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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.

What happens if you lose your passport abroad?

First, if you lose your passport abroad, don’t panic. The UK has a network of Embassies and Consulates around the world, plus the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), to help.

If you can access the internet (and you’re reading this article, so you probably can) then visit https://www.gov.uk/world/embassies to find the British Embassy or Consulate closest to you, and phone or email them for advice.

If you’re in any doubt, you can also contact the FCO’s Global Response Centre on +44 (0)20 7008 1500, where trained staff are available 24/7 to offer advice and point you in the right direction.

Can you get a new passport?

Yes, but it’s usually best to wait until you get home to do that unless you’re planning on being overseas for several weeks.

While it’s possible to apply for a new passport from another country, it will take longer and cost more than it would in the UK. As an example, to replace a lost adult British passport in Australia costs up to £95.70 and can take up to six weeks. Fortunately, if you need to travel more urgently, there is another option.

Emergency Travel Documents

An Emergency Travel Document (ETD) acts essentially as an emergency alternative to a passport. They are only issued overseas (if you’re in the UK and need to travel in an emergency then you can apply for a passport urgently from the Passport Office), and only if you meet strict conditions:

* you must be a British National
* you must be outside the UK
* you must already hold (or recently have held) a valid UK passport which has been lost, stolen, damaged, is full, has recently expired, or is with HM Passport Office or a foreign embassy
* you must not have time to apply for a new passport before you travel
* you must be able to provide proof of your travel plans and you will need to pay a fee, which varies from country to country, attend a face to face interview, and supply a passport photo which meets UK passport photo requirements.

What an ETD can (and cannot) do

Using an ETD it’s possible to travel to your final destination, through a maximum of five other countries. You can also (normally) use it to return to the country where you apply from if you live there (eg. if you’ve retired overseas).

Your travel itinerary will be printed on the ETD, so it is vital that you give accurate details when you apply. If your plans change after your ETD has been issued, you’ll have to apply for a new one.

If your final destination is the UK, border staff will keep your ETD when you arrive. Immigration officers in other countries may also do the same if it is your final destination.

An ETD is not a substitute for a passport, and you will still need to apply for a replacement for your lost passport, and pay the full fee for doing so when you return home.

Does a newborn baby need a passport?

Those of us who were born back in the dim and distant days of the 20th century may remember travelling under a parent’s passport as a child. However, times have changed. Nowadays, if you’re planning to take your kid abroad, they will need a passport. There are no exceptions to the rule – even a newborn baby travelling for the first time needs their very own documentation.

What do I need to do to get my newborn’s passport?

You can download a passport application form or pick one up at the Post Office. A baby’s passport, unlike an adult’s, is only valid for five years, and costs £46. Sadly, the price may be a bit lower but the processing time for a baby’s passport is just as long! Officially, a passport can take 4 – 6 weeks to process, but as we all know, this is a bit optimistic.

When it comes to newborns, you may be on a much tighter time frame. Perhaps you’re planning to travel in the first few months, or even weeks, of your baby’s life. In that case, you’re better off paying £87 for the fast-track service, which has a one-week turnaround and requires an appointment in person.

As well as the application form, you’ll need the baby’s original birth certificate and a pair of passport photos, signed by a professional who can vouch for your child’s identity. If either or both of the parents don’t have a British passport, extra supporting documents must be sent, too.

What about my newborn’s passport photo?

Don’t panic when it’s time to pose for a baby passport photo! Just be sure to follow the guidelines, as if you’re planning to travel with your newborn, you’re probably on a time-sensitive schedule and can’t afford to have a photo rejected.

For babies younger than one year, the regular passport photo rules don’t apply. This means that your baby can be smiling, laughing, crying, or even sleeping. In fact, it might be easiest to take a picture when the little one is asleep – unlike passport photos for adults or children, newborns can have their eyes closed.

What is important is that the photo has a plain cream or light grey background and that the baby’s face is not obscured by toys or dummies.

