How to take a passport photo
Your passport photo must be a portrait image, in colour, and taken within the last 6 months. Selfies are not accepted.
Get someone else to take your photo – no selfies
You need to get someone else to take your photo. Selfies change the way your face looks, so they can't be used in your passport.
The photographer needs to:
- take a portrait photo with a 4:3 aspect ratio, or 3:4 on a smartphone
- stand around 1.5m away from you
- hold the camera at eye level.
If the camera is too close to your face, your nose and forehead may appear larger and your ears less visible.
Use a plain, light background
There must be a strong contrast between your face and the background.
What to do:
- Use a plain, light coloured background – light blues, greys and creams work well.
- Stand about half a metre away from the background.
- Make sure there are no people or objects in the background.
Centre your head, with space around the top and sides
Your head must be in the centre of the photo, with a clear gap around the sides and top of your head.
Include part of your shoulders and upper chest in the photo.
Look at the camera with your entire face in view
- your face is fully visible, and not tilted or turned to the side
- your hair is out of your eyes, and away from the sides of your face.
Remove tinted and thick-framed glasses
You can wear prescription glasses in your photo as long as they are not tinted or thick-framed. You cannot wear sunglasses.
If you wear glasses in your photo, make sure:
- there is a clear gap between your eyes and the frames
- there is no glare or flash reflection on the lenses.
Keep your expression neutral – no smiling
Keep a neutral expression with your mouth closed.
Take off hats, hoods, headbands and head coverings
You must not wear a head covering in the photo unless you wear one for religious or medical reasons. If you do, you need an endorsement in your passport.
If you do wear a head covering for religious or medical reasons, make sure your face is fully visible.
Do not use filters or digitally alter your image
Your appearance should not be digitally altered in any way. Do not use a filter or change the way you look using photo editing software.
Take the photo in colour – not black and white
Your passport photo must be in colour. Do not use a black and white photo.
Taking a photo of a baby
Lie the baby flat on a plain, light coloured sheet.
The photo should be taken:
- from above
- with the baby's eyes open and face in full view
- without people or objects in the background.
Video guide for smartphones
If the person taking your photo is using an iPhone or Samsung, check out our tips in the videos below.