What Type Of Photograph Is Required For Visa?

A visa is a document that is required when a person is traveling to a foreign land. Countries vet the incoming individuals for potential risks and threats posed by them in the process of visa application. Thus, visa application processes are pretty rigorous, and for many countries like the Us and European nations, the rate of visa rejection is also very high.

A visa application process contains essential details about a person who is traveling to another country. It has information on the purpose of the visit, the travel itinerary, and details about the photograph of the traveler in order to verify his identity. There are several reasons why a visa application is rejected, and one of the main reasons is giving incomplete information or not adhering to the guidelines. Hence it makes sense to pay utmost attention to following the guidelines and giving an appropriate photograph.

Some Important Facts To Remember While Clicking A Photo For A Visa

The Dimensions

Source: passportandvisaservices.org

Different countries have different specifications for the size of the image. For instance, in the US, the size should be 51X51 mm. For the Schengen visa, which allows people to travel to a host of Schengen countries, the size of the image should be 35mm wide and 45mm in height. Thus, one must carefully read the instructions before filling out the application forms.

These days there are several companies that are offering Artificial Intelligence biometric photographs. These ensure that the images are perfect and adhere closely to the guidelines. Thus, they reduce the chances of rejection. People can check this to find out more about the advantages of artificial intelligence-based images.

Color And Clarity

Since the visa is an important document and is used for identifying an individual, it is very important that the image and its contents are clear. It should not be pixelated, which gives a blurred appearance, or else there could be problems during the physical verification process. Also, the background is light in color or white. A white background ensures that the actual picture stands out and there is no distraction. Also, care should be taken to avoid any shadows in the picture.

Position And Size Of The Head

Most application guidelines expect the head of a person to cover most of the picture. In many cases, the head should be 35 to 40mm long. The head is the main feature where the verification happens. If the shoulders or hair cover the main physical features, then the authorities view it as a way to distract them and drive their attention away from the main features. Thus, making the size of the head small or covering the face in some manner might lead to outright rejection.

All countries have specifications for headdresses like a Hijab, a Turban, etc. Most secular nations acknowledge the importance of headdresses, and they are allowed. However, adequate care must be taken to ensure that the headdress does not cover the face of the individual.

Recent And Easily Recognizable Image

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The picture should be as recent as possible. It is a good idea to get a picture clicked one or two months before traveling so that it is easy for the agencies to make sure that it is the picture of the same person who is traveling.

In case someone is traveling with toddlers, the recentness of the picture is all the more critical. Toddlers grow rapidly, and so their facial features also change fast; hence for toddlers, it is advisable to get them clicked one month or at the most two months before the visa interview.

Expressions And Line Of Sight

There should be any overt expression, and any smile or pose that alters the facial structure is best avoided. Also, the person should look straight in front, and the eyes should not wander away in any other direction. The eyes must be clear and should reflect the natural color of the eyeball. Thus, lenses are best avoided. Also, glasses and sunglasses should not be worn while getting clicked. However, some people have poor eyesight, and they can wear prescription glasses which they usually wear all the time.

Sometimes some pictures have a problem with the red eye; that is, a red color light spot develops on the eyeballs of a person. In such cases, the red light spot should not be artificially removed using a filter or any tools like photoshop. It is advisable to click a few more shots till a proper picture is obtained.

All the rules that apply to adults also apply to children; however, if the kids are very small, most countries give certain leeway. If the children are below one year old, it might be challenging to make them look straight while they are being clicked. Small children might cry or throw tantrums while they are being clicked, and their favorite toys might calm them down.

However, parents should be careful to ensure that the toys do not get clicked in the final photograph. Also, most authorities require that minors who are old enough are above the age of ten years should look straight and keep their eyes wide open.

Simple Clothes

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Fancy clothes do not increase the chances of visa acceptance; rather, they can increase the chances of rejection. The main focus should be the face, and the clothes should be simple and in light colors or white in color if possible.


Getting a visa application rejected can be quite disheartening, especially when someone has all their travel plans ready. However, people need to understand the priorities of the Government agencies that vet these applications. The verification process is usually strict because it directly affects the safety and security of the home country and its citizens.

Several frauds happen on a regular basis; illegal immigrants, drug mafias, and people with terrorist backgrounds regularly try to sabotage the system and commit fraud with visa or passport photographs. People should also read about the resolution and the volume of the image required before submitting the final application. However, there is an easy way to avoid the disappointment of a rejection. When people are diligent in following the guidelines, the chances of approval increase manifold.