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Photograph requirements

Poor quality photographs are the main reason the Department of Foreign Affairs has to reject passport applications. We follow these photo guidelines to ensure that your photo complies fully with the requirements.

Passport photo do’s and don’t’s

Pose

  • Do centre your head in the photo
  • Do look directly at the camera
  • No hair across your face or eyes as eyes must be clearly visible
  • The background must be plain and light coloured
  • Do make sure your facial features are clearly visible, from the bottom of your chin to the crown of your head
  • Don’t tilt your head up/down or left/right

Expression

  • Do keep your facial expressions neutral (no raised eyebrows, frowns)
  • Do keep both eyes open and your mouth closed
  • Don’t smile

Glasses, head covers and clothing

  • Do wear your glasses (if you normally wear them) but make sure there’s no reflection on the lenses and the frames don’t obscure your eyes
  • Don’t wear sunglasses or glasses with tinted lenses, unless they’re prescription
  • Don’t wear a head covering unless it’s for religious reasons
  • Don’t wear a hair band.
  • Don’t wear a uniform, civil or military (e.g. showing epaulettes, insignia)

Passport photo requirements

Size

The photos should show a close up of your face and the top of your shoulders so that your face takes up between 70% and 80% of the frame

  • Minimum: 35mm x 45mm
  • Maximum: 38mm x 50mm

Lighting and focus

  • Photos must be in sharp focus and correctly exposed
  • Shadows from the head must not appear in the background
  • Good colour balance and natural skin tones are essential
  • ‘Red eye’ in photographs is not acceptable
  • A clear contrast is needed between facial features and background

Photo quality

  • Photos must be printed on photo-quality paper at a high resolution
  • There should be no ink marks or creases
  • Digital enhancements or changes are not acceptable
  • The reverse of the photos must be white and unglazed
  • Black and white photos are recommended as they’re digitally printed onto the passport in black and white. But we also accept colour photos.

Infants

Infants or very young children who can’t support themselves should be photographed lying down on a plain, white surface.

No one else should appear in the photo, so make sure that hands or arms used to support the child are not visible.


People with disabilities

If you have a disability that prevents you meeting all of these requirements, Contact us and we can advise you.

 

passport-pic

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