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If you are a foreign national who wants to enter the UK for job-related activities, you have to obtain an Exempt Vignette. It is an alternative (exempt from immigration control) from an ordinary visa to work in the UK. Part of the process of applying for the exempt vignette requires submitting one photo in a British passport style.
In this article, you find out about the UK exempt vignette photo requirements such as photo size, face expression, head position, quality and lighting, clothing… and more!
The photograph for the Exempt Vignette application has to meet British passport photo criteria. This means that the photo size and dimensions as well as posture, clothing, head position, facial expression, quality, etc. are the same as for UK passport photos.
The exempt vignette photo size is like the UK passport photo size which means 35x45 mm. It is important that it will be of good quality and sharp. In pixels, the measurements are 600 pixels wide and 750 pixels high or 900 pixels wide and 1200 pixels high for applications. The file size should be at least 50 KB and no more than 10 MB.
The background for an exempt vignette should look the same as in a digital passport photo so taken against a plain light colour. The person in the picture must be in clear contrast to the background. The light background of the photo also highlights individual facial features, which is important when taking biometric photos. Make sure there are no shadows, other objects or patterns in the background as well as on the candidate's face.
The positioning of the face and head, most important, in the photo for an exempt vignette should be straight. The applicant has to stand straight in front of the camera and look directly into the lens. Photos in the type of half-profile are not accepted and will result in application rejection.
Your eyes have to be open and visible in the picture for the exempt vignette. Make sure that there’s no ‘red eye’ effect in the photo and that nothing covers your eyes, such as hairs or shadows.
Sunglasses or tinted glasses are forbidden. You can wear only prescription glasses and other medical glasses as long as they do not have thick frames and do not cover your eyes or reflect light or cause glares. It is important that your eyes with glasses or not are fully visible.
You should not show your teeth, or smile in the picture for UK travel documents. Keep your facial expressions neutral. Remember that the mouth must be closed and the head cannot be titled on any side, must be kept straight.
The most important thing regarding hairs or headwears is that they cannot cover your face! The hair can be tense or loose but if they do, consider brushing them backwards. Concerning head covers such as hats, headbands, caps, is better to take them off as they are not allowed. Only religious head coverings are an exception but again, they cannot cover your face. To keep the headwear you have to provide a certificate from your religious community.
Have you considered taking a picture of yourself to use as a travel document? It's fine! You'll see how straightforward it is now. We've put together a few tips on how to take an exempt vignette photo at home to help you understand the fast and cost-effective process:
The passport size photograph is one of the required documents for an exempt vignette. To take the right photo, you have to know the important British photo requirements and to make it even easier, use our UK photo online tool which will measure your photo, edit it and check if it meets the official British criteria.
How to obtain the right Exempt Vignette photograph? Use our website Passport Photo Online or download our Photo Mobile App on your phone. Take a photo – you can use a digital camera, tablet or phone (webcam or taking selfies are not allowed!) and put a tripod approximately 3 to 4 metres from the place you stand or ask a friend to take a photo of you.
Then, upload the ready picture to our app or website after choosing the type of document you are applying for (e.g. British passport as the photo for exempt vignette has the same requirements). The tool will crop the picture and replace the background of the photo. In the end, the tool will verify if the photo complies with the official requirements. If it is ready then it will be sent to you via email. If you want a 100 % correct photograph, use our online photo generator!
Are you wondering what not to do while photographing for the exempt vignette? The most important thing you should know is that the exempt vignette has the same requirements as a British passport. may cause some stress during the application process. But you don't want to sabotage your work, do you?
Read what you can NOT do and you will avoid making the same mistakes:
Last update: 24/05/2022
💡 What is a Exempt Vignette?
💡 Is the Exempt Vignette photo the same as UK passport?
💡 What is the exempt vignette photo size?
💡 Can I wear glasses in the exempt vignette photo?
💡 Can I take exempt vignette pic by phone?
💡 Can I extend my exempt vignette?
💡 Who doesn't need to apply for an exempt vignette?
💡 How to take the right exempt vignette photograph?
💡 Can I smile in the exempt vignette photo?
The Exempt Vignette is exempt from immigration control if you do not normally need a visa to the UK for the purpose of working. The Exempt Vignette must obtain foreigners who want to enter into the UK for job-related activities. Exempt Vignette is stamped into the passport and without the right to abode in the United Kingdom. The exempt vignette, after a successful application process, will be added into your passport for you to show when you enter the UK.
You can apply if you are:
To be able to obtain an exempt vignette, you must fill in the relevant visa application online and book an appointment at a Visa Application Centre. The earliest date you can apply is 3 months before you enter the UK. The main supporting documents you should have in-hand are:
Note that applications for exempt vignette are free and you should get a decision within 3 weeks.
The Exempt Vignette is given for 5 years, or for the period of job appointment (whichever is less) – for them and their family members (not including children 18 or older). If you want to extend the exempt vignette, that is possible only through DMIOU. The exempt vignette ends the moment the diplomat ends their mission in the UK.
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