Get the Info on Germany's Visa Photo Requirements [With Examples & Online Photo Tool]

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Get the Info on Germany's Visa Photo Requirements [With Examples & Online Photo Tool]
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Body-camera distance

The distance between the face and the camera should be about 40 cm. Ideally the photo should be taken by the other person.


Posture: Straight ahead

Place your face in front of the lens. Hold the camera at eye level and keep neutral face expression.



Stand facing the light source, for example an exposed window. The background will be cut out, don't worry about it.

German Visa Photo - Size & Requirements

Germany Visa Photo Requirements [Examples & Online Tool]
Width: 35 mm
Height: 45 mm
600 dpi
Is it suitable for online submission?
Image definition parameters
Head height: 34 mm
Top of the Photo to Top of the Hair: 3 mm
Is it printable?
Background Color
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More about German Visa Photo - Requirements

German visa photo

Do you know that visa photos are not universal for the whole world? Visa photo sizes may vary depending on the country. For example, in the US the dimensions are 51x51 mm, while in China a visa photo is expected to be 33x48 mm. Moreover, some countries may be more lenient when it comes to the photo requirements, while others impose more stringent rules. Once you choose a specific document, Passport Photo Online cropping and resizing tool will adjust your photo for a German visa accordingly. 

German visa photo - size and dimensions

For the German visa application, you must provide 2 (two) identical visa photos that are 35 x 45 mm in size.

The photo must clearly show your facial features from the tip of the chin to the top of the head. Your face must take up 70 - 80% of the image; in millimetres it should be between 32 and 36 mm. That includes the hair, so if you have a voluminous hairstyle, it is your responsibility to make sure that the head with the hair is fully depicted without reducing the size of the face.

Important thing: the height of the face may not be less than 32 mm.

Selfie as a German visa photo 

You’re not allowed to provide a selfie as your German visa picture. That is because the distance between the camera and the person photographed must be between 1,20 and 2 meters, and the head should be neither at an angle nor turned. Your entire head and neck must be visible, and the upper part of the shoulders optionally as well. To get the required view, we recommend you to use a tripod or ask another person for help.

Colors in German visa photos

Your German visa picture must be in color, moreover the picture must be neutral in color and skin tone should be represented naturally. The same applies to the color of your eyes. That means that any “red eye” effect caused by flash will disqualify the picture. 

The background should be clear, usually plain white - it must contrast the face and hair. In the case of light colored hair, a medium-gray background is more suitable, while a light-gray background is suitable for dark hair. No shadows, patterns, other people or objects can be visible in your German visa picture.

But you don’t need to worry about the background - you can take a picture on any background, even in your room or kitchen, and just use Passport Photo Online background editor that will replace an incorrect background with the required one.

Illumination in German visa photos

Remember that your face must be evenly illuminated - both its sides must be visible, no shadows are accepted.

A very important thing is also to adjust contrast and brightness when taking the picture.

The image must not be overexposed or underexposed. The German visa photo should be focused, clear, and have no creases or damages.

If you wear eyeglasses in your German visa photo, make sure they don’t obscure your eyes, nor produce shadows on your face. Glasses are allowed, but make sure that there’s no glare on them.

Germany visa photo requirements - resolution

The photo you attach to your visa application form should be printed on high-quality paper. At the moment it’s not possible to send a picture via the Internet.

The print resolution must be at least 600 dpi if you take your photo with a digital camera. The face must be sharply focused in all areas, rich in contrast, and clear.

If you want to take a picture with your smartphone, it’s easy to produce a high-quality picture, especially if you use a visa photo maker that crops, resizes, and adjusts your visa photo.

German visa photo requirements - composition

The candidate’s head must be centered and must not be tilted in any direction - only an en-face view is accepted. The photographed person must keep their mouth closed and look directly into the camera lens.

The eyes must be open and clearly visible and may not be covered by hair or eyeglasses frames.

According to the German visa photo requirements, your picture must be:

  • in color,
  • not older that 6 months,
  • printed on high-quality paper,
  • original (not altered in any way).

Don’t smile or maintain an unnatural expression in the visa picture - a neutral facial expression is required. Keep your mouth closed, but not tightened. Your face must be clearly visible, so make sure that your hair, head gear, or jewelry do not cover its line.

German visa photo requirements - dress code

There are not any recommendations about clothing in German visa pictures with one exception - you must not wear uniforms nor any clothes with army patterns, as they may resemble uniforms.