Photo: Happy Baby by tedmurphy licensed under Creative commons 2

Can you wear makeup in a passport photo?

If it’s time to renew your passport then it’s important to know the dos and don’ts regarding those all important passport photos. It’s a strict procedure – which could lead to major delays if done wrong – so getting it right the first time is key to receiving your passport on time and keeping your stress levels to a minimum. One question we’re constantly asked is can you wear makeup in a passport photo? Before getting in the photo booth, here’s everything you need to know. After all, you’re going to be stuck with this photo for another ten years, so no pressure…

Can you wear makeup in a passport photo?

Simply put, yes you can. But don’t go over the top. The photo must be a true image of yourself, so if you normally wear makeup then go ahead and wear the same amount as you would on a typical day. But if you rarely wear makeup then obviously don’t put too much on for your photo. If you don’t look like yourself then you could end up having a tricky conversation at the airport.

Any makeup tips?

If you don’t usually wear makeup but want to hide those annoying dark circles that make you look tired and ill under your eyes, apply a bit of concealer. This can help hide dark patches and keep you looking fresh.

To avoid the dreaded white face, try not to wear a base with SPF. The camera or photo booth flash can make you look pale and nobody wants that.

Keep your makeup simple

This photo needs to last for ten years, so try and keep your makeup minimal. There’s no need to go all out like it’s a Saturday night. Refrain from bright, bold colours and aim for a look that will be timeless.

For added convenience you can now take your passport photos at home with the help of Paspic. Our service ensures the photo you are submitting for your new passport meets all requirements, so there’s no stumbling blocks. Get in touch with us today for more information.

Photo: snowed in by MissMessie licensed under Creative commons 2

Where can I get my baby’s passport photo done?

When planning any trip abroad with your baby, it’s important to remember that they will need their own passport. Filling out the form is usually the easy part. What most parents dread is getting that perfect baby passport photo. So, what are your options? Well, there are really only two options for you to choose from when you need passport photos for a baby. Below we go through the two options and which one we think is best for both you and your baby.

The photographic studio

Many parents opt for a professional photographer and a photographic studio for their baby’s passport photo. But, is this the best option? Yes, they will take the required shot that is beautifully lit, but is paying a professional really worth the money for just one photo? There are also the constraints of having to book a certain time and day. What if your baby is ill? The professional photographer is one way in which to obtain baby passport photos, but we feel there is a much better way.

Do it yourself at home

When you have a new baby, your life is obviously hectic. That’s why it’s best to take baby passport photos from the comfort of your own home. You can take a photo with any digital camera, or a smartphone, and you can take the photo at a time that best suits you and your baby. It’s much simpler than you think, as Paspic will crop and make the photo passport ready.

Points to remember when taking your baby passport photos

Taking that perfect baby passport photo at home is incredibly easy. You just need to place baby on a cream or white blanket and make sure that you include their head and shoulders. The picture does have to be in focus and there can’t be any toys or soothers visible when taking the photograph. The good news is that when taking your baby’s passport photo, they don’t need to look directly at the camera.

Here at Paspic we take your downloaded image and create the perfect baby passport photo. It’s quick, easy and takes so much stress away from you as a busy patent. To find out more, simply browse our website today.

How can I get a passport for my baby?

Long gone are the days when you could add a child to their parent’s passport. Now, if you want to take your little bundle of joy on an overseas trip, you’re going to need to apply for a passport of their own.

Assuming you are located within the UK when you apply (there are different rules if you live, and are applying for a passport from, abroad), you can either apply online or using a paper form at the Post Office. Online is cheaper, costing £49 as opposed to £58.50 for a paper application, and avoids the need for a trip to the Post Office with your little one.

How long does it take to get a baby’s first passport?

