UK Passport Photo
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Use a photo you already have or take a new one. We'll double-check it and make sure it passes all compliance tests.
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Our AI system will crop, resize, and adjust the background of your image.
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Key benefits of using our passport photo tool
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Passport photo-taking tips
Follow these guidelines to create the perfect passport picture.
Consider the distance
Keep your front-facing camera 16–20 inch (40–50 cm) away from the face. For rear cameras, keep a 4–6 foot (1–2 meter) distance.
Keep your head and body straight
Look directly into the camera and avoid tilting your body. Remember, portrait mode is unacceptable for passport photos.
Prepare good lighting
Take your passport photos in a daylight setting, like near a window on a sunny day. Shadows on your face or in the background are not permitted.
UK Passport Photo Size & Requirements
Here’s a quick overview of all requirements for your photo.
Is it suitable for online submission?
Is it printable?
Image definition parameters
Head height: 55 %
Top of the Photo to Top of the Hair: 15 %
Need more info on passport photos? Read these FAQs
UK passport photo guidelines
Passport pictures are an important part of the application process. If the pictures are incorrect (wrong size, wrong pose, wrong facial expression), HM Passport Office will reject the photo and your passport will be delayed. To get the correct UK passport photo you should follow our tips. This way your passport application will be accepted, and you will soon be able to jet all over the world on amazing adventures.
In this article you will learn, among other things:
- What is the correct UK passport photo size?
- What are the latest UK passport photo requirements?
- How to take a UK passport photo with a phone at home?
- What to wear when posing for a picture?
- How to add a digital photo when applying online?
Taking the correct photo - why is it so important?
Taking a photo for your passport is one of the most important steps in applying for a document. The UK passport office takes this extremely seriously, and you must provide a biometric image that meets the strict standards for document photos. It is not only the UK government that is strict with photos. Almost all Europeans have to provide biometric photos for important documents such as a driving license, ID, insurance card or passport.
Biometric photos have been present in the UK since 2006, which is when the first biometric travel documents were issued. The biometric photo looks quite specific as it looks a bit like a mugshot. The shot is taken with the subject looking straight ahead and the person being photographed cannot smile, not even a little. For this reason, many people complain that they look unfriendly and unattractive in the passport photo.
However, all of this has a purpose − such photos are supposed to reflect the biometric features of the face. These are the individual features that allow special biometric programs to quickly and easily identify the person in the photo. All because each person has an individual set of biometric features.
There is another aspect, which is no less important − a bit of vanity. Your passport picture will be your companion for 10 years as this is the validity period of the document. There is nothing wrong with wanting to get a good shot because, after all, if we travel a lot, we will have to show our passport picture often. Perhaps it will be seen not only by passport officials, airline employees or border officials but you may need to show your passport to your boss and colleagues. It soon becomes clear that you will want a good UK passport photo that you look good in, so will be happy showing it to other people.
Take a picture and get your passport quickly
To quickly take a UK passport photo you only need a smartphone and our editor. You don't even have to prepare the background or worry about the correct UK passport photo size, because our tool removes the background and crops the image to the correct size of 35mmx45mm (printed pictures) or 900x1200 pixels (digital photo).
Ask a family member to help you take your picture, as a selfie will distort your natural proportions and the pose will be unsuitable for a passport photo, or utilise a tripod and simply use the self-timer on your phone. Next you need to prepare the lighting and clothing you are choosing to wear. Pose as per the requirements (you can find the list below). And click! Take as many shots as you need to and choose the best.
Upload the picture with our online tool and wait for the program to validate your photo (the tool also works like a passport photo validator). Now it will remove the background and crop it to ensure it is the correct size. Check your email and there you will find a picture that has been edited and prepared for printing, or sending directly using the online application.
What are the requirements for a UK passport photo?
For the current UK passport photo requirements you should visit www.gov.uk and see the photo guidelines. There you will find two separate instructions for taking digital or printed photos. This is because you can apply for a UK passport online, through the website, or by filling out and submitting a paper application form. Luckily you’re visiting this site now and we are happy to help too. Below are some tips for taking passport photos where you will learn about the most important UK passport photo requirements, so you can take a good picture at home.
The quality of the photos you are submitting is very important and as such the photos must be printed on high quality paper, which is found in photography studios or photo booths. Another option, that is easier, is to utilise our print and delivery service, where we will print your photo on high quality paper and send it straight to your door. Another thing you should know about is that other than the signature, on the back of your photo, from your countersignatory, there should be no other signatures, or writing of any kind, on your photos
The photos must be clear, sharp and in focus.Your photo must also be considered a new photo, so it must have been taken within the month prior to submitting your application, as your photo must be the truest representation of your looks at that moment in time. Most countries allow photos to have been taken in the last 6 months, but the United Kingdom is much different, so their requirement for the photo needing to be taken within the last month is much stricter.
UK passport photo size and frame
The size for UK passport photos is 35mmx45mm for printed pictures, and 900 x 1200 pixels for a digital photo. In both cases the head must be between 29 and 34 mm (approx.). This is the area from the top of the hair to the chin. The frame must include a close-up of your face, head and upper shoulders.
You have to pose facing forward and looking directly at the camera, and your head must be in the centre of the frame. You must have a neutral facial expression so you cannot smile or frown, as pictures with a smile, even a small one, are rejected. Your face must be straight so don't tilt your head to either side and do not raise or lower your head at all.
Glasses and headwear
You may wear your prescription glasses in your UK passport photo, as long as the frames do not cover your eyes in any way, additionally you must ensure that the glass does not give off any glare and that the frames do not cast any shadows on your face. Your eyes must be visible at all times for biometric purposes, because of this sunglasses and glasses with tinted lenses are strictly forbidden.