You can wear something nice and comfortable - a simple blouse with a collar or V-neck is our recommendation. If you like jewelry, you can put on a necklace and a small pair of earrings. Wearing massive earrings or hair decorations is not recommended, as they can obscure your jawline and in such a case your picture won’t be accepted.

If you cover your head for religious reasons every day, there is no requirement to take it off for the German visa picture. But even if you keep it on, your face must be clearly visible, and the head covering cannot cover your facial features (including the eyebrows).

German visa photo for children and babies

If you intend to travel with minors, they will need a German visa too, and you also need to fill out the application form, and attach 2 (two) identical passport-size photos to it. There are not any special additional requirements nor exemptions for German visa photos for children and babies. If you find it problematic to take a picture of an infant, because you need to support their head, just take a picture normally and then remove the incorrect background. You can do it quickly and easily with Passport Photo Online photo app - this editor also changes an unsuitable background into the required one, crops, and resizes the image, while also verifying that your child’s photo satisfies all the requirements!

What is not permitted in the German visa photo?

If you don’t meet the requirements, your visa photo will be rejected and you will need to start all the visa processing again. To avoid this uncomfortable situation, just get familiar with the most common mistakes that people make.

Your picture must not be:

  • older than 6 months,
  • altered by Photoshop, filters, or any kind of computer software,
  • overexposed or underexposed,
  • printed on low-quality paper,
  • cut out from another, bigger picture.

In the picture you are not permitted to:

  • tilt your head,
  • look sideways, up or down, or have your eyes closed,
  • have your mouth open/show your teeth,
  • smile, frown, or make a face (this includes the “duckface”),
  • wear a uniform or clothes resembling a uniform.

German visa photo near me

You can take your picture wherever is convenient for you - in your living room, garden, or on the street! Just ask someone to take a picture of you, and upload it to the Passport Photo Onine editor.

Of course, you still must meet the requirements regarding size, background, lighting, etc., but our online photo tool will take care of all those details. Take a visa photo in 3 seconds from anywhere with Passport Photo Online!

Visa photo app

If you aren’t sure how to resize a picture, why not check out our photo app?

In a few seconds you will get your perfect visa photo ready to attach to your application form.

Passport Photo Online app is available online, easy to use, and cheap - you pay only for correct photos, and they have a guarantee of acceptance by authorities!

Last update: 3/19/23

About the document

What is a German visa?

A German tourist visa is also called a short-stay Schengen Visa. This document allows its holders to enter and reside in Germany for a maximum period of 90 days within a 180-day period. During this time the short-stay Schengen Visa holder is not allowed to be involved in any kind of a paid job.

So, if you have your German visa issued by a German embassy or consulate, you are permitted to enter the whole area with one unified document known as the Schengen Visa.

Which countries can you visit with a German visa?

As Germany is in the Schengen Zone where border control between member states is abolished, the visa issued by German authorities allows free entrance to many other countries.

When you are in Germany, you are allowed to visit all the other members of the Schengen Zone which are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.

German tourist visa for US citizens

If you are a holder of the US passport, you are allowed to enter Germany visa-free and stay in Germany and the entire Schengen Zone for a period of 90 days within a 180-day period.

Visa-free regime with the European Union

The Federal Republic of Germany is a top destination for tourism and education and every year millions of tourists want to visit it or do business there. Keep in mind that Germany has established strictly executed immigration laws.

If you are planning a visit to Germany for tourism or business you need to find out if you must present a visa while crossing Germany or another Schengen Zone country border.

At the moment there is a list of 62 countries which citizens can enter for the purpose of tourism, visiting and business doing the Schengen Zone visa-free. See if you are a passport holder of one of following countries (in an alphabetical order):

  • Albania, Andora, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia
  • Bahamas, Barbados
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei
  • Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica
  • Dominica
  • El Salvador
  • Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala
  • Honduras, Hong Kong
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Macau, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro
  • New Zealand, North Macedonia, Nicaragua
  • Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent
  • Samo, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea
  • Taiwan, Timor Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu
  • Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Uruguay
  • Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela

Do you need a Schengen visa?

As indicated above there are countries that are privileged with entering Germany visa-free, but there are also other categories and nationals, which have to go through the whole process of obtaining a visa.

Their citizens must meet some requirements and attend interviews, in order to obtain a visa that grants them entrance to the Western European country.

