UK Visa Photo: Guide to Sizing & Formatting Your Photo [And a Hassle-Free Visa Photo Tool]

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Taking a photo for your ID has never been so easy.

Follow these simple instruction to take the perfect ID photo.


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.

British Visa Photo - requirements and size

UK Visa Photo: Guide to Sizing & Formatting Your Photo
Width: 35 mm
Height: 45 mm
600 dpi
Is it suitable for online submission?
Image definition parameters
Head height: 32.8 mm
Top of the Photo to Top of the Hair: 4.9 mm
Is it printable?
Background Color
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UK Visa Photo - All You Need to Know

UK Visitor Visa Photo

There are many types of visas to the United Kingdom but in this article, we focus on the Visitor Visa. If you plan to apply for the UK Visitor Visa in person or by post, you have to submit one or more printed photos of yourself. In the situation when you apply for your Visitor Visa to the UK online you need to upload to the application form a digital photo.

In both cases photos must meet specifications of the UK visa and immigration. How are these demandings? Check below and prepare your correct UK visa photo!

UK visa photo requirements - guide

Maybe you are thinking right now: is it possible to prepare the UK visa photo on my own or have I to take it in a professional studio? The answer is: you can do it yourself! Nobody will ask you about the professionally taken photo as long as your picture complies with UK visa photo standards. If you want to know more about this topic, read our guidelines and create your perfect document photo by yourself. 

Read the rest and be ready to create your picture for a visa to the United Kingdom. After further reading, you will know: 

  • what is the required size and crop of the photo
  • how must be the background
  • how to pose in the picture
  • what is allowed and forbidden in official images
  • how to avoid the most commonly made mistakes
  • how to quickly verify is your picture meets all the visa photo requirements
  • how to save your money and time taking a photo to you visa application

We will give you some advice and tips on clothing, facial expression and some other details.

With our smart visa photo editor you will be able to correctly resize and crop your image and adjust its resolution.resolution. It takes only a couple of seconds and you will receive the photo ready to upload to the online application or to print.

The validity of the photo for a UK visa

The photo dedicated to the visa document must show your current appearance. That is why it cannot be taken more than one month before submitting the visa application. So, you have one month from the moment of producing your UK visa picture to complete your application. After 30 days you have to take a new photo.

UK visa photo size and crop

If you submit a printed photo, it must measure 45 millimetres (mm) high by 35 mm wide which is the standard size of passport-style photos used in photo booths in the European Union.

Your visa photo can not be a cut down version of a larger picture, you have to take it paying attention to requirements. In the image all your head photographed, en-face must be visibly seen (it must be close-up), also the neck and the upper part of your shoulders. The image of the head from the crown to the chin must be between 29 mm and 34 mm high. If you are worried about how to obtain this size and crop, download a smart UK visa photo maker and let this tool do the job for you! This app resizes, crops and adjusts the background in order to make your visa photo perfect!

Photo for UK tourist visa background

The background in your UK tourist visa must be cream or light grey, solid and free of shadows.

The background must be clear - that means that cannot contain other objects or people, be free of patterns or spots.

 If you want to take your photo on your own and you are asking yourself how to obtain a uniform, unique color, clear background at home, we have a tip for you. Download and use the intelligent background removing photo app and have all the job done in 1 second! This app will erase every type of background from your image and exchange it into the required one in terms of color and style.

Posing and facial expression in the UK visa photo

The photo for the UK visa must be biometric (machine-readable) and there are some rules about how to pose in this type of picture.

In your photo, you must:

  • stay straight (head not tilted, shoulders not twisted)
  • be facing forwards and looking straight at the camera
  • have a neutral face expression and the mouth closed
  • have your eyes open and visible

The camera lens must be positioned at the level of your eyes.

You are not allowed to smile, show your teeth or make grimaces. Plain expression is a requirement. This must be an en-face view only.

Quality of photos for the UK visa

The photo in your visa to the United Kingdom must be machine-readable in order to check and confirm your identity on borders or during identity controles. 

Biometric photos must meet some conditions but every user of a smartphone is perfectly able to take absolutely correct photographs at home. 

Your photos must be:

  • in natural colors (not black and white or with color filters)
  • printed on plain white photographic paper with no border to a professional standard
  • if digital: at least 600 pixels wide and 750 pixels tall
  • at least 50 KB and no more than 10 MB
  • clear and in focus
  • unaltered by computer software
  • well exposed (not underlit or overlit)

Clothing in the UK visa photos

There is no special dress-code for photos dedicated to the UK visa. Only uniforms must not be worn and the head must not be covered (the exempt are religious or medical reasons). Our advice is to wear a top in the same color as the background not to blend into it. If you do not know what to wear, decide for one of following:

  • classic button down shirt
  • collared shirt
  • V-neck blouse or dress
  • suit with tie
  • plain T-shirt in the color you like

Avoid tank tops - in the cropped photos people in tank tops or wide neckline shirts look like naked.

