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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:
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.
An applicant has to remember that the distance from the top of hair to the bottom of chin should be between 1 and 1,375 inches (i.e. 25-35 mm). The eye height of a person visible in the photo should also be between 1,125 - 1,375 inches (28-35 mm) from the bottom of the photo (not the bottom of chin).
The face has to occupy a certain amount of space in the digital passport photo. It is stated that the applicant's face (from the top of the head, including the gair, to the bottom of the chin) should occupy between 50% and 69% of the image's height.
Photo Dimensions: The digital photo size is measured in pixels instead of inches/centimeters. The photo's pixel dimensions have to be in a square aspect ratio (i.e. the height needs to equal the width) The size of the photo has to be between 600x600 pixels and 1200x1200 pixels, meaning that a photo that is having more than 1200px of width/height will be rejected. Same if the photo's width/height is less than 600px.
Photo Format: The only image format allowed is JPEG file format. Make sure your image is not a PNG file, since some cameras and photo editors save the pictures in this format by default.
Photo File Size and Compression: Moreover, the passport photo cannot be more than 240kB (kilobytes) - it means that it may need to be compressed in order to meet the maximum file size requirement. The compression ratio should be less than or equal to 20:1.
Photo Color: The passport photo must be in color (24 bits per pixel) in sRGB color space which is the common output for the majority of digital cameras.
It is a common mistake to take a passport photo on a colored background.The official requirement says the passport photo is acceptable only if the photo is taken in front of a plain white or off-white background. There also cannot be any patterns on the wall in front of which you take the photo. Also, check if there are no other objects behind you. Background must be uniform and white or off-white.
The light must be even - both sides of your face have to be equally lighted. It means that there cannot be any shadows on your face. Make sure the lighting is not over- or underexposed, your face must be clearly visible. Moreover, take care of the reflections - there cannot be any on your face or caused by accessories. The photo has to be sharp, with sufficient contrast and detail.
Submit a high resolution photo that is not blurry, grainy, or pixelated. The submission requirements state that the passport photo needs to be printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper. You cannot submit a damaged photo (e.g. with holes, creases, or smudges). Do not digitally beautify the photo, you can use the passport photo converters and cropping tools however.
According to the official passport photo requirements, an applicant cannot wear glasses nor sunglasses on the submitted photo. However, if for medical reasons you cannot remove your glasses, you need to include in your passport application a signed note from your doctor who states that you should not remove your glasses. Until 2016 the authorities accepted the glasses in the photos as long as there was no reflection visible on the photo and eyes were clearly visible, nevertheless, as we can see in the quoted statement, nowadays as a general rule, the glasses are not allowed to be worn on the photo:
As of 2016, we no longer allow eye glasses in passport photos. We are still seeing four-eyed passport applicants and their shiny specs! Please remove your eyewear for your passport photo so there is no delay with your application.
Your passport photo may get rejected if you don’t have a neutral facial expression (or a natural smile), with both eyes open, and mouth closed. Again, it is important that your passport photo makes it easy for the authorities to confirm your identity. Face the camera directly with full face in view and remember that both sides of your face should be equally lighted.
A passport photo will be acceptable if an applicant is directly facing camera with a neutral expression, closed mouth, and both eyes open being clearly visible.
You cannot wear a uniform or clothing that looks like a uniform, or camouflage attire. It is officially stated that you should wear the clothes you wear on a daily basis. It cannot confuse any of the authorities that may check your documents. Although there is no specific passport photo dress code, we encourage you to try a smart-casual style instead of a hoodie or just a t-shirt. Passport is a document that you will keep for quite a while, so make sure you look good in the photo.
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!
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)
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!
Our online passport photo maker is an easy to use tool that will get you a passport photo that meets all the requirements. All you have to do is to take a selfie and our passport photo editor will convert the photo to a passport size, erase background and crop it to the passport photo size. We have developed a passport photo generator that responds to our clients needs regardless whether they need the photo in the digital or printed form. The passport photo creator will prepare for you a printable passport photo template, i.e. a file that is ready to be printed in 4x6 inch (10x15 cm) format - this way you will get two 2x2 inch (51x51mm) photos on one postcard size photo. You can print it out at any photo-copying store for just a few cents. If you prefer to get the printed passport photos delivered straight to your place, our passport photo converter offers a delivery option. Download the online photo tool and check it yourself!
