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If you want to travel to one or more countries in European Union and you are not an EU citizen, you are obliged to get the visa. Regardless of the visa type the requirements for the photo are the same. You must submit 2 identical pictures in color, not older than 6 months.
Every person planning to enter the Schengen Area for any reason may be a subject to the visa regime. A Schengen visa is a document with a photo and this photo must meet some special requirements. Read our article to know all about them and avoid a mistake. We gathered every necessary information about:
in a Schengen visa photo. After reading our guidelines you will be able to prepare a perfect picture ready to attach to your visa application. Remember that your photo must be sharp, focused and properly exposed not to be rejected. The rest of the points of the specification you will find below.
Requirements for the size of every Schengen visa are the same and are 35 x 45 ( approx. 14-18 inches) mm and the face should fill in approx. 70 - 80% of the image (the head sizes cannot be less than 32 mm and more than 36 mm). To obtain this effect, do not use zoom in your camera and don’t take a selfie, just keep the distance between you and a photographer (or tripod if you are taking the photo on your own). The recommended distance is between 1,20 and 2 metres.
No. 2 x 2 inches (51 mm x 51 mm) is a standard US passport-style photo and this is not suitable for a Schengen visa. You need to take a new picture to attach to your European visa application. Do not cut out a new crop from an existing photo. As most photo booths in the US offer this photo sizing, consider taking the photo by yourself. With our resizing and cropping photo App you can prepare the picture which in 100% satisfies the Schengen visa photo requirements.
The photo crop must show the candidate’s all face with hair from the tip of the chin to the top of the head, neck and upper part of the shoulders. Remember that your face should be clearly visible and your hair must not obscure any part of it under the eyebrows line. Moreover, make sure that there is a space left between your head and the photo’s edges. If you have voluminous hair, consider wearing them up.
You must provide 2 color (not black and white) printed photos taken on a light background. The photo must show your natural skin tones and the real color of your eyes. This last part is important because a “red eyes” effect caused by the flash lamp disqualifies the picture.
The background should be clear and plain, with no patterns or spots. You may choose its color between different shades of grey. If you have a dark complexion and/or hair, pick up the light grey and the other way around to obtain a satisfying contrast and not to blend into the background.
In terms of the background - no objects or people can be visible behind you. but it does not mean that you need to hang up a grey sheet or paint the wall. In fact, you don’t have to even think about the background in the Schengen visa photo! All you have to do is to upload your picture to the background remover photo app and have it done! This tool is able to change the wrong background into the required one in one second!
As both sides of your face must be evenly visible, no shadows or glares in the Schengen visa photo are accepted. To obtain this effect the best idea is to use daylight and pose facing the window. If you use lamps, make sure that they illuminate your face symmetrically.
Make sure also that your picture is not overexposed or underexposed - adjust the brightness in your camera options if you see that it is not properly exposed. Adjust the contrast and focus functions too if they are not adjusted automatically.
But if you take a picture with your phone, it is enough as those devices are equipped with very high-quality cameras and they regulate automatically.
If you wear eyeglasses, make sure that light does not give a glare on them. It happens often when the photo is taken with a flash lamp and we do not recommend doing it.
You must submit 2 identical photos printed on high-quality paper. Applying for a Schengen visa online is not possible at the moment so once you order your photo template, you need to print it in, for example, one-hour photo store or self-service photo point. Do not use your home inkjet printer as the quality of images produced by this kind of device is too low.
More about technical requirements for the European visa photo:
Schengen visa photos are biometric so it can be a bit similar to a mugshot. There are some universal rules about composition and head position for biometric photos. The head must be located in the central spot of the picture and must not be tilted in any direction.
The mouth must close but not tighten. Don’t smile and look straight at the camera. En-face view is mandatory.
There is only one rule about clothing here: you must not wear uniforms nor any clothes in army patterns or visible insignia which can resemble uniforms.
Apart from that, there is not such a thing as a “dress-code for Schengen visa photo”, but you will show your photo to immigration officers so it is a good idea to present yourself favourably. So a simple shirt with buttons or a collar or V-neckline is our recommendation. If you like jewellery, there are no contraindications. Just keep in mind that wearing massive earrings or hair decorations is not recommended as they can obscure the face.
