Knowledge base articles

What are the requirements for photos submitted with visa applications?

Most visa applications require each applicant to provide two passport-size photos of their head and shoulders.

The photos should be less than 6 months old when the application is submitted.

Prints of scanned or digital photographs are acceptable provided they are of an acceptable quality.


What is an acceptable quality?

Photographs need to be of good enough quality so that they can be used to identify applicants, and for biometric purposes, if needed.

Immigration New Zealand may request better quality photographs, if the ones provided are unclear.  
To be useful for biometric purposes, photographs need to be:

  • original,
  • unaltered
  • in colour
  • (if uploading online) loaded the right way up (not sideways)
  • less than six months old. 

All photos must show:

  • a full-front view of the face, head and shoulders
  • the subject looking straight at the camera with a neutral expression,
  • eyes open, mouth closed and head straight. 

Nothing should obscure the facial features. 

Background of the photos must be:

  • plain (without objects, or patterns, etc)
  • light (avoid dark colours and low contrast)
  • without shadows   


Uploading photos for Online applications

There are different requirements for online photos, in terms of the size and file specifications.

Acceptable visa photos

Error messages for online visa photos