In most cases, it shouldn’t take longer than three weeks from the date you submit your application until you receive your child’s passport. As always, the Passport Office’s advice is that you should not book any travel arrangements until you have the passport in your hands, however, if you need to travel urgently, you can use the 1-week Fast-Track application service. Fast-Track applications cost £122, though, and can only be made at the Post Office; so if you can use the normal service it’s best to do so.

Who can apply for a child’s first passport?

Someone (it can be anyone) with parental responsibility must make the application and sign the form. As part of the application, you will need to give the name, address, and contact details of both parents. If you are not able to give full details of both parents (e.g. your child is adopted, or you’re the only person named on the birth certificate) enclose a letter with your application explaining the situation.

What are the rules about my baby’s passport photo?

The rules about baby passport photos and child passport photos are just as strict as those for adults. Passport Office rules say that the photos must:

• measure 45 millimetres (mm) high by 35mm wide
• not be a cropped version of a larger photograph
• be printed to a professional standard, on white photo paper, with no border
• be in colour
• and be a clear photo of your child’s face, with nothing and nobody else showing in the photograph

Children under six, though, don’t have to be looking directly at the camera, and it isn’t necessary for children under one to have their eyes open.

Who can sign a baby passport photo?

Applying for baby’s first passport? You’ll need two signed baby passport photos before you can apply online or through a service like the Post Office Check and Send.

When do I need to get child passport photos signed?

If you’re applying for a first passport for a baby or child, or a passport renewal for a child under 11, then you’ll need to have the photos countersigned. This helps to prove the identity of the person applying for the passport.

Can I get a relative to sign?

No you can’t. The person who signs the photos can’t be related by marriage or birth. They mustn’t be in a relationship with you or even live at the same address.

So who can sign a baby passport photo?

The person who signs must:

• Have known the applicant for at least two years
• Be able to identify them as a friend or neighbour
• Be of good standing in the community
• Live in the UK and hold a British or Irish passport

Don’t panic – in the case of baby passport photos, the person signing needs to have known you, not your baby, for two years. That means you can ask a close work colleague or friend to do the job as long as they’ve worked in, or are retired from, one of the recognised professions.

Does that mean I can ask my doctor?

Only if they can recognise you from your photo and know you as a friend. You can’t ask anyone who works for the passport office, either.

OK, I’ve found someone. Now what do I do?

They’ll need to write the following phrase on the back of one of your baby passport photos, along with the date and their signature:

‘I certify that this is a true likeness of [title and full name of adult or child who is getting the passport].’

So where do I get baby passport pictures again?

With Paspic you can take your baby passport photos at home and then have them sent to locations all over the world. And with a 99.5% approval rate on first submission, you’ll have your baby’s passport in no time!

Can you wear glasses in your passport photo?

It’s important that everyone knows what does and doesn’t make for a satisfactory passport photo. After all, the slightest misunderstanding of the rules can cause the image to be rejected and lead to major delays in your passport application. For those people who are visually impaired, the question arises: can you wear glasses on your passport photo? Ahead of getting in front of the lens, here’s what you need to know.

Can you wear glasses?

The rules state that you can wear glasses if the spectacles ‘cannot be taken off’. This essentially means that reading glasses are allowed since they serve to improve a person’s eyesight, rather than being for fashion purposes.

Should you wear glasses?

The passport guidelines don’t overtly pressure people to take off their glasses. However, it’s in your best interest to do so – even if you are visually impaired. This is because the lenses can throw of the biometrics, making it difficult for facial recognition software to identify you.

Can you wear any glasses?

No. Sunglasses or tinted glasses shouldn’t be worn on your passport photo. This is because they hide the details in your eyes (colour, shape etc.), meaning the picture won’t be a true likeness of yourself.

Are there tips that can help?

The official government guidelines warn people that glasses are prone to glares and reflections when taking a picture. This is certainly something to watch out for because either of these two things can cause your passport photo to be rejected.

What else should you know?

The rules state that a person’s eyes should always be ‘open and visible’ on the picture. This is something to consider if you take your glasses off, especially if being without your specs causes you to squint.