Lightning in the UK visa photos

The face visible in the UK visitor visa photo must be evenly illuminated on both sides. There must not be any shadows or difference in tone on your face. Also, glares are unacceptable. How to operate the lights then?

First rule: don’t use a flash lamp because it causes glares on the skin and sometimes may provoke a “red eyes effect” - when the eyes look unnaturally red. Such photos will be rejected too.

Second rule: the best light is the daylight. We advise you to capture a photo during a day with natural light. 

How to do it correctly? Face the window keeping the distance 1,5-2 m from the camera or use the strong but distracted light source which is positioned exactly in front of you.

Eyeglasses in a United Kingdom visa photo

This is not forbidden to wear eyeglasses in the photo for the  UK visa. You can pose wearing them but their frames must not cover your eyes or drop the shadow on your skin. Glasses must not be tinted or dark (like sunglasses) and cannot give a reflection. Your pupils must be clearly visible.

Head coverings in the UK visa photo

Fashion headgears such as caps, hats or headbands are not allowed under any conditions.

Are headgears allowed in the UK visa photo? Yes and no. Why?

Fashion headgears such as caps, hats or headbands are forbidden whereas head covering used as a part of a religious attire may be worn in the passport or visa picture. So, you can decide to keep your head covering (like hijab, turban or yarmulke etc.) but make sure that this item does not obscure your face. Your facial features including front and chin must be clearly visible in the photo. For a proper contrast, wear a headgear in color contrasting to the background.

Facial piercing and jewellery in the British tourist visa photos

Many people ask if they have to remove their facial piercing and jewellery while capturing a photo for the United Kingdom visa. We answer this question: you may wear jewellery as long as it does not obscure any part of your face. This requirement is important especially for piercing items - they can’t cover the area around your eyes, mouth and nose and there can’t be any reflection from rings or studs.

However, better take off big or shiny as jewellery cannot obscure the edges of your face. Remove headbands or massive, decorative hair accessories too.

The most common mistakes in UK visa photos

Taking a photo for a visa at home is easier, cheaper and lets people save time and energy. But many people are worried if it is possible to prepare a photo for official documents and avoid mistakes. We assure you that it is! All you need to remember is how to avoid mistakes. We checked which are the most commonly made mistakes and for which reasons do officials the most often reject application.

Below we present the list of them:

  • an incorrect size 

Make sure that your photo is 35 mm wide and 45 mm high. The size of the face from chin to crown must be 29- 34 mm. Use a visa photo resizing App to obtain correct dimensions.

  • bad lighting

Avoid shadows appearing on your face. Both sides of your face must be evenly illuminated. Use daylight if possible. Don’t turn on the flesh lamp.

  • wrong background 

The color must be cream or light grey. Do not use white background. If patterns or spots in the background appear the photo is not correct.. Use the background removing photo tool to be sure you meet this requirement.

  • smile

Sad but true. We love to smile, we want to look attractive, but we cannot do it in photos for official documentaries. Take a neutral face expression, close your mouths and open your eyes.

  • head or face covered

Even if you keep your hijab or other headgear worn for religious reasons, it cannot obscure your face. Fashion head coverings are not allowed at all. And you are not allowed to cover your face in any situation.

  • wrong photo view or angle

The only accepted view is an en-face one. Do not take a semi-profile view and don’t tilt your head. This rule has changed within the last years and many applicants still attach semi-profile pictures which causes a lot of refusals.

  • wrong quality of the photo

Make sure that your photo is clear, focused and sharp, not overexposed or underexposed, not damaged or scratched.

UK visa photo Maker online

You may apply for your visa to the United Kingdom in a traditional way or online. It means that your photo might be printed or sent via the Internet. In both cases you, of course, want to

be sure that you attach a 100% correct picture. If you download our intelligent UK visa photo generator you will be able to easily crop, resize, change the background and verify your photo. If the application marks the image as correct, you may be 100% of approval in a given institution. By the UK embassy or consulate. Online Visa Photo Maker enables you to create your perfect picture with no rush, to try different outfits and hairstyles and save your time and money!

Last update: 9/30/23

About the document

A visa to the United Kingdom

From 31 January 2020, the UK  is no longer a member of the European Union and as one of the consequences of this fact, this country operates its own visa policy by which Her Majesty’s Government determines visa requirements for visitors. 

If you want to come to Great Britain to study, work, visit or join family, you may need a visa. It depends on your nationality and the purpose of the visit. The citizens of 56 countries and territories are visa-exempt and can stay in the UK up to 3 or 6 months. Check if your country is on the list of the visa-exempt country below:

  • European Union countries
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominica
  • East Timor
  • El Salvador
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Liechtenstein
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Monaco
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Norway
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tuvalu
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City

Moreover, Irish citizens and Citizens of Commonwealth countries who have the right of abode can enter the United Kingdom without a visa.

