How big is a passport photo?

Published by Travel Visa Pro on Mon Jan 7 2019

When it comes time to get everything you need for your passport application, what do you first think of? Of course you’ll need the basics like an application form, but a passport-sized photo is just as essential. So many US citizens forget to bring one with them that several regional passport agencies offer photo services on site, as do Travel Visa Pro offices. However, what’s involved in taking a passport photo at home, and what do you need?


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How big is a standard passport photo?


The good news is regardless of where you’re applying for a passport – abroad or in the US – the size and requirements of passport photos remain the same: 2×2 inches, or 51×51 mm if you prefer metric. While this size is a standard printing dimension in pharmacies and photo studios in the US, it’s not always understood when getting photos taken abroad.

When you have to crop and position your passport photo yourself, it’s important to ensure that the measurements remain between one inch and 1 3/8 inches (25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. Two photos meeting these specifications should be submitted for first-time passport applications and renewals.


Are there any other passport photo requirements?


Assuming you’ve had a passport photo taken at a pharmacy or photo studio before, you probably know the basic requirements: having a white background and clothing with reasonably contrasting colors. However, there are other considerations, from the expression on your face to your tattoos and piercings, if any.

When taking a passport photo at home, face the camera directly, with your face completely unobstructed. Show only a neutral expression or a closed-mouth smile. Both eyes should be open, with no eyewear allowed; however, eye patches and bandages may be worn (if normally done so) with an accompanying note from a physician.


What about clothing?


Normally, no hats, neckerchiefs, or anything obstructing the full view of your head may be worn in standard passport photos. For those who wear head coverings due to their religion, they will need to provide a

signed statement that recognizes such attire is part of their faith.

Even with this exception, clothing that completely covers the face may not be used for passport photos. Camouflage patterns of any kind are also not allowed, just as uniforms may not be worn, even for US military and law enforcement.


What about facial and neck tattoos?


Tattoos are perfectly acceptable in passport photos, but if you have recently gotten any that are not reflected in your most recent one, you will most likely have to apply for a renewal. This includes any large facial or neck tattoos or an excessive number of piercings.


Are children’s passport photos the same size?


Yes. Parents applying for a passport for their child need to fulfill the same requirements when it comes to cutting the photo to 2×2 inches and ensuring their child’s head is the proper size. For parents of infants who are struggling to center their child in the picture, some exceptions can be made; one recommendation is to have children under a year old lie with a white blanket under them while taking the photo from above.

Do you have any questions about the size of your passport photo? Leave them in the comments!