Good luck!

It’s not necessary for you to remove your glasses when taking your passport photo, but there are certainly advantages to doing so if you can. In the meantime, you can now take your passport photo at home with the help of Paspic. By using our service you’ll receive assurance that your photo is satisfactory before you submit it alongside your passport application.

Photo: ALOOK AKALK-223 by othree licensed under Creative commons 2

How to print passport photos at home

Whether it’s the nightmare trip to the local post office photo booth or the increasing cost of photographing the whole family for passport renewals in time for the annual summer holiday, there’s no denying acquiring passport photos are a hassle. For many people, taking their own digital passport photos at home seems like an easier, cheaper, less stressful way of getting that essential mugshot, especially when taking passport photos for babies or children. But whilst taking a photo at home is much easier, printing them can be a technical and specific process as the finished photo needs to adhere to the official passport photo guidelines, but with these four main steps you will have it printed stress-free in no time.

Step One: you will need a good photo printer, which needs to include high resolution and realistic colour reproduction to achieve a high quality result. An average professional quality inkjet printer with high calibre inks should produce the correct professional-quality print.

Step Two: you will need to print onto photo paper, as this is the same paper used for passports, driving licenses and other kinds of I.D. This should preferably be low gloss or matte paper, so avoid card, printing paper and coloured paper.

Step Three: before printing, ensure you haven’t edited the photo so that it no longer conforms to the requirements. The photo should be 35mm wide by 45mm tall, and photos which have been altered by post-production may be rejected by the passport office. This means you will have to start the whole application again, meaning more cost and effort, so trying to edit away those stray hairs and few spots probably isn’t really worth it.

You will need several photos to send off, so copy the same image and organise the either four or six identical images on the page with a border of at least 5mm between them on all sides. Double check and then check again that the sizing and spacing are correct, and you’re ready to print.

Step Four: if the printer warns you to make changes or adjustments, ignore these prompts if you have double checked the sizing and quality is correct. Once printed, check these again, as well as the physical measurements of the photos with a ruler, and you have your professionally printed passport photos ready to be sent off. The next time you see your handiwork will be on a legal document, ready to travel the world with you.

Photo: Passport by seantoyer licensed under Creative commons 2

Where can I get a digital passport photo taken?

If you’ve applied for a passport in the last few years you’ll know that the rules seem to get stricter and stricter – and the process more and more expensive – every time. One of the most common reasons for a passport application being turned down is that the photo you sent with it doesn’t meet the requirements. So, where can you get your passport photo taken to make sure that you don’t have problems?

The machine in the corner of the supermarket

For almost everyone, this is the place they got their first passport photo taken: the grotty little machine behind the checkouts in your local supermarket. When it works, it’s perfectly okay, but of course, when it doesn’t, it’s frustrating enough to make you want to pick up the entire machine and throw it through the automatic doors.

Not to mention, who wants to wait 5 minutes for their photos to spit out of that little window on the side of the booth while all their frozen shopping is melting.

What’s more, if you’ve ever tried to use one of these machines to get baby passport pictures, you’ll know all too well that it’s a particular kind of purgatory.

Professional high-street photographers

One word: expensive. Although you’re likely to receive a higher quality product than you would from an automated photo-booth, you’re also expected to pay a lot more for it.

The other problem is that you’re more than likely to be paying for a set of six passport photos when really you only want two. And you know that in two years time when you need them again you just won’t be able to remember which safe place you put the other four photos in; no matter how sure you were you’d be able to find them again this time.

Going digital

At Paspic, we save you time, money, and stress with our digital system, by making sure that you get your passport photos right the first time. Simply use your phone to take a photo against a plain background, choose which country you are applying for a passport from, and your photos will be printed, checked by our experts, and delivered to your door for free in just a couple of days.

Photo: camera by wiennat licensed under Creative commons 2