Requirements for a Passport Picture

Requirements for a Passport Picture
Different countries have different requirements for passport photos. Make sure your passport application does not get rejected by sending in the correct type of photos.

Photo Size

The United States requires photos to be 2 inches by 2 inches, while the standard size for most other countries is 3.5 centimeters by 4.5 centimeters.

Background Color

The United States requires a plain white background. Most other countries require a white or light-colored background. Some countries will accept a light blue background.

Head Shots

All passport photos must be head shots. The subject needs to look directly at the camera. Ideally, the photo should focus on the area between the chin and the top of the head. The subject needs to make a natural expression. Smiling in passport photos is discouraged. The photo should be taken within six months of your passport application.

Clothing and Accessories

Do not wear sunglasses or hats in your passport photo. In the United States, head coverings are only allowed for religious reasons. Some countries do not allow head coverings for any reason, while a small number of countries require head coverings for women.

Photo Quality

All passport photos should be glossy, high-quality photos. There be should be proper lighting and focus. Do not send photos that have shadows on the face, are too dark or too bright or are overexposed.

Article Written By Heather Carreiro

Heather Carreiro is a certified English teacher who has been writing since 2008. The editor of Matador Abroad, her work has appeared online at BootsnAll, Matador Network, GoNOMAD, Journey Beyond Travel and Expat Women. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is pursuing a Master of Arts in English at Bridgewater State University.

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