If you wear your religious attire every day and you wear it during your international travels, stay in it for your Schengen visa picture. You may keep your hijab, yarmulke or other headgear worn for religious reasons. You do not need to explain it or fill in any special form. Just make sure that your head covering does not obscure your face (as f.ex. niqab which is not allowed).
By the way, any fashion head coverings (caps, hats, headbands) are prohibited in the visa photo.
Your Schengen visa photo must be original. What exactly does it mean? Of course, the photo must present yourself. But also that the photo cannot be cut out from the larger picture but produced specialement for visa application. You are not allowed either to interfere in your photo by any computer software. Special filters, retouching, using Photoshop and other graphic programs is prohibited and strictly verified. Photos are checked by computer software and if it detects any alteration, the picture is automatically rejected.
for the last point, you will need our intelligent Schengen visa photo app. You can download it from the AppStore for iOS operating devices or from the Google Play Store for Samsung, Nokia and many other smartphones.
As you know, you need to attach 2 color printed photos of size 35 mm x 45 mm to your Schengen visa application. At the moment this is not possible to apply for a Schengen visa online and upload a digital picture. So, you may ask yourself “where can I take a Schengen visa photo near me?” The answer is very easy: you can take the European visa photo there where you are! All you need is your phone and smart visa photo app which you can download from the AppStore or Google Play Store. Following our tips, you are able to produce an absolutely correct visa photo in 5 seconds. Your photo will be resized, cropped and adjusted to all demandings. Once you receive it on your email address, you may send it to one-hour photo store or print in a photo booth. Nothing easier than that!
💡 What are Schengen visa photo specs?
In a nutshell there are: in color, size 35 mm x 45 mm, light-grey background. You must submit two identical photos printed on a good quality paper.
💡 Can the Schengen visa photo be black and white?
No. Only color pictures are accepted. Keep in mind not to use filters as a visa photo as this picture is supposed to reflect the natural tones of your skin.
💡 Can I use my American 2 x 2 inches size photo of the Schengen visa?
No. 2 x 2 inches is approx. 51 x 51 mm and this is not a required size for an European visa picture. Only one accepted size for Schengen visa is in mm: 34 x 45.
💡 Can I cut out my head from a larger picture to a Schengen visa?
No. Your photograph must be originally taken, not cut out from another photo. Just take it with your smartphone and adjust to the requirements with the Schengen visa photo online app.
💡 What is a demanded size for a photo for a schengen visa?
The required size of Schengen visa photo is 35 mm x 45 mm.
💡 Is it possible to apply for a Schengen visa online?
At the moment it is not possible. You must submit a paper documentation and 2 printed photos.
💡 Can I print my Schengen visa photo on my home printer?
No. Inkjets printers are not suitable to print passport and visa photos. Track down a one-hour service photo or self-service kiosk to print your photos on the high-quality paper.
💡 How I need to pose in my Schengen visa photo?
You have to stay straight, do not tilt your head and look directly at the camera. It must be an en-face view.
💡 Can I smile in my Schengen visa photo?
No. A natural facial expression is a requirement here. Just relax your face muscles, close your mouths and keep your both eyes open and that is it!
💡 May I be in a headcovering in my Schengen visa photo?
Yes, under the condition that this is a part of your religious attire and you wear it everyday. Any fashion headgears are prohibited in the Schengen visa photo.
💡 How to resize the Schengen visa photo?
Use a Schengen visa photo App and the picture will be resized for you automatically and fast.
💡 What is the required background in the Schengen visa photo?
The demanded color is light-grey but this is not all. The background must be plain, free of shadows, patterns and spots. No other persons or objects must be visible in it.
💡 How to remove a wrong background from my Schengen visa photo?
Do not do it with Photoshop. Use our background remover photo App and have it done in a second!
💡 How big must be the head in a Schengen visa photo?
The head with hair should fill in 70 - 80% of the image (dimensions of the head must not be less than 32 mm and more than 36 mm).
💡 Can I wear eyeglasses in a Schengen visa photo?
Yes, you are allowed to, just make sure that frames do not obscure your eyes and glasses do not give glare.
