Passport Photo Dress Code, Makeup, And Hair Rules

How to dress for a passport photo

““What to wear for a passport photo or other ID?” When creating a successful ID photo that will last you for years to come, you should follow many rules that can be divided into two categories:

This article provides rules on how to dress for a passport. The exact specifications apply to any photo ID, whether it is a passport, visa, or driver's license.

Table of contents

Passport photo dress code rules

There are almost no official passport photo dress requirements, but some rules still need to be followed.


Military uniforms, sports or other uniforms, or workwear are unsuitable for a passport photo. Most likely, such a photo will not be accepted.

You have to avoid wearing clothes with rhinestones and other decorations, which can create a glare.

Passport photo shirt rules require that there is no deep cleavage. Because of the size of the image, the clothing will not be visible at all and it will appear as if the person is naked.

Don't take a photo with a scarf wrapped around your neck or a high neck covering your chin.

Nose, eyebrow, or lip piercings distort the natural shape and features of the face, so it is advisable to remove such jewelry.

Keep in mind that most of your outfits will remain behind the scenes. Too massive and bright items of clothing and accessories are sure to make you look strange.


The most appropriate attire for a passport photo is a jacket, blouse, shirt, and t-shirt with a rounded or V-neck. There is no need to wear a formal dress unless you like it the most.

When choosing the best clothing color, prefer neutral dark tones that will contrast nicely with a passport photo off-white background. White and light beige clothing is not recommended.

There are no restrictions on accessories: they can be of any size and style. But if, for example, large earrings overlap the facial oval, such a passport photo may not be accepted.

Passport photo hair rules

The main requirement that must be met: the hair in any case should not cover the face and eyes.


According to the standard passport picture rules, hair should not extend up to the edges of the image. A too-voluminous hairstyle can distort the proportions of the head in the photo (as a rule, the head should occupy 70-80% of the picture). If this is the case, the photo may not be accepted.

Another thing to consider is that the modern way of editing ID photos involves the complete removal of the background, which also may not correctly affect the hair. Therefore, if you have naturally lush curly hair, it is better to smooth them beforehand.

Headwear and accessories are allowed only for medical and religious reasons. The headscarf or hijab must expose the oval of the face.


In most cases, the ears should be visible in the passport photo. Therefore, a hairstyle with your hair tucked behind your ears is ideal.

Long bangs should be pinned back or sideways. It should not cover your eyes or fall on your cheekbones.

Choose simple hairstyles that you most often wear on a daily basis.

Passport photo rules: glasses

Also, as in the previous paragraphs, it is important to observe the main rule: the facial features must remain visible and well distinguishable.


No sunglasses or tinted glasses are allowed in the passport photo.

Contact lenses that change your natural eye color are not allowed either.

U.S. passport photo requirements do not even allow you to wear prescription glasses. An exception is when you cannot remove your glasses for medical reasons. A doctor's note must confirm this.


In most countries, it is allowed to have glasses in your passport photo if you constantly wear them. In this case, it is necessary that the glasses do not cover your eyes, the frame is thin, the glasses are not darkened, and the glare on the glasses is not visible in the photo.

Passport photo makeup rules

In most countries, there are no strict requirements concerning makeup: you can wear any cosmetics you want. But if your makeup somehow distorts the features and proportions of the face, the photo may not be approved.


Don’t use any kind of glossy or shiny cosmetics. The flash will make all the sparkling particles shine, ruining your facial features and the quality of the photo itself.

It is important not to draw or disguise moles and freckles: these are natural features of the face, and the photo should clearly show them.

Strong contouring should not be done. It visually changes facial features, which is unacceptable for documents. If you have strong age pigmentation or wrinkles, for the same reason they cannot be completely masked.


How to apply makeup for a passport photo? The perfect choice is a light daytime look that doesn't distort your facial features.

Passport photo makeup tips:

To make the photo expressive, it is acceptable to use a little brighter shades than you wear in everyday life.

Make sure to powder your skin so it doesn't have a greasy sheen.

Don't do complicated eye makeup. Everything in the passport photo should be simple and stylish. The best option is classic eyeliner and lengthening mascara. In order to create eye depth, you can highlight them with pastel beige or brown shadows. And to expose - add a little light shadow on the inner corner.

The ideal lipstick for a passport photo is dusty pink or nude, a shade or two brighter than your lips.

Passport photo requirements: smile

In the absolute majority of cases, only photos with a neutral facial expression, without expressive facial expressions, are acceptable.


A wide smile distorts the biometric proportions of the portrait.

The teeth should not be visible in the passport picture.


To make a friendlier facial expression, you can slightly lift the corners of your lips.

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Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at


Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

Last update: January 2023

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