Russian Visa Photo

Russian Visa Photo

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Russian Visa Photo - Requirements & Size

Russian Visa Photo Online Tool
Width: 35 mm
Height: 45 mm
600 dpi
Image definition parameters
  • Head height: 33 mm
  • Top of the Photo to Top of the Hair: 5 mm
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

There are many reasons for you to want to see the largest country in the world, which occupies one-tenth of all the land on Earth. If you want to travel to some of the cities of Russia such as the beautiful capital Moscow or equally delightful Petersburg, and you have already planned a journey to the country of some of the most famous writers such as Leo Tolstoy or Fyodor Dostoevsky, you might need a visa. 

Russian visa photo guidelines

While the whole process of applying for a visa might be a time-consuming experience, we have prepared a guide for you, in order to make it easier and faster.

According to the Russian visa rules you must provide 2 (two) biometric photographs of yourself. Make sure that you provide the correct photograph that follows all requirements, Read on to find out about:

  • The Russian visa photo dimensions.
  • What the required background is and how to obtain it.
  • How to take the right visa photograph.
  • What are the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
  • How to crop and edit your visa photo with a professional photo tool, which does not violate the official rules and verifies that your photo follows all requirements set by Russian officials for visa photos.

Russian visa photo size

The required dimensions for photos for a Russian visa are 35mmx45mm where the size of your face must be a minimum of 32 mm and a maximum of 36 mm. To avoid mistakes you should use our intelligent photo editor, which measures and crops your photos to ensure pictures meet Russian requirements.


The background for a Russian visa photo must be light gray and free of shadows, patterns and other visible objects or people. If you are not able to prepare the required background, you can use a tool which removes an unsuitable background and makes it any color you need. Just use our dedicated tool on the PhotoAiD site.


The best light is natural light (daylight). A photo must show your skin tones accurately and both sides of your face must be evenly illuminated. Remember, you cannot edit your photos to cover up any wrinkles, scars, tattoos or red eyes, etc. 

Head position 

The applicant’s head must be square to the camera, they cannot look down or to either side. In the picture all of the head along with the hair must be visible, as well as the neck and, optionally, the upper part of the shoulders.The camera lens must be at eye level with the person being photographed. 

Facial expression

A neutral expression with your mouth closed and eyes open is a must. Don’t smile, frown or wiggle your eyebrows, because your picture will be declined. Try to look as relaxed and natural as possible. Some people say that the biometric photo looks a bit like a mugshot and we agree. But that’s a requirement and it is demanded of in order to facilitate the process of machine-reading of photos. Smiling might distort facial recognition, that’s why it is not allowed.


The applicant’s eyes must be visible and recognisable. If you don’t need to wear glasses for medical reasons you should take them off for the photo. You must also make sure that your hair doesn't cover your eyeline or cast any unnecessary shadows on your face.


If you want to be sure that your photo will be accepted, take off your glasses (sunglasses are not acceptable). If you must wear glasses for medical reasons and you really cannot take them off, remember that there must not be any glare on the glass and the frame cannot cover any part of your eyes. Moreover, there should not be any shadows on your face.

Hats and head coverings

Hats aren’t permitted but headwear that you must wear because of medical or religious reasons (except niqabs which are forbidden) can be kept on if it does not obscure your face. The face of the applicant must be visible from the lower tip of the chin to the crown of the head.

Jewellery and piercing

In general there are no special rules about facial piercings and jewellery but the main requirement for biometric photos is that such accessories must not obscure your face or give off a glare on the skin. If you have a facial piercing, you do not need to remove it. If you like jewellery, choose some small pieces just to be sure that massive earrings or ear clips do not touch or cover your face’s oval line. 


If you normally have a beard then you are allowed to keep it for your photo and don’t have to worry about shaving it off. 


The clothing you wear for the visa photo can be everyday/casual. There are no special requirements when it comes to the clothes you must wear in your photo except for a few exceptions, uniforms must not be worn and turtlenecks or sleeveless T-shirts are not acceptable. Your neck should be visible, as well as the shoulders, but not in an extravagant way.

Russian visa photo and PhotoAiD

If you decide to take photos with your iPhone or smartphone with Android then you know a little about how to use the app, we would like to convince you even further to utilise the possibilities of our services.

First of all, when you use the PhotoAiD app or online photo editor, you don't need to prepare the background. This photo tool will remove the background from the photo.

The app works like a photo resizer, which will change the size of your Russian visa photo to the correct dimensions and will prepare the correct frame from which you can print the photos, or send a printed version straight to your home.

PhotoAiD works like a visa photo checker. An intelligent software verifies the position of the head, its height in the photo and visibility of all biometric features of the face. It also checks if the picture has the correct contrast and lighting. When there is something wrong, you are informed that you will need to retake the photo.

Russian visa photos - common mistakes

Read this brief description of the most common mistakes to find out what not to do. 

What you should avoid while taking photos for your Russian visa:

  • Twisted body - remember that your body has to be straight and be facing towards the camera.
  • Face covered - as was mentioned above, your face can’t be covered by any items, objects, other people, your hand or any shadows.
  • Smile is not acceptable, you should not show your teeth, your facial expression has to be neutral.
  • Hair blowing in the wind - knowing that the photo is for an important document you must be sure that your hair is styled enough to look good in your visa and not as though you have been walking in gale-force winds.
  • Neck obscured - jewellery as well as turtlenecks or uniforms are not allowed so don’t wear anything that will cover your neck.
  • Harsh light - don’t take photos at night, choose daylight and a brightly-lit room instead.
  • Glasses - for Russian visa photos it is better to take them off, especially if they have thick frames or reflect the light.
  • Blending with the background - you have to stand out from the background so do not wear a grey shirt if the background is grey too.
  • Low resolution - the camera parameters are important as well, so be sure that the photos you take are in focus, sharp and have enough contrast.