💡 Where can I find a Schengen visa photo Maker?
You can download the visa and passport photo app from the AppStore or Google Play Store and install it on your phone. The app is free and easy to use.
💡 Where to take a Schengen visa photo near me?
You can go to the photo studio or photo booth but if you don’t want to - you have the possibility to prepare your Schengen visa photo wherever you want with your smartphone and online passport and visa Tool available for iOS and Android.
💡 Can I upload a Schengen visa photo online?
No. You need to print it in two pieces and they must be identical. Only paper applications for the moment are available.
💡 I am a soldier - may I wear my uniform to a Schengen visa passport photo?
No. You are not allowed to wear the uniform or clothes resembling uniform in your Schengen visa photo.
💡 Are the specifications for France visa photos the same as for Schengen visa photos?
Yes. Every country in the Schengen Area has the same requirements for visa photos.
💡 Can you recommend a Schengen visa photo tool?
Yes, we highly recommend you the PhotoAiD smart photo App which is able to resize, crop, remove background and verify your picture in terms of requirements.
💡 How to verify if my Schengen visa photo is correct?
Just download the visa photo online app for iPhone or for Android and upload your picture. The app will validate your picture and inform you if it is correct or not.
💡 What is the required resolution for a digital Schengen visa photo?
The demanded resolution of a digital European visa photo must be at least 600 dpi.
💡 How many photos have I attach to my Schengen visa application?
You must submit two identical pieces of printed photos taken within the last 6 months.
Schengen Area or Schengen Zone is the largest passport-free travel area in the world named after the 1985 Schengen Agreement signed in Schengen (the city in Luxembourg).
The European Union created this passport-free zone which covers most of the European countries. It means that citizens of Schengen Zone countries can travel, work and change their residence without any limitations inside it. The holders of Schengen visa are allowed to freely travel within, and leave the Schengen zone from any of the Schengen member countries. There are no border controls within the Schengen Zone. Each country which is a member of the Schengen Area can issue a Schengen visa to a foreign applicant.
Countries in Schengen Area are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows its holder to travel to any member country of the Schengen Area and stay inside this zone up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.
Schengen visa is not a student, work or permanent residence visa.
You can stay in one or more od 26 Schengen Area’s member countries up to 90 days only for one of the following reasons:
Every person who wants to live, get a paid job or study in one of European countries must apply for a national visa of that country and not a Schengen Visa.
Depending on your reasons for visiting the Schengen countries and the frequency of your trips, the Schengen consulate can issue you a
To check whether you need a Schengen Visa to travel to one of the Schengen member countries, check the information provided by official websites informing about Schengen visa eligibility. Generally speaking, every citizen of a country which does not have a visa-liberalization agreement with the Schengen member states, needs to obtain a visa prior to their arrival in Europe.
However, there are categories and nationals of countries that are privileged with entering the Schengen visa-free zone.
Citizens of the United States with a valid US passport can travel to 26 European countries in Europe without having to apply for a Schengen visa. They can enter the border or whichever Schengen Area’s member country and stay inside of the Schengen Area up to 90 days for tourism or a business purposes.
Keep in mind that the visa-free regime applies only to US citizens. If you live in the US but you are not a holder of the US passport, you may need a Schengen visa or not depending on your nationality.
Regardless if you are from a visa-free regime country or not, you are obliged to present several documents at the Schengen port-of-entry. It doesn’t apply only to Schengen country nationals.
So, once you come to the port-of-entry by land, sea or air in every Schengen Area’s country you must carry with you:
You may be also asked by a border official about other information and documents such as purpose of your entry, sufficient funds and planned period of staying in the EU. Prepare your back ticket, travel insurance proof, the proof of accommodation, invitation letter, etc.
A border officer will give you an entry stamp in your passport when you enter the Schengen area. Please be informed that without this stamp, you could be fined or detained in the case of controle.
Your first step in all the process needs to be figuring out whether you need one or not a Schengen visa - it depends on the purpose of your travel and your nationality. If you do, you will be asked about:
The documents you need to present are:
Schengen visa’s cost are: €80 for adults and teenagers older than 12 years and €45 for children from 6 to 12 years old.
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