Prepare a perfect passport photo with guaranteed acceptance!
Providing a valid passport photo is one of the most important requirements of your passport application. The two photos must be identical and recent (taken within the last six months), and you should look similar to your photo on the day of filing the application. There are many other important specifications, which we will cover in this article.
The French passport photo is the same size and format used in many other official French documents, which makes getting one fairly easy. It must be 35 mm wide by 45 mm high, and it must show the full head from the bottom of the chin to the top of the hair. The head size should be between 32 mm and 36 mm high, and cover around 70 to 80% of the photo.
The background of the photo should be in a light color, but not white. We recommend light gray or light blue, but white is not allowed. The background must be uniform and plain, without shadows or patterns. There cannot be any other people or other objects in the frame with the applicant. It would be advisable to wear dark or intense colored clothes, to create appropriate contrast with the background. For instance, red, black or dark green may be a good option.
The photos must be printed on photo quality paper. It has to be in focus and of high resolution; not blurry or pixelated. It must be in color and have proper saturation, showing the natural colors of the skin, hair and eyes. It should not be overexposed or underexposed. It needs to have good contrast, neither too light nor too dark. The photos must be free of printing errors such as scratches and streaks. It cannot be bent, folded or damaged in any way.
Smooth and even lighting is required, with no shadows on the applicant’s face or upon the background. While dramatic shadows look great in a portrait, they are unacceptable in a passport photo. Keep your key-to-fill ratio as close to one-to-one as possible. Be careful when using a fill-flash, as the flash can create the “red-eye” effect which will disqualify the photo. Try taking your photo in a well-lit area during daylight.
The photo should show a full-face frontal view, taken with your eyes open and your mouth closed. The head should be straight and facing the camera, with the eyes looking directly into the camera lens. Smiling is not allowed and you need to have a neutral facial expression.
You cannot wear dark glasses or sunglasses, but ordinary prescription glasses are allowed. They cannot have tinted or colored lenses. Be careful not to wear glasses with thick, heavy frames that might cover your eyes. While taking a picture, don't let light reflect on the lenses, which causes glare.
You cannot wear a hat, cap, headgear or scarf in the French passport photo, or any other item covering your forehead or your eyes. The only exception is for head coverings that are worn every day for religious reasons, such as hijabs and yarmulkes. Face masks and veils are not allowed. If possible, the subject’s ears and hairline should be visible. Headphones are not allowed. Be careful with big earrings and facial piercings which might obscure your facial features.
Your passport photo cannot be a selfie, so if you decide to take it at home, ask someone for help. Remember that you must not use a white background. Don't wear any items that cover your head or face. Remember about keeping your mouth closed and your eyes open, and wearing a neutral facial expression.
Going to a professional photographer can be expensive, so let us help you take your French passport size photo in your own home using just your smartphone. Upload your photo to Passport Photo Online, where artificial intelligence will carefully check your photo, and then our tools will take care of any imperfections. Print your photo at any print shop. You can print it as many times as you like and use photos for other French documents.
Last update: 10/2/22
The French passport is a crucial identity document, which gives French citizens the right to travel internationally. It is also an indication of French citizenship, which facilitates the process of securing assistance from French consular officials abroad. However, according to French law, having a French passport is not a proof of French citizenship – it only establishes the presumption of citizenship. Along with the national identity card, a passport allows unrestricted residence in any of the European Union and European Economic Area countries, United Kingdom, and Switzerland.
If you are a French foreign resident or a citizen of France, you can apply to get a French passport. It will allow you to travel around the world and enter many countries without a visa. You don't have to surrender your existing foreign passport. You can own two passports, because France allows dual citizenship. Having a French passport is not a proof of French citizenship, however, it gives you many benefits and possibilities in terms of unrestricted access to 186 countries around the world.
To obtain a French passport you will need to file a French passport application with all the required documentation. Passport applications are sometimes rejected, and to avoid that situation we want to help you with the most common mistakes, especially with preparing the perfect French passport photo.
Depending on validity:
Depending on the version:
If you want to get French citizenship, you must have lived in France for 5 continuous years and be able to prove that you have integrated into French society, especially through knowledge of the French language, culture, and citizenship responsibilities. If you are married to a French citizen, or you are the child of a French citizen, then the residency period is shorter. The French passport is the 5th in the world in terms of travel freedom, and allows French citizens to access 186 countries and territories (visa-free or with a visa).
It must be 35 mm wide by 45 mm high.
Any light color, but not white. We recommend a uniform light gray or light blue background.
No, it can't. The official requirements only accept passport photos in color.
Yes, you can. Make sure it is free of scratches, in high-quality resolution and not pixelated.
No, you can't. Remember to show a neutral facial expression and look directly into the camera. Your eyes should stay open and you can't show your teeth.
You can't wear sunglasses but you can wear prescription glasses. The only condition is that they cannot have tinted and colored lenses. Your glasses should not cover your eyes, make sure they do not have a thick frame.
No, you can't. Wearing a hat, a cap, a scarf, headphones or any type of head covering is not allowed. You can't wear a head covering not even for religious reasons.
No, you can't. It would be better to ask someone for help.
Here are some of the most important steps to get a perfect French passport photo: choose the right location (better with natural light), choose a light background, ask someone to take your photo from about 1.2 m (47,2 inches), remember to have a neutral facial expression.
It’s recommended that you avoid the usual American places for passport photos, such as photo booths, post offices and drug stores, because they are set up to create 2” x 2” pictures for American passports. You may need to seek out a specialty photographer. Better yet, you can easily take your photo from home or anywhere else with Passport Photo Online. Take as many shots as you want and upload the one you like the most. Our app will edit your photo according to the official French requirements.
If you are a French foreign resident or a French citizen you can apply to get a French Passport.
Your French passport allows unrestricted access to 186 countries around the world.
You will need an ID card, a passport photo respecting the official requirements, your biometric data, your online per-application number, your address certificate, and the fee payment.
Absolutely. Once you’ve captured and created the perfect passport photo, it can be printed out at any print shop, including CVS Pharmacies and FedEx Offices.