Create a passport photo with our online cropping tool, converter and resizer and save yourself time and money.
💡 Can the passport photos be black and white?
No. No, photos for the American passport cannot be black and white, only color photos with a white background are accepted.
💡 Can I use my Android smartphone to take a passport photo?
In order to be accepted, a passport photo must meet a number of criteria regarding the background of the photo, lighting or size. Most Android smartphones have enough camera to take high quality photos. If you have already taken the photo you want to use for your passport, use our passport photo editing application, which will remove the background from the photo, cut it to the right size and frame your face.
💡 How much does a passport photo cost?
The cost of a passport photo depends on the way you get the photo. In a professional photography studio it may cost around 20$, Walmart charges 7.44$ and Passport Photo Online (which is more than a usual photo maker or cropping tool) will charge you just 4.99$. By taking the passport photo yourself, you save not only money, but also time.
💡 How can I take a passport photo at home?
Yes, it is possible to take a passport photo at home as long as it meets all the requirements. The easiest way is to use a photo cropping tool or a passport photo generator which will detect all the potential problems with a photo, crop it and frame in agreement with the document’s size and requirements. Our suggestion is to try out Passport Photo Online website or its photo cropping app on Android.
💡 What should I wear in a passport photo?
Since passport is an official document, we suggest a smart-casual style, which will make you look good and professional. Extravagant outfits or uniforms might cause a photo rejection. Religious clothing, however, is allowed, so in case your beliefs require a specific outfit, there shall not be any problem on that matter.
Look at the following blog article to find out what tricks do models use to look good in the passport photos.
💡 Can I take a passport photo with my phone?
Yes, you can take a passport photo with your phone. All you have to do is upload a selfie to our website and our tool will transform it to a professional passport photo. You can also use our photo cropping app and take a passport photo with your phone.
💡 Can I take my own passport photo?
Yes, a passport photo can be taken easily and quickly by yourself and in almost any place.
The best and easiest way to take a photo is to use passport-photo.online, which is much more advanced than any online document photo generator available online. Using our website, all you have to do is take a selfie, against any background, and only pay attention to evenly light up your face. The rest will be taken care of by passport-photo.online, i.e. it will plot the face, clear the background from shadows and other images and save the photos in the right format and size. An additional advantage is that you do not have to go anywhere and pay 20 or even 25$ for the photos. This option is especially useful for passport photos for small children and babies.
💡 Can I wear glasses in a passport photo?
No, glasses are not allowed in a US passport photo - neither prescription glasses nor sunglasses, unless you have a medical reason which forbids you from taking the glasses off. In such a case a statement signed by a doctor is required.
💡 Can I wear lipstick in a passport photo?
Unless it covers a distinguishing mark, lipstick is allowed in passport photos, as well as in the other official documents. Our suggestion, however, is to not use too flashy kind of lipstick.
💡 What makeup should I wear in a passport photo?
Makeup for a passport photo is allowed, but it must be subtle and delicate enough to make the person in the photo recognizable. Women can accentuate their eyes with mascara or crayon and their lips with lipstick, they may use a gentle foundation. However, we would like to stress that makeup cannot hide or mask the so-called special characters, i.e. furrows, strong wrinkles, scars or permanent beauty marks. If such characteristics are covered in the photo, the photograph will not meet the requirements of law and should be rejected. Even if the photo passes the verification process, we can expect problems at the airport or border control.
💡 Can I smile in the passport photo?
Have a neutral facial expression with both eyes open. All types of unusual expressions are forbidden. Do not cross your eyes or stick your tongue out. In the United States a natural smile is allowed, however, the smile should not show your teeth.
💡 Can I wear lenses in my passport photo?
You can wear lenses in your passport photo, as long as they do not cover any distinguishing marks. If you have tinted lenses for medical reasons, you may have to provide a signed medical statement.
💡 Can I wear earrings in my passport photo?