Tourist visa and other types of UK visas

There are numerous types of visas divided into three main categories:

  • Visitor visas
  • Work visas
  • Student visas

The most common is a Standard Visitor Visa which allows its holder to stay in the United Kingdom for up to 6 months for a holiday or to see family and friends, but also for a business trip, meetings or in purpose to do a short course of study. With this visa you can also stay in the UK for medical reasons (for example to receive private medical treatment) and take part in research or an exchange programme as an academic. If you have a visitor visa you cannot take any paid job in the UK.

Application for the UK visa

If you need a visa to the UK, you are obliged to prove that you will leave the UK at the end of your visit and you will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home.

Moreover, you are going to be asked if you’re able to support yourself and your dependents during your trip or have funding from someone else to support you as well as if you’re able to pay for your return or onward journey or have funding from someone else to pay for the journey.

Needed documents

You must provide a passport valid for the whole of your stay in the UK and contain a blank page for your visa and a passport-style color photograph of yourself.

You’ll need to provide information about:

  • the dates of the entrance and exit of the UK
  • Address where you’ll be staying during your visit
  • an estimate of your trip
  • the name and address of anyone paying for your trip if any
  • your current address in your country and how long you’ve lived there
  • your parents’ names and dates of birth (if known)
  • your annual income
  • details of any criminal, civil or immigration offences (if applies to you)

Any documents that are not in English or Welsh must be professionally translated.

Candidates applying for most types of UK visas (including a standard visitor visa) are required to submit biometric identifiers such as fingerprints and a digital facial image as part of the visa application process. In order to gather your fingerprints, you will need to make an appointment in the UK embassy or consulate. During this meeting you might also be asked about:

  • details of your travel history for the past 10 years (bring your old passports with you)
  • your employer’s address and telephone number (prepare it before the meeting)
  • your partner’s name, date of birth, and passport number 
  • the names, addresses and passport numbers of any family members you have in the UK

Normally, all the process is not longer than 3 weeks but it depends on the period, country and some other conditions.

If you have lost your passport with the UK visa or it is stolen, you will have to pay the original visa fee in full again and you may be required to show that circumstances in your home country and details of the activity that you will be doing in the UK have not changed when applying for a replacement visa. 

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

What is the demanded crop of the UK (British) visa photograph?

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The photo must show you from the top of the head to upper shoulders. The head’s height must be between 29 mm and 34 mm. You can use a visa photo maker to obtain this photo view.

Can I use my British visa photo for other documents?

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Yes, the requirements for another document’s photo are exactly the same. For example you can use your photo template as a passport picture in many countries.

How can I check if the created photo of the UK visa photo meets requirements?

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The easiest way is to download a photo validating app and upload your picture to this app. Your photo will be verified and you will know the result immediately.

Yes, of course. Just follow the instructions and upload the photo to an intelligent visa photo maker which will resize and crop the picture for you. You will get a photo ready to print or send via the Internet.

Yes, but only if facial piercing does not obscure your face features. Consider taking off shining, huge earrings as they can give a glare on your face.

Dress up like you wish and feel well. There is no official dress-code for a photos to the UK visa.

No. Photos printed at home are unlikely to be of an acceptable standard. The print must be produced using dye sublimation and on the photo-quality paper.

No, any alteration is forbidden. If you want to look attractive in your visa photo, you are allowed to put on some make-up but you must not use Photoshop or any other software to correct the image.

If they are not sunglasses or have not colored glasses, yes, this is allowed. Just make sure that their frames do not cover your eyes and do not give reflections.

In your photo you must be facing forwards and looking straight at the camera with your mouth closed and a neutral facial expression.

Your photo must be:

  • at least 600 pixels wide and 750 pixels tall
  • at least 50KB and no more than 10MB

If you apply in person or send your application by post, you have to attach one printed photo.

You may look for a photo booth or a photography studio but there is an easier way. Just use your smartphone and online UK visa photo editor which automatically crops, resizes and adjusts the background to the requirements.

Cream of light grey. The background must be plain, free of shadows and patterns. If you feel that it might be a problem, use the Visa Photo Background Removing App and adjust the background to the demandings.

No. You can take it with your camera or smartphone. Just remember about the visa photo requirements and meet all of them.

Yes. Black and white photos are not accepted. The photo must represent the true tones of your skin and eyes.

You can use a resizing online visa photo maker. This App will automatically resize and crop your uploaded image.

The only one accepted size of a photograph dedicated to a Tourist Visa in the United Kingdom is 35 x 45 mm.

If your photos do not meet the rules, your application will be delayed and you will be requested to provide a new photograph.

Your photo must not be older than 1 month.

Yes, you can apply online. In such a case attach to your application a digital photo of yourself.