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Distance from the camera while taking a passport photo

Distance from the camera

Take the photo from a distance of about 20 inches from your face. Ideally, the photo should be taken by another person.

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Face in front of the camera

Place your face in front of the lens and keep a neutral expression on your face. Hold the camera at face height.

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Even lighting

Just stand facing a light source such as an exposed window. Don't worry about the background.

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New Zealand passport photos

At some point, everyone needs a new identity photo for a passport, ID, driving licence, visa, student or work permit. Getting a suitable passport or other ID photo used to involve going to a professional photographer, or a specialist photo booth, but now you can take your passport photo at home! Read on to discover the criteria for New Zealand passport photos and learn how to get a passport photo faster and cheaper. Our online photo application will adjust your passport photo to meet New Zealand government requirements. 

New Zealand ID photos

New Zealand passport photos

When applying for a passport in New Zealand, there are several ways you can get your photo: 

You can visit a professional photographer or a specialist photo booth. Alternatively, you can opt for the cheaper and more convenient option of taking your own digital photo. For the New Zealand passport service, a digital photo must have a 4:3 aspect ratio or 3:4 on a smartphone, it has to be in jpg or jpeg format. The digital file needs to be between 250KB and 10MB in size and the resolution must be between 900 and 4500 pixels wide and 1200 and 6000 pixels high. Be aware that scans of physical photos are not acceptable for New Zealand’s Online Passport Service.

For paper photos, you have to have two identical photos, printed on high-quality paper with 45 mm in height and 35 mm in width.

Passport Photo Online prepares your online passport photos, ensuring images meet the standards of the passport service, which are also compatible with the requirements for all other identity documents. This way, you can use photos whenever you need to. Our application guarantees that your photos will be accepted by the authorities.

Visa photos

The New Zealand visa photo must have been taken within the last six months. 

  • Make sure the image is in sharp focus and clear. 
  • Ensure the photo isn’t pixelated or blurred, with consistent lighting and the correct contrast.. 
  • The skin colour should be natural. 
  • Your face must be uniformly visible. If your photo has shadows or reflections, it will not pass the authorities’ checks. 

With your digital visa photo, you can easily apply online. However, first, it needs to meet a number of guidelines. 

-You have to take a coloured photo (not black and white), and save a picture as a JPG (or JPEG) file. 

-You will need to set the colour to sRGB (matching colours that most printers use). 

- The photo file needs to be between 500KB and 3 MB in size. The photo itself needs to have a resolution of between 900 x 1200 pixels and 2250 x 3000 pixels.

If you need a New Zealand visa photo, just ask a friend to take your picture, then upload it to the online photo tool. You do not have to worry about photo size and background because the Passport Photo Online will adjust the picture for you.

New Zeland driver’s licence photos

All driving licences in New Zealand require biometric photos.. Passport Photo Online application is able to prepare and adjust pictures to all New Zealand specifications. Take your picture on your smartphone and submit it to our app. In mere minutes, your photo for your driver’s licence will be sent to your email inbox. 

ID card photos

If you need a photo for a new ID, student card or monthly pass card for public transport in New Zeland, you could try to take the photos yourself, but you might find images don’t meet the requirements of the issuing authority. Bear in mind that there may be different specifications for individual situations. Having checked what kind of photo you need, ask someone to take ID images for you. After taking the picture, upload it to Passport Photo Online, that will adjust and crop the photo to meet all requirements.

NZ passport photos - requirements

Taking your NZ passport photos at home is a great idea! Here is a guide on how to get a perfect visa/passport photo using your smartphone and our online photo app. 

How to take a photo for a New Zealand passport or visa at home?

Having decided to take your passport photo at home, this guide will help you prepare the perfect picture for your passport or visa.

  • You need to ask a friend to take your new photo. Don’t try to use a selfie, the authorities will not accept them. You also have the option to upload an existing photo, if you’d prefer.
  • Choose a place in the house, where you will have uniform, natural lighting.
  • The photo must be taken face-on, so stand straight in front of the camera and look into the lens. Do not tilt your head. Make sure all of your face is visible. You should make sure your eyes are open and your mouth closed. You should have a neutral expression.
  • After taking some photos, choose the best one and upload it to Passport Photo Online validator, which will adjust your passport photos to meet the requirements of the New Zealand Passport Agency.
  • Your perfect passport photo will then be sent to you via email shortly after.

What to wear in your passport photo?

The rules specify a light coloured background, i.e. white or off-white, and therefore it is recommended that you wear dark clothes, without any patterns, which cover your shoulders.

You can wear prescription glasses provided your eyes are visible and there are no reflections/glare. Make sure that you keep your eyes open and look straight into the camera. You are not allowed to wear sunglasses or tinted glasses in your photo.

Do not wear a cap, a hat, or any other head covering, except for religious purposes. Make sure it does not cover your face or create shadows in the photo. All of your face must be completely visible. 

You must not wear any accessories that cover your head, for example, headphones or sunglasses. You may wear your earrings or a necklace, provided they do not obscure any part of your face or cause shadows or reflections.

Taking a NZ passport photo - the most common mistakes 

People can make a range of mistakes when taking their passport photos, which may cause their passport application to be rejected - wasting both time and money. 

Taking your digital passport photos with your smartphone and our photo validator, which adjusts them to meet the requirements of the New Zealand passport authority ensures you avoid these mistakes.

These are five of the most common mistakes you can make when preparing your New Zealand passport photo:

  • Low resolution and/or low quality of the photo. It’s important to make sure your picture is not damaged, pixelated or blurred. 
  • Not looking directly into the lens, having your eyes closed or your mouth open. 
  • The photo doesn’t meet the physical dimensions required by the New Zealand passport authority or is in the wrong digital format. As a reminder, the dimensions of a New Zealand passport photo need to be 45 x 35 mm. Your head should be 32-36 mm high and it should cover 70-80% of the photo.
  • A wide smile. You cannot show any facial expressions. Make sure to keep it neutral.
  • The photo is more than six months old or your appearance has changed significantly since it was taken. 

Passport photos online NZ - an app 

Our online passport photo editing application may help you in four different ways.

  • by converting your digital passport photos to the appropriate size, giving it the appropriate resolution and dimensions
  • by cropping and framing the entire photo. The face in the photo should be centred and positioned according to the requirements of the New Zealand passport authority.
  • by verifying the image to meet the requirements of the issuing authority. 
  • by removing the background completely or making it appropriate for the specific document. 

Passport photo app for iPhone

If you are an iPhone user, you can go to the App Store and download our app - check out our glowing reviews! You can quickly and easily get your NEw Zealand passport photo ready using our app, which you can download from the iOS App Store.

Passport photo app for Android

We also have an Android app for smartphones. You can go to Google Play and download our passport photo online app for Android, which will help you to get your New Zealand passport photo. It is compatible with the following brands: Samsung, Sony, Huawei, HTC, LG, etc.

5 reasons you should buy passport photos online

Here are five key reasons why you should take your passport photo at home and use our online app:

  • Built-in validator, which checks the photo to ensure it meets the official requirements.
  • You save time. It is faster to use your smartphone rather than travelling to Auckland or Wellington to source your passport photos;
  • Great value. This system is considerably cheaper than using a studio or professional photographer;
  • You can take an unlimited quantity of photos and choose your favourite;
  • And last, but not least, we provide a 100% guarantee that your photo will be accepted.


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