What are the requirements for a passport photo?
A passport photo must be a recent, color photograph of the applicant. The photo should be 2 inches by 2 inches and taken against a plain white or off-white background. The applicant should be facing forward and looking straight at the camera with a neutral expression and both eyes open. The photo should also meet certain technical requirements, such as size and resolution. The applicant should not wear glasses, headwear, or any other items that may cover the face. Also, no shadows should be on the face or background.
How do I take my passport photo?
Here are some steps you can follow to take your passport photo:
- Find a plain white or off-white background for the photo. A blank wall or a sheet hung up as a backdrop works well.
- Make sure the lighting is even, and there are no shadows on your face or background. You can use natural light or a flash but avoid harsh shadows.
- Set your camera or smartphone on a tripod or on a stable surface and set to the right resolution.
- Position yourself in front of the camera and make sure your head and shoulders are visible in the frame.
- Center your head within the frame and make sure your face is looking straight at the camera with a neutral expression, with both eyes open and clearly visible.
- Take the photo and check that it meets the technical requirements for a passport photo, such as size and resolution.
- Using a digital camera or smartphone, you can edit the photo using photo editing software to adjust the lighting, crop, and straighten the image.
- Print the photo on photo paper or get it printed at a photo lab, and then, attach it to the application.
Keep in mind that some countries have different regulations, so check your country’s specific requirements before taking the photo.
Where can I take a good passport photo?
There are several places where you can take a good passport photo:
- Photo studios: Many professional photography studios offer passport photo services. These studios have specialized equipment and experienced photographers who know how to take passport photos that meet all the requirements.
- Passport acceptance facilities: Many post offices, libraries, and other government facilities offer passport photo services. These facilities have a dedicated space for taking passport photos and can provide you with a photo that meets all the requirements.
- Online passport photo services: Some websites allow you to upload a photo, and they will edit it to make it compliant with passport photo regulations. They will then mail you a hard copy of the photo.
- Take it yourself: As I’ve mentioned before, you can also take a passport photo by yourself, as long as you have the right equipment and know how to take the photo properly.
- Kiosk: Some retail stores and pharmacies have passport photo kiosks that can take, print, and sometimes even submit your photo to the government.
Regardless of where you take your passport photo, check the specific requirements for your country and ensure that the photo meets all of them.
How much do passport photos cost?
The cost of passport photos can vary depending on where you go to have them taken. Here are some approximate prices for different types of passport photo services:
- Photo studios: Passport photos taken at professional photography studios can cost anywhere from $10 to $20 or more, depending on the location and the studio.
- Passport acceptance facilities: Many government facilities that offer passport photo services charge around $15 to $20 for a set of passport photos.
- Online passport photo services: Online passport photo services charge around $5 to $15 for a set of passport photos, and mailing cost may vary.
- Kiosk: Passport photos taken at retail stores or pharmacies can cost around $10 to $15.
- Self-taking: If you take your own passport photo, the cost will be the price of printing the photo, which can vary depending on the printing method and location, but usually, it’s around $0.25 to $1 per photo.
Keep in mind that prices may vary based on location, and some places may offer discounts or promotions. It’s worth shopping around and comparing prices before you have your passport photo taken.
What happens when my passport application gets rejected for bad passport photos?
If your passport application is rejected because of bad passport photos, you must submit new images that meet the requirements. It’s important to be aware of the specific requirements for passport photos in your country before you have your photos taken so that you can avoid having your application rejected.
The rejection letter will usually explain why the photos were not accepted and provide guidance on correcting the issue. Common reasons for rejection include:
- Photos not recent enough
- Photos not being 2×2 inches
- Photos not taken against a plain white or off-white background
- Shadows on the face or background
- Headwear worn in the photo, or glasses worn that obscure the eyes.
It’s important to note that you will have to pay for new passport photos and may have to pay a fee to resubmit your application. It’s best to avoid rejection by ensuring that your photos meet all the requirements before submitting your application.
Can I smile in my passport photo?
The rules for passport photos vary by country, but generally, it is recommended to have a neutral expression with both eyes open and looking directly at the camera. Some countries may not allow smiling or frowning, while some countries may allow it. However, most countries have the exact requirement that the photo should be of the person with a neutral expression to ensure the photo can be matched with the person’s face.
For example, In the United States, the State Department guideline says, “Your expression should be neutral and your eyes should be open.” In Canada, the government guidelines state that “the applicant must have a neutral expression and both eyes must be open.”
It is best to check the specific requirements for passport photos in your country before you have your photos taken to ensure that they meet all the requirements and to avoid any delay or rejection of your application.
Can I wear glasses in my passport photo?
The rules for wearing glasses in passport photos vary by country. Some countries may allow you to wear glasses in your passport photo, while others may require you to remove them.
For example, In the United States, the State Department guidelines allow you to wear glasses in your passport photo as long as your eyes are clearly visible. However, in Canada, the government guidelines states that “eyeglasses cannot be worn in the photo unless there is a medical reason for them.”
It is recommended that you check the specific requirements for passport photos in your country before you have your photos taken to ensure that they meet all the requirements and to avoid any delay or rejection of your application. If you cannot remove your glasses for medical reasons, you will need to provide a signed statement from your doctor explaining why you need to wear them in the photo.
How many passport photos are needed for a U.S. Passport application?
For a U.S. Passport application, you will need to submit two identical color passport photos with your application. The images should be 2 inches by 2 inches, taken within the last six months, and show a clear image of your face against a plain white or off-white background. The photos should meet all the technical requirements, such as resolution and size, and you should be facing forward and looking straight at the camera with a neutral expression and both eyes open. You should not wear glasses or headwear in the photo except for religious or medical reasons, and no shadows should be on the face or background.
It’s important to note that you will need to submit the original photos along with your application, as they will not be returned to you. It’s also a good idea to keep a digital copy of the photos in case they are lost or damaged during the application process.
How many months of validity do I need on my passport?
The amount of validity you need on your passport depends on the country you travel to. Some countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months beyond your date of entry, while others may require a longer period of validity.
For example, for U.S. citizens traveling abroad, the U.S Department of State recommends that your passport should have at least six months validity remaining on it, beyond the date that you plan to enter a foreign country. This is to ensure that you won’t have any problems with immigration or border control while traveling.
It’s important to check the specific entry requirements for the country or countries you are planning to visit before you travel to ensure that your passport has the required amount of validity. It’s also a good idea to renew your passport well in advance of your planned travel date, to avoid any delays or complications.