When it comes to headwear you are not allowed to wear it except for special circumstances. If you are wearing any kind of headwear for religious purposes you are allowed to keep it on in your photo, as long as you provide a signed certificate from a leader in your religious community. If your religious headwear covers your face in any way you must pull it back so that the entire oval of your face can be seen.
Clothing and hair
When it comes to UK passport photos there is no such thing as a dress code so you are free to wear whatever takes your fancy. However, we do have some advice regarding your clothing choices. If you have casual clothes that you feel good and look nice in then you have the perfect outfit already. However, when it comes to the colour of your clothing we advise you to wear brighter colours, rather than anything white or black, as white will blend with the background and black provides a bad contrast.
You should avoid tight clothes that will make you feel and look uncomfortable and anything crazy is better left in the wardrobe. You should most definitely avoid fluorescent colours as they won’t photograph well for a passport photo. Now there is one type of outfit you definitely cannot wear and that is a uniform of any kind, be it military or otherwise. If you dress as though you are going to your Grandmother’s for a lovely Sunday roast then you will be fine.
No matter how beautiful your jewellery is it's best to take it off for your picture, especially if it is of a large size. Shiny necklaces can give off glare and reflections, and large earrings can cover your cheeks or cast shadows on your face, all of this can lead to your photo not being accepted. In the photo you may have, however, small earrings and a fine chain.
A UK passport photo must be taken with a solid and light background. The background may be cream, light grey or white. You can get such a background by posing with a white wall behind your back. You can also arrange a background for your photo with the help of a sheet. Remember that our photo editor will remove the background, so that the final version of the photo is completely white. This is a big help as when using our tool, you don't have to worry about the background at all.
How to pose for a UK passport photo?
Here is how you should pose for your UK passport photo, in order for it to be accepted:
- Stand facing the window, preferably in the morning (natural light).
- If the lighting is poor, set up an additional lamp.
- Don't worry about the background - the editor will remove it.
- Stand 0.5 metres away from the wall.
- The photographer, or tripod, should be standing 1.5 metres away from you.
- Look straight into the camera lens.
- Make sure your body and face are in front of the camera.
- Your mouth must be closed and your eyes open.
- Keep your head straight - don't tilt it.
- Keep your facial expression neutral - don't smile.
- Take more than one picture so that you can choose your favourite.
Most commonly made mistakes
If you are taking your passport photo at home then there are some common mistakes that you should definitely avoid. If you do not pay attention to these mistakes and replicate them in your photo then your passport photo may very well be rejected, leading you to need to start the process from the beginning. Below we have listed the most commonly made mistakes when taking a UK passport photo, so be sure to take heed of them.
Unless you are a professional photographer with your own lighting equipment, then setting the lighting up for the perfect shot is quite difficult. Due to the fact that you cannot have any shadows on your face, body, or background, you will need the lighting to be perfect. It is required that you are evenly lit and the light is able to show your natural skin tone, eye colour, and hair colour. The best way to do this is to stand opposite a window in the daylight, which is the best light, and this way the lighting will be perfect.
As stated in the bad lighting section above there can be no shadows cast, either on your body, face or background. There are many reasons as to why there can be shadows, ranging from poor lighting, to objects being in the way of the light or simply the accessories you are wearing, such as eyeglasses, earrings or your religious headwear.
To get the best results, and ensure there are no shadows, the person playing the role of photographer, or tripod, should be standing 1.5 metres away from you and you should be 0.5 metres away from the wall. This way there will be no shadows, as long as you have done everything perfectly.
If you use our photo editing tool, you won’t have to worry about the background. The tool removes the background and you will get an image with a white background. However, if you set the background yourself, make it uniform, bright, lightly coloured and without any decorations or objects in the back. Otherwise, your photo will be rejected.
It hasn’t been that long since biometric photos were implemented as required for passports, in fact it was only in 2006, and some of you may have fond memories of the times you could post with a smile and with your face slightly to the side, to capture your best side. Unfortunately those days are over and these days we must all take the same photo, a biometric photo that resembles a mugshot. It’s ok though, as everybody needs to have a mugshot photo for their documents and passports, so you’re not alone.
Due to the new rules you need to maintain a neutral facial expression for your photo, meaning you can’t smile, frown, grimace or make any other faces, your eyes must be open and your mouth must be closed. It is important that your facial expression is like this as biometric photos are analysed by machines and it is best for them when people are neutral. If you maintain your facial expression according to these guidelines there is no reason you won’t be getting your new UK passport.
The UK passport photo size must be exactly 35mmx45mm (width x height) or 900x1200 pixels (digital picture). Some people decide to crop printed pictures before submitting them to the application, which you must not do. HM Passport Office clearly states that cropping will be done by an officer and applicants mustn’t do it by themselves. It is, however, acceptable if a professional photo editor does the cropping. Our photo tool runs this function for every image so as a result you will receive a perfectly cropped passport photo ready to print or submit online.
Digital or printed passport photo?
How do I add a passport photo to my application? It depends on the application method you have chosen. Below you will find quick instructions on how to add a photo to your UK Passport application:
- You only need to deliver one digital UK passport photo.
- Prepare a digital photo according to the guidelines.
- Make sure it is 900x1200 pixels and its file size is between 50kB and 10MB.
- Start applying online and upload your picture as soon as you are asked to do so.
- Complete the application form and send it via www.gov.uk.
- Provide 2 identical printed photos.
- Size: 35mm in width and 45mm in height.
- Take pictures as required.
- Prints photos on high-quality photo paper.
- Attach photos in bulk to the application.
- Apply by letter or at the passport desk at the post office.
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