selfie);
  • 3 (three) photos required for a passport application;
  • printed on glossy paper.

The U.S. passport photo requirements

An American passport photo does require you to pay attention to a similar number of rules and regulations as the Polish one.

  • the correct size of 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm);
  • head centered in the photo, with a height that doesn’t go below 25 mm or above 35 mm;
  • the resolution can be between 600 and 1200 pixels;
  • only color photos are allowed;
  • photos should be 6 (six) months old at most;
  • plain white or off-white plain background;
  • you are allowed to smile, but not too wide and without showing your teeth (a neutral facial expression is still encouraged);
  • eyes open, looking straight at the camera.
  • no glasses allowed;
  • head covering for medical reasons and religious practices is allowed;
  • you cannot wear attire that resembles a uniform;
  • you can take a photo yourself, but it should be done using proper tools, not like a selfie. Mobile phone photos are allowed;
  • 2 (two) passport photos required for the application;
  • glossy or matte photo quality paper will do.

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Polish passport photo vs U.S. picture: differences

9 (nine) features ultimately differ when comparing a Polish passport photo and an American one. They are not interchangeable.

Thus, these two differ quite a lot. If you wish to, perhaps, turn a Polish passport photo into one that will be accepted for the U.S. passport, you will need to take a new passport photo.

Polish vs U.S. passport photos: size

The Polish passport photo is rectangular and its height and width are, respectively, 45mm and 35mm. An American picture for passport purposes resembles a square the size of 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm).

The head in a Polish passport picture should fit between 30 and 36 mm, whereas an American citizen’s head’s size should stay between 1 and 1 ⅜ inches (25 and 35 mm) in height.

What follows is also the requirement for the right resolution of the image. Differences between Polish and U.S. passport resolution takes the form of a set value of 600 (six hundred) pixels in the Polish passport picture and a range of 600-1200 pixels in the American one.

Polish vs U.S. passport photos: background

U.S. citizens are required to pose in front of a white background.

A Polish passport photo, on the other hand, opts for a light background that isn’t necessarily white.

While some passport pictures allow an applicant to showcase some level of emotion by smiling slightly, like the American one, the rules that relate to Polish passport photos are stricter. Smiling is not allowed on a passport photo for a Polish passport.

Polish vs U.S. passport photos: glasses in the photo

A Polish passport photo allows for the use of glasses as long as the passport applicant’s eyes are still clearly visible. An American photograph for a passport, however, requires a U.S. citizen to remove their glasses. It is only when they have a signed statement, from a doctor, that the glasses can stay on.

Polish vs U.S. passport photos: attire

Another feature that sets Polish and U.S. passport photos apart is the attire a person should wear for a photo shoot.

The key difference is that while the U.S. passport photo requirements outright dismiss uniform-like clothes as invalid, Polish passport photo rules technically do not. They are still discouraged, as well as clothing of the same color as the background, but according to the official rules, the photo can still meet the requirements.

Polish vs U.S. passport photos: passport quality paper

A Polish passport photo should be printed on glossy photo paper, while citizens of the U.S. can choose between matte and glossy, as both of these types of photo quality paper are allowed.

Polish vs U.S. passport photos: number of pictures required

Last, but not least, one should also consider how many copies of the photo they should take when applying for a passport

Polish passport applications will call for 3 (three) passport photos, whereas applying for an American passport will require only 2 (two) passport pictures.

Passport Photo Online – grab a perfect photo

There are places you can turn to when you’re in need of a passport photo for either a Polish or an American passport, and the best part is, you can arrange it at home.

Passport-Photo.Online allows you to upload a picture you wish to see on your future passport and turn it into a valid U.S. or Polish passport photo.

The tool can save you a visit to the local passport photo services, as you needn’t leave home. What’s more, it offers a professional photo service in the form of a duo consisting of an AI and a human editor. Their combined effort will ensure you either emerge with a printable, digital picture that’s valid in a matter of 3 (three) seconds or get a 2x refund.

Polish vs U.S. passport photo: summary

Over 60% of the official requirements between a Polish passport photo and an American one are different from each other, with 9 (nine) features in total establishing a clear distinction.

Thus, when preparing to take a valid photo for one of these countries’ passports, one should familiarize themselves with a set of rules and requirements. Polish and American passport photos are not interchangeable and you would need a new passport photo to complete the passport application process.

Polish vs U.S. passport photos: FAQ

When you’re preparing to take a new photo for your Polish or American passport, take a look at these questions and check if you know exactly how these pictures vary and in what ways.

How do Polish and U.S. passport photos compare?

Passport photos for both of these countries differ in quite a few ways (9 of them), which effectively make the process of creating a perfect passport photo for one, or the other, much different from the second one.

What is the distinction between Polish and U.S. passport photos?

Polish passports, in comparison to the American ones, prohibit smiling while also allowing the use of glasses and a light-colored background.

The printed photo needs to be 35 x 45 mm, in contrast to the American 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm), and include a person’s head that fits inside 1 – 1 ⅜ inches (30-36 mm), as opposed to 25 – 35mm.

The difference also includes a resolution limited to 600 pixels in Polish passport photos, while in the American ones you can go as high as 1200.

Other ways in which Polish and U.S. passport photos vary include:
– the number of copies required for an application: 3 (three) in Polish and 2 (two) in the U.S. passport;
– an additional option of matte photo paper for U.S. citizens, while a Polish passport needs to be printed on glossy paper. 


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