Acceptable visa photos

When you send us a visa photo, we need to be able to identify you. We can only use your visa photo if it is recent (less than six months old) and meets all our technical requirements. If your photo does not meet all our requirements we will need to ask you for a new photo. We will not be able to process your visa application until we receive an acceptable photo.

Not passport photos

Our photo standards are different to those for passport photos. Do not use the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) website or other online tools to check your photos. Photos that pass their check may fail ours.

Professional photography

Your photos are more likely to be accepted if you use a professional photographer or business that takes passport photos. While it is not a rule, we recommend that you take the instructions below to a professional for the best results.

Instructions to take to a professional photographer PDF 453KB

Paper applications

Paper application photos need to be 35mm wide and 45mm high. Further instruction can be found on the paper application forms.

Online applications

All online application visa photos must meet the following file size requirements:

  • the photo file size needs to be between 500KB and 3MB
  • the photo must have dimensions between 900 x 1200 pixels wide and 2250 x 3000 pixels high (in a 3:4 aspect ratio)

If your photo does not meet these requirements, it is likely to be rejected and delay the submission of your application.

Acceptable visa photo dimensions.

Your photo must be:

Be in portrait (not landscape)

Acceptable photo - portrait.   Incorrect photo - landscape.

Be of you (not a photo of a captured image or your travel document)

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - travel document.   Incorrect photo - captured image.

Have even lighting with minimal shadowing

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - heavy shadow.   Incorrect photo - bright.   Incorrect photo - dark.

Be in colour, showing natural skin tones

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - filtered.

Be in focus (not blurry)

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - blurry.

Not contain red-eye

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - red eye.

Be an original photo (not changed by photo-editing software)

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - altered.

Not be a selfie

Acceptable photo.  Incorrect photo - selfie.

Be taken 1.5 metres from the face

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - too close to camera.

Be taken against a plain, light-coloured (but not white) background with no patterns or objects

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - patterned background.   Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - background objects.

Only contain plain clothing patterns

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - Hawaiian shirt.

Be of one person

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - two people.

We need a clear shot of your face, so make sure you:

Face the camera and keep your head straight

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - facing away.

Keep your eyes open and mouth closed

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - mouth open.   Incorrect photo - eyes closed.

Do not smile or frown

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - smiling.

Show your face clearly and that long hair is tucked behind your ears

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - hair obscuring face.

Are positioned in the middle of the photo

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - face too close.   Incorrect photo - face too far away.

Remove sunglasses and hats

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - sunglasses.   Incorrect glasses - hat.

If you wear prescription glasses:

Make sure your eyes show clearly through the lenses, with no reflected light

It may be easier to remove them.

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - glasses obscuring face.   Incorrect photo - reflected light on glasses.

If you wear a head covering:

You may wear a head covering for religious or medical reasons. Make sure that your face and hairline can be seen in the photo.

Acceptable photo.   Incorrect photo - head covering obscuring face.