Besides mistakes, there are some Don’ts regarding photos for a Russian visa:

  • Don’t upload a picture that was taken a long time ago (the photo has to be recent).
  • Don’t copy or cut yourself out of another image.
  • Don’t overexpose or underexpose the photo.
  • Don’t change it with computer software.
  • Don’t print it off on a home printer and/or on low-quality paper.
  • Don’t submit a damaged or blurred photo that is of bad quality and out of contrast.

Last update: 6/4/23

Frequently Asked Questions

💡 What size photo do I need for a Russian visa?

The size of photo needed for a Russian visa is 35mmx45mm where the face fills a minimum of 32 mm and a maximum of 36 mm. Be sure to know these size requirements because your photo will be rejected if they are wrong.

💡 How to correctly crop a Russian visa photo?

Your head, neck and upper part of the shoulders must fill in 70-80% of the image. The best way to obtain this image is to stand 0.5 meters away from the background and 1.5 meters from the camera. But if your head is too small, don’t worry as you can crop it automatically with a photo cropping tool.

💡 Can I smile in a Russian visa photo?

Smiling is forbidden, as well as showing teeth, so be sure that your facial expression is neutral and you do not wiggle your eyebrows or grimace.

A beard is allowed if you normally have one. Don’t grow a beard if you normally don’t because your face must be recognizable for immigration officers.

Check out our service and the possibilities that our photo app gives you like editing your visa photos, resizing, removing the background, etc. Check out all of the capabilities and we promise you will be satisfied!

You will need to collect the required documents and check if you can apply, or maybe you are from one of the visa-free countries. Check the requirements and submit: a valid passport, a Russian visa application form, two color photographs, identity and civil status documents, proof of a clean criminal record, etc.

The length of validity depends on the type of visa you are applying for. A tourist visa is only valid for 30 days while some others can be extended more. Most are valid for 90 days up to 6 months.

Use our photo validation tool and you won’t have to worry that your visa will be rejected. The photo that you order on our site will always be correct and will meet all of the requirements set by Russian officials.

All headwear used as a part of the attire for religious or medical reasons, such as a yarmulke, headscarf, hat etc. are allowed while taking an official photograph for a Russian visa.

Tinted glasses and sunglasses are not allowed. If you need to keep them on, make sure that they do not obscure your eyes and do not give off any reflections or glare.

About the document

Russian visa

The visa policy of Russia deals with the requirements of which a foreign national wishing to enter the Russian Federation must meet in order to obtain a visa, which is a permit to travel to, enter, and remain in the country. 

Visa exemptions are based on bilateral or multilateral agreements. Russia has agreements with scores of countries whose citizens are either exempt from visas or can apply for a visa online (e-visa). Citizens of countries without such an agreement with Russia must obtain a visa in advance from a Russian embassy or visa center.

Travelling to Russia without a visa 

If you haven’t started the application process for a visa yet you might be wondering if you actually need one. Below we have a list of the countries that can travel visa-free to Russia, meaning if you are a legal citizen with a passport from one of these countries then you can travel to Russia without worrying about going through the visa application process.

The visa-exempt countries are:

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Armenia 
  • Azerbaijan 
  • Belarus 
  • Bolivia 
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Chile
  • Columbia
  • Cuba 
  • Croatia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kirghiz Republic
  • Macedonia
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Mozambique
  • Nicaragua
  • Peru
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • The Republic of South Africa
  • Thailand
  • Tajikistan
  • Ukraine
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Venezuela

Russian visa types


There are several types of visas that Russia can issue:

  • Tourist visa
  • Business visa
  • Private visa
  • Humanitarian visa
  • Work visa
  • Student visa
  • Transit visa

You have to choose the visa which best suits the nature of your visit to Russia. For traveling purposes, the best is a Russian tourist visa.

Russian tourist visa

This visitor visa or the tourist visa allows its holder to enter Russia for the purposes of tourism, holidays in Russia or visiting family. 

Those who need a Russian visa may apply for it online or on paper at one of the visa application centres. This type of visa is not a guarantee of entrance to the country. It only allows you to go to a Russian port of entry and ask for permission to enter the country. A border patrol officer will decide whether to grant or deny your entry based on your documents and your situation.

Once you enter the country, you are allowed to travel around Russia for a certain period as long as you are in good financial standing. You are not allowed to work or study, and you will not be allowed to file for health care or other governmental benefits.

Russian tourist visa application requirements

To apply for a Russian visa, whether you choose to apply online or in the traditional way with a paper application, you must submit:

  • a valid passport,
  • a Russian visa application form,
  • 2 (two) color photographs meeting all the requirements,
  • identity and civil status documents,
  • proof of clean criminal record,
  • proof of being in good health through a medical exam,
  • a bank statement or a letter of employment showing annual earnings,
  • a return flight ticket to prove that you will return to your home country once the Russian visa expires,
  • a cover letter that explains the purpose of your travel to Russia,
  • a letter of support/invitation to Russia if you are going to visit family or friends,
  • visa fees receipt.

Visa processing time

The Russian tourist visa processing time depends on the country you live in and can take around 20 (twenty) days. It will be best for you to start the process at least 6 (six) weeks before your planned trip to Russia to ensure that you have the visa on time.

Russian visa validity

The length of the visa validity varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for. A tourist visa is only valid for 30 (thirty) days while some others can be extended for longer. Most visas are valid from 90 (ninety) days up to 6 (six) months.

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