If your country is not on the list of visa-free nations, you will need to obtain a visa to be permitted to enter Germany. Moreover, even if you are a citizen of any of the privileged countries, but your purpose is other than tourism or business, and/or you need to remain in Germany for more than 90 days within a 6-month period, then you will still need to obtain a visa.

Germany entry requirements

Even if you have already got your visa, you need to meet some other requirements to enter Germany. If you are an EU national coming to Germany, you only need to carry with you an identification document and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a passport. Your ID is also accepted.

If you are not from one of Schengen Zone countries, you must present at the border:

  • a passport issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least 3 more months beyond your planned date of exit from Germany,
  • a valid visa if it applies to your nationality,
  • a proof of sufficient funds for the entire stay in Germany,
  • a ticket back from Germany or other Schengen Zone country.

Keep in mind that travelers crossing the German border must possess at least 45€ per each day they plan on spending in the German territory.

You will be asked to show these documents to the German immigration officer once you arrive in the country. Be prepared also to answer some questions about your trip to Germany. The border police officer may ask you for example:

  • What is the purpose of your visit?
  • How long are you planning to stay in Germany?
  • Where are you going to stay in Germany? (prepare the address of the hotel or your German host).

If you are permitted to enter, make sure that the German border officer stamps your passport. Without a stamp, you could be fined or detained from Germany!

Visa requirements for children

If you are planning to travel to Germany with minors, you must apply for a visa for them too. There are some additional visa requirements for children applying to get a short-stay visa as indicated below:

  • Birth certificate.
  • German visa application form signed by both parents (in cases where only one parent has full custody over the child, a family court order is needed).
  • Certified copies of ID/passport of both parents.
  • A notarized parental authorization to travel to Germany, signed by both parents/guardians if the minor will be traveling alone.

Extension of the German visa

With your short-stay Schengen Visa you may visit Germany up to 90 days, within a 180-day period. If you are planning to stay longer, register with the relevant German authorities.

Remember that you can extend your German Schengen Visa only in exceptional cases. In such a case you must prove that special reasons have occured after your entry in Germany. These are cases like humanitarian reasons or force majeure.

Please keep in mind that only some special circumstances may cause extension of your German Schengen Visa. If you have the possibility to leave the country and come back later, consider this solution as visa extensions are granted only in special situations.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

What is the required size in mm for a German visa photo?

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Required dimensions of German visa photos are 35 x 45 mm.

What is the required size of the head in the German visa photo?

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The head (including the hair) must cover 70 - 80% of the full picture. In millimetrers it should be 32 - 36 mm.

Is a head covering allowed in a German visa photo?

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Generally speaking, headwear is not allowed, especially fashionable one like a cap, hat, or bandana. In the case of religious reasons the face must be visible from the lower tip of the chin to the forehead.

Yes, it’s permitted, but the frames cannot cover your eyes and there can’t be any glare from the glasses. The glasses must not be tinted nor dark.

Anywhere! Seriously! All you need is your digital camera or smartphone, no matter if you have Android or iOS. Just ask someone to help you and use an online photo editor to adjust the photo to German visa photo requirements.

No. Smiling, making faces, opening, or tightening your, or closing the eyes in your photo will cause the rejection of your application.

After providing all the documents and a passport photo, you will wait a maximum of 15 days for your short-stay visa. In other cases this period may vary.

Of course! Any smartphone equipped with a camera is a perfect device to take a high-quality picture for your German visa.

To adjust your picture to German visa photo requirements, check out our online passport photo editor.

Yes, you can keep your facial piercings, but make sure that they don’t obscure your features or give a glare. You may also wear a necklace or earrings, but make sure that they do not touch your jawline.

Yes, you may submit the form via the Internet, but you also must attend the interview at the appropriate German Embassy or Consulate.

Yes, if you have a beard or moustache, you don’t need to shave it. But be aware that in some particular cases - if your face is unrecognizable because of the beard, your visa photo may be rejected.

Yes, every person regardless of age is obliged to have an entrance permit to Germany. If you travel with children, be aware that there are some additional conditions we write about below.

No. You can’t use Photoshop or any retouching tools to correct your photo. All altered pictures will be automatically rejected.

You can do it in 3 seconds by automatically cropping and resizing it with the passport photo editor. Just check this app’s options and possibilities!

If you know any professional photography studio nearby, it will be easy. But not everyone has the time and willingness to walk around the city and look for one. Moreover, professional photographers are expensive and there is a much easier and cheaper way to prepare the perfect German visa photo! Just check out our online visa photo app!