South Africa: passport photo requirements

When applying for a new South Africa passport, visa, smart ID card or driving licence the applicant must follow the rules of the Department of Home Affairs of the Republic of South Africa. First of all, always make sure that your photos comply with official photo requirements for a South Africa passport. For example, the photo will not be accepted if it was taken longer than 1 month ago.

South Africa passport

Passport photo South Africa requirements are listed below in this article.

Table of contents

Note that the South Africa passport photo rules are the same as the ones for South Africa visa and South Africa Smart ID card. The following information is correct for all these phototypes. For a South Africa driving licence, you need to submit a black and white photo. But other requirements for a driving licence photo are the same.

South Africa passport photo size and format

Photo size for passport or visa must be 35mm width x 45mm height. South Africa passport photo guidelines include not only the size of the image but the composition as well. The photo should show the entire face, and the head should be centred.

South Africa passport photo

The height of the head from the chin to the top of the hair for the person in the photo should be 34.5 mm. The distance between the top of the hair and the top of the photo should be 3mm.

Face should occupy from 70-80% of the photo.

The digital photo resolution for electronic submissions should have a resolution of 600 DPI.


South Africa passport photo background should be white, light grey or plain cream-coloured.

Remember that in the photo there are no shadows and any other objects.

Color and lighting

It is recommended to bring color photos, but black and white photos are acceptable. A photo for South Africa driving licence can be black and white only.

The lightning must be even. Avoid strong shadows.

Pose and facial expression

The photo should show your full frontal face. Keep your face centered.

A natural smile is acceptable. Otherwise, use a neutral facial expression.

Eyes should be fully open and visible. They shouldn’t hide behind any object.

Passport photo clothing requirements

There is no strict South Africa passport photo dress-code except for the following:

Get South Africa passport photo online

Visafoto permits you to take compliant photos for all documents around the world. The service automatically edits the image, enhancing the quality, background, format and size. The user receives a digital version of the photo and a printable one.

Let’s have a look at some photo examples.

First, take a photo of our under daylight like this one:

Passport photo original source

After resizing, you will get photos like these ones:

Example of a South Africa passport photo
South Africa passport photo for printing

Then resize it here:

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.
Additional options
Upload photo & Continue


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

South Africa passport photo guidelines

Using speсialized online tools is the quickest way to get a proper South Africa passport or visa photo. To take a passport photo, you just need to take a full-face photo against any background in normal lighting. Upload your photo to and get your passport photo immediately. It transforms a photo so that it fits all the photo requirements for a South Africa passport.

Brief instructions:

You can use the same instructions for the South Africa visa photo guidelines as well.

Visafoto gives users 24/7 professional support. If for some reason you are not satisfied with the result, we will substitute the photo for free or refund 100% of the order.

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