Passport photo requirements

There is a wide range of ID picture rules established in different countries. These rules relate to size, background, dress code, and overall image format. There is a generally accepted passport photo format, which is the same for most documents such as passports, visas, driver's licenses, etc. Most often driver's license or visa photo requirements coincide with the passport picture rules adopted in a particular country.

So-called “biometric photos” must meet a number of requirements, so that not only a person but also special software can recognize them.

Table of contents

Let’s check the basic biometric passport photo specifications that can be used in most cases!

Essential requirements of a passport photo

According to generally accepted passport photo rules, an ID picture should contain a full-face portrait of a person, with no extra objects. The photo must show the actual appearance of a passport holder. As a rule, it should be taken not earlier than 6 months before the application.

ID photo requirements include that a portrait should be taken with a neutral facial expression. Some authorities accept photos with a slight smile, but, however, the general passport picture rules state that the teeth should be hidden. The gaze must be directed directly into the camera, which, in turn, must be positioned at face level.

It is important that the face is clearly visible. It should not be obscured by hair or headgear.

Passport photo background

Whatever type of ID you submit a photo for, it must be taken against a plain neutral background: with no additional objects, patterns, or shadows. In the vast majority of cases, ID photo background color should be white or light grey. In some countries, you might need blue background passport photos (e.g., Qatar, the Philippines, Malaysia) or red background photos (like Indonesia).

Some authorities may accept pictures taken simply against a light wall. However, it is advisable to submit a photo with a white background for the greatest confidence.

Passport photo size

The required size of a passport photo varies from country to country. The most commonly used passport photo formats are:

Such formats as 3x4 cm, 4x4 cm, 4x5 cm, 4x6 cm are also widely used.

Passport photo clothing requirements

How to dress for a passport photo? There is no uniform answer to this question. In most countries, passport pics rules allow wearing casual everyday clothing.

Here is a list of the main passport photo dress code details that are followed in most countries:

Passport photo guidelines

How to take a passport photo yourself by smartphone or camera? Follow these ID photo tips:

Get your passport photo online

To quickly get a picture so that it meets all the required passport photo criteria, use our online Visafoto tool. Just upload your image here and choose the country and photo type you need.

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport or ID.
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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

Visafoto stores the data about all the ID picture requirements worldwide. Our service instantly edits the photo. The processing includes the following passport photo parameters:

The result will fully correspond with photo requirements for passport, visa, ID or any other type of document.

Passport photo restrictions

To ensure that your photo is guaranteed to be accepted, avoid the following mistakes:

If you mistakenly uploaded a photo to Visafoto containing one of the above errors, contact our technical support. We will replace the photo free of charge.

Visafoto guarantees that the resulting photo will meet all required ID picture rules. If for any reason the photo is rejected, we will help you to fix the picture or provide a 100% refund!

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