Requirements for a passport photo
Current requirements for a passport photo are determined by the regulations of individual exhibitor states. It is worth noting that the photo format and its other features often differ, e.g. the photo we use for a US passport will most probably not be useful to us when we apply for a Vietnamese passport. However, there are some universal guidelines as for the passport photos:
US Passport photo requirements
- Neutral facial expression
- One should directly face the camera with full face in view
- Normal clothing. Extravagant outfit or uniforms might cause a photo rejection. Religious clothing, however, is allowed
- Background should be white or off-white in color.
- Glasses, headphones and other items should not be worn
- The passport photo should be taken within the last six months
Generally, ID card photos are also called biometric photos. all passport photos are so-called biometric photos, i.e. those that allow us to download our individual features that allow for quick and reliable identification. Therefore, usually in photography we should be positioned frontally and look straight ahead. Visibility of the other person is always excluded, and the background requirements vary, but in most cases it should be uniform, one-color (usually light, but it also happens that e.g. the background must be blue or dark blue). Records regarding glasses and headgear are also usually the same, i.e. we photograph ourselves without a hat and without glasses (although they are allowed, even if the sight is impaired, you can take off the glasses - then we minimize the chance of rejecting the composite photo, because the risk is that glare will be visible on the glasses or the frame will cover our pupils). Photos for passports differ primarily in size. Some countries allow only a specific photo format, others offer several possibilities. An example of a strictly defined size of the photo is a US passport, which must always have the dimensions of 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm). Vietnam, on the other hand, expects a 4 x 6 cm photo.
How long does one have to wait for a passport?
The government of the United States usually processes passport applications between 3 to 6 weeks after you've sent off the application. We recommend you to apply for your US passport in low travel seasons, like winter or fall.
However, you can get the digital photo for US passport on our website in no time!
Where can I get and print my US passport photo?
Firstly, prepare your printable passport photo template on our website - take a selfie, upload it, and check if you like it. If you think you don’t look good in the photo, simply retake the picture!
Secondly, choose one of the options - you can get the passport photo template for free, though it won’t have the background automatically removed, so it would require you to follow the guidelines more precisely. Or save some time and for 4.99$ you will be able to download a professional US passport photo with acceptance guarantee! For 6.99$ you will also get a printout delivered at your doors!
Thirdly, if you decided on a digital version of the photo, find the closest photo-copying point or pharmacy with photo printing service where you can print it out as a 4x6 inch photo (postcard-size photo). On such a US biometric photo template, you will find 4 passport photos ready to be cut out and submitted to the US passport office!
Long story short - you can get a digital US passport photo here and print it out at any photo-copying service (like Walmart or Costco). Scroll down to see the guidelines on how to take a biometric photo that will meet all the official requirements! (or just take a photo and our AI compliance check tool will tell you what’s wrong)
Does the US passport photo have the same size as other passport photos?
US passport photo is a biometric photo, which means the photo should enable the authorities easy recognition of a passport holder. Most of the requirements are standard biometric photo requirements. The key difference between passport photos around the world consists usually in size and background of the photo. For example, Canadian passport photo has the dimensions of 50x70mm, Chinese passport photo 33x48 mm and British one 35x45 mm. US passport photo size, being 2x2 in (51x51mm), is pretty uncommon. Make sure your photo follows US passport photo requirements and not, for example, British passport photo requirements.
As we have mentioned above, a biometric photo function is to let an officer recognize you as a valid passport holder. That’s why, while taking a biometric photo, you should follow some guidelines. You can find them below. Make sure you read them before taking a US passport picture for your documents!
Universal guidelines for a 2x2 US passport photo
- Stand close to wall to minimize shadows
- Turn off overhead lighting to eliminate shadows
- Look straight at the camera.
- The head must be neither twisted nor tilted in any direction, look straight ahead.
- Make sure that the hair does not cover the face or even the eyebrows.
- Do not wear jewellery, hat or headphones
- Note that the camera lens should be placed at eye level
- It is good to take the picture from a distance of about 3 feet.
- Photo should include shoulders and some space above head
- You must have a neutral facial expression.
- Size of the US passport photo has to be exactly 2x2 inch - But don’t worry about it - our photo cropping tool will crop it accordingly. (Or you can prepare a 4x6 inch photo template and print 2 US passport photos)
- Background has to be white or off-white so remember to take the photo standing against a white-colored wall (or we can correct the background automatically for you within $4.99 service)