New Zealand Passport Photo

New Zealand Passport Photo

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National Geographic

NZ Passport Photo - Size & Requirements

New Zealand Passport Photo Online
Width: 1500 px
Height: 2000 px
1 dpi
Image definition parameters
  • Head height: 70 %
  • Bottom of the Photo to the Eye Line: 54 %
Is it suitable for online submission?
Is it printable?
Background Color

How to take a photo?

Body-camera distance
Body-camera distance
Posture: Straight ahead
Posture: Straight ahead
Posture: Straight ahead
Even lighting on both sides of the face
Even lighting on both sides of the face
Even lighting on both sides of the face

New Zealand passport photo guidelines

Ever since the first version of the New Zealand passport was issued in 1915, there have been many criteria one had to meet in order to obtain one. A proper passport photo is one of the most important.

New Zealand passport picture: requirements

If you choose to fill in the passport application online, it will require 1 (one) digital picture for your New Zealand passport. Filling a paper application means you will need 2 (two) identical passport photos printed on high-quality photographic paper.

Whether applying online or by filling in a paper form, there is a long list of requirements concerning the photo for your NZ passport. Some basic guidelines are as follows:

  • You are not allowed to use a selfie or a scan of a printed photo.
  • Make sure the picture is recent (taken within the last 6 (six) months).
  • Make sure the photo shows your face in full, as well as your neck and part of your shoulders .
  • Keep a natural facial expression when having the photo taken.
  • Remember that the proper background is plain and light coloured, but not white.
  • Don’t wear any head coverings, including scarves and headbands, except for medical or religious reasons.

New Zealand passport picture: size

If you fill out the paper application, the size of the paper photos you submit must be 35 mm x 45 mm (3.5 cm x 4.5 cm).

If applying for the New Zealand passport online, the resolution required from a digital picture is 900 to 4500 pixels in width and 1200 to 6000 pixels in height. The size of the picture file has to be between 250KB and 10MB. The aspect ratio should be 4:3, like on a portrait photo, or 3:4 when using a smartphone. The accepted format is a JPEG file.

New Zealand passport picture: validity

Your photo should confirm your current appearance. If your appearance has changed drastically since the picture was taken (for example, due to an accident, plastic surgery, or a sex change), we recommend taking a new photo.

New Zealand passport: photo quality

The passport photo has to be:

  • of good quality,
  • in full colour,
  • of high resolution.

You are not allowed to use a photo that has been:

  • altered using software or filters,
  • blurred or pixelated,
  • either underexposed or overexposed,
  • damaged (creases, stains).

Proper lighting and background

The background must be plain, without shadows or patterns, and in a light colour but not white. There can be no other people or objects in your picture. Both sides of your face must be evenly lighted, and there cannot be any shadows or reflections on your face. If possible, try using daylight when taking your picture, as natural light gives the best effect. 

Head and face

It is mandatory to maintain a natural facial expression while keeping both eyes open and the mouth shut. Please do not smile, and remember that you cannot show any teeth. The face has to be fully visible, in the center of the photo, facing the camera. Make sure your hair doesn't cover your eyes, eyebrows, forehead, cheeks, or chin. 

Glasses and head coverings

You are only allowed to wear glasses in the picture for your NZ passport if:

  • They are prescription glasses, not sunglasses or tinted glasses.
  • The frame isn’t thick enough to cover a part of your eyes.
  • There isn't a flash reflection in the lenses.

You can cover your head for religious or medical reasons, but no other head coverings (such as headbands, hats, and caps, etc.)  are accepted. If you have piercings, they cannot obscure any part of your face.


Uniforms and camouflage patterns are forbidden, but other than this there is no specific dress code. Wear your normal clothing, and stick to casual clothes. Revealing clothing is not a wise choice: a strapless tank top can make you look naked in the picture!

Taking a NZ passport picture at home

Taking your pictures yourself, in the comfort and privacy of your own home, can be extremely convenient but how are you supposed to remember and meet all of the exact requirements of the passport photo? One simple solution is to use digital software dedicated to taking passport photos for example, PhotoAiD.

PhotoAiD is a website and an app dedicated to editing photos for documents, such as the New Zealand passport photograph. With PhotoAiD, all you need to do is to upload your picture to our site. The rest is taken care of by our AI-based software. 

Our tools can:

  • Confirm that all the basic requirements of the photograph are fulfilled, including your facial expression, and the size and position of your head.
  • Delete the original background in your photo, and replace it with the required light-coloured background.
  • Crop the picture to the right size for a New Zealand passport application.

The camera should be placed at eye level at a distance of about 1.5 meters from your face. Either enlist someone to help you, or use a tripod and a camera with a timer. 

New Zealand passport pictures: common mistakes 

Taking a picture for official documents sure can be time-consuming! The key to success is to be well-prepared beforehand. Take a moment to examine the checklist below. You can make sure your picture for a New Zealand passport gets accepted if you avoid these common mistakes:

  • Avoid using a print that is damaged with stains, staples, or creases.
  • Do not use a photo that has shadows, either on the background or on your face.
  • Don’t use a photo that is underexposed or overexposed.
  • Avoid smiling, frowning, or showing your teeth.
  • Do not wear sunglasses, hats, caps or scarves.

Last update: 24/03/23

Frequently Asked Questions

❓ Can I submit a scanned photo when applying online?

No. Scanned photos are not acceptable for NZ Online Passport Service.

❓ Can I attach a selfie to my application?

No, no selfies. Photo for NZ passport should be biometric.

❓ Can I take a New Zealand passport photo with an iPhone?

Yes, it is one of the forms recommended by The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs. You can prepare a passport photo with an iPhone or other iOS tool. There is even an official tutorial for New Zealand passport photos taken with an iPhone:

Yes, you can upload a NZ passport photo taken with an Android phone or other device with a digital camera that takes high quality photos. You can even find the official guide for New Zealand passport photos taken with Samsung devices: that also works with other Android phones.

The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs provides an Online photo checker ( with which you can check if the NZ passport photo meets the requirements. In addition, our application and photo editor online verify passport photos.

This is possible thanks to the use of artificial intelligence. The software quickly checks that the photo meets the requirements for biometric photos. That is - is the face oval visible, is the eyes open, mouth closed, head in the center of the frame, etc.

For printed NZ passport photos, the size is 35 x 45 mm (width x height). For a digital photo it is between 900 and 4500 pixels wide and 1200 and 6000 pixels high.

When applying online, you attach one digital photo. When sending a printed application by post, you attach 2 identical printed photos.

Yes. However, selfies and digital scans of physical photos are not allowed. We recommend asking someone for help when taking a picture, or using a tripod and a camera with a timer, as the camera should be 1.5 m away from your face.

Smiling, frowning, showing your teeth etc. in the passport photo will not be accepted. You need to keep a neutral facial expression.

No, your photo cannot be digitally altered in any way, including the use of filters.

New Zealand citizens, registered with citizenship. If one of your parents was a New Zealand citizen, and you were born overseas, you can also get a New Zealand passport.

According to the Passport Index, New Zealand passport is the 3rd most powerful passport in the world.

The New Zealand passport is valid for 5 years for childred and 10 years in case you are an adult.

About the document

New Zealand passport

The New Zealand passport is issued to New Zealand citizens. It ranks among the top 3 most powerful travel documents in the world, allowing its holders to travel internationally to 155 countries. 

A New Zealand pasport includes personal information, such as the name, sex and nationality of the holder, the place and date of the birth of the gilder and the date of issuing and validity of the passport. 

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