How big is a passport photo?

Passport photos are essential, but are also one of the most common reasons for having your passport application rejected. Depending on whether you’re applying online or on paper, you’ll need either a digital photo, or two identical printed photos. But what size do your passport photos need to be? And what other rules are there? Let us explain…

Printed photos

If you’re applying using a paper application form, think about whether you can apply online instead. Applying online is cheaper, faster, and you’re less likely to make a mistake because the website guides you through the information you need to provide. That said, if you prefer to apply on paper, here are the rules your passport photos need to meet:

– There must be 2 identical photos (ie. two copies of the same photo).

– Each photo must be 45mm high and 35mm wide.

– You cannot cut down or crop a larger image.

Additionally, you must make sure that your photos are:

– professionally printed, not just produced on your home or office printer;

– clear and in focus;

– not black and white – only colour photos with no border will be accepted;

– not creased or torn;

– have not been edited with software eg. photoshop.

Digital photos

Digital passport photos need to be at least 600 pixels wide and 750 pixels tall, and between 50kB and 10MB in size. Other than that, they need to meet all the same quality requirements as printed photos in terms of being clear, in focus, and unaltered by software.

What does your photo need to show?

Passport photos need to be a clear picture of your face, facing into the camera, and not smiling or frowning. The photo needs to show your entire head and upper shoulders. It cannot show all or part of any other person, and must be taken against a plain cream or light grey background.

You must make sure that you keep your mouth closed, have your eyes open and visible (not hidden by hair, and with no redeye), and that you are not wearing a hat or head covering of any kind unless it is for religious reasons. There must also be no shadows covering your face.

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