How big is a passport picture?

Passport photos have to meet a certain standard so that they fit inside the passport’s allowed area and so that they let border guards identify you easily. For U.S. passports, photos need to be 2 inches by 2 inches total, and the head in the picture needs to fit within a vertical range of 1 inch to 1 3/8 inches, or 25 mm to 35 mm from chin to top of head.

That is the best size because it not only fits inside the passport while still allowing all the text on the same page to be readable, but also because that size is best for the detailed attention the border guards have to give your photo. They have to get a clear view of the picture in the most efficient manner, and that size is what works best.

Additional requirements include having both eyes open, no glasses on (there are medical exceptions for this that require further documentation), white or off-white background, bright light, neutral expression or natural smile, and it must be no more than 6 months old. The photo itself must be in color and printed on photo-quality paper, not printed on plain paper. However, the photo can be glossy or matte. You can find more details on the U.S. State Department’s website in the section for the Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Note that one country’s passport photos may be slightly different from another. For example, if you are a dual citizen of the U.S. and U.K., and you have extra passport photos that you got for your U.K. passport, those may be too small for the U.S. passport.

If you want to get passport photos, you could go to a retail establishment and have ones taken specifically for your application. However, you also have the choice of contacting an online company that lets you upload your own photos that meet the visual standards. Then you’ll get true passport photos sent back. Paspic allows you get quality passport photos quickly for a low fee. Whether you or your children need them, Paspic can format the photos correctly.

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