Yes, you can wear earrings or clips on your passport photo. The only requirement is that they should not impede one’s face recognition. Such earrings that would cover e.g. part of the neck or cheeks cannot be worn in the photo.
💡 How to pose for a passport photo?
Sit up straight, do not hold your head up high, look directly at the camera and keep your shoulders down and back.
If you want to look good in your passport photo, make sure you learn all the tricks used by models we discussed in our blog article.
💡 What size is a U.S. passport photo?
U.S. passport photo has the dimensions of 2x2 inches (51x51 mm). It is also the size of most official documents in the USA, including driver’s licence or Identity Card.
💡 Is there a passport photo dress code?
Since passport is an official document, consider dressing up for this occasion. We recommend smart-casual clothing. It will make you look good and professional. Extravagant outfits or uniforms might cause a photo rejection. Religious clothing, however, is allowed, so in case your beliefs require a specific outfit, there shall not be any problem on that matter.
If you want to make sure you look good in the photo, take a look at this blog article.
💡 Can I take a passport photo in a photo booth?
Yes - the photo taken in a photo booth can be used as a photograph attached to the application for a passport, driving licence or identity card, as long as it meets all the requirements. Most photo booths allow the passport photo size to choose, so make sure you chose 2x2 inches dimensions. Photographs taken in photo booths are cheaper and often of better quality than those taken in 'professional' photography studios. That is why more and more town halls and embassies decide to place photo booths in their buildings.
Remember that you can also use a photo booth mobile application, which will let you get the same result cheaper and faster.
💡 Is it possible to take photos for a newborn baby's passport?
Every U.S. citizen, including a newborn baby, can have a passport, but in order to get one you not only can, but you have to take a photo of such an infant and only then apply for the document. In the case of a newborn baby, it is best to take the passport photo by yourself in order not to expose the baby to infections and contact with germs, which unfortunately happens in some photographic institutions. You can even take such a photo with your mobile phone, for example using the passport-photo.online service or with one of the passport photo maker apps.
💡 For what other official documents in the USA do I need a passport-style photo?
US passport photo, having the dimensions of 2x2 inches (51x51 mm) is the official photo format for your driver’s licence and citizenship application.
💡 What are the main US passport photo requirements?
The main US passport photo requirements:
💡 Can I have a beard in my passport photo?
Yes, it is definitely legal to have a beard in a passport photo, although you should bear in mind that the passport photo has to resemble you in the way it would not constitute any problems for the border control. Hence, if you drastically change your look by shaving it, consider renewing the passport photo to avoid any problems.
💡 Can I use my iPhone to take a passport photo?
In order to be accepted passport photos have to meet several requirements like colour of the background or size of the photo. Hence, your iPhone camera might not let you take a valid passport photo, however, you can use our photo cropping tool or a passport photo maker that will edit your photo for you.
💡 What is the best passport photo app?
If being best applies to the price, user experience and quality, we would recommend you our passport photo maker. For 4.99$ You will get a professional passport photo within a few seconds!
Our mobile app is available as a webpage, but also as mobile apps. You can easily download it on your iOS smartphone and on most of the smartphones equipped with Android software.
💡 How do I get a digital passport photo?
If you need the digital passport photo and don’t need to bother with the printed one, you should use our passport photo generator. It will transform your selfie into a digital passport photo within a few seconds. It will be downloadable in the most useful formats.
💡 How do I crop a photo to passport size?
The easiest way to do so is to use a passport photo maker. All you will have to do is upload a photo and choose “US passport” to crop it properly. You can do it for 4.99$ here.
💡 What is the height and width of a passport size photo?
The height of a passport photo is 2 inches (equivalent to 51mm) and its width is 2 inches (equivalent to 51mm) as well. You can check the other requirements of the passport size photo at our website.
U.S. Passport is a travel document that confirms the identity of the holder primarily for international travel purposes. Passports usually contain personal data such as: place and date of birth, the holder’s name and surname, signature, and photograph. Moreover, at the moment all countries are either issuing or planning to issue biometric passports which would have an embedded microchip that would make them machine-readable and harder to counterfeit.
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