Acceptable visa photos

When you send us a visa photo, we need to be able to identify you clearly. We can only use your visa photo if it meets all of 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.

Paper applications

All paper application visa photos can be of the same quality as a normal printed passport photo, but the size we need may be different from your country’s passport photo sizes.

Online applications

All online application visa photos must meet our photo requirements below.  The photo file size also needs to be between 500KB and 3MB. Your photo is more likely to be accepted if you use a professional photographer or business that takes passport photos.

How to take an acceptable photo - instructional video
Instructions to take to professional photographers PDF 428KB

Requirements for acceptable photos

Your photo must be:

  • the right size (this may not be the same size as your usual passport photo. Refer to the Technical requirements for acceptable photos page for more information)
  • less than 6 months old
  • in focus (not blurry)
  • in colour, showing natural skin tones and no red-eye
  • the original photo, not changed by photo-editing software
  • taken against a plain light-coloured (but not white) background
  • of one person who is not wearing bold clothing patterns.

We need a clear shot of your face. Make sure you:

  • face the camera and keep your head straight
  • keep your eyes open and mouth closed
  • do not smile or frown
  • do not have anything across your face or eyes (eg hair, head coverings or clothing). Make sure your face can be seen clearly and your hair is tucked behind your ears
  • have your head in the centre of the photo with space around the sides and top of your head and hair
  • remove sunglasses.

If you wear prescription glasses

  • make sure your eyes show clearly through the lenses, with no reflected light
  • remove your glasses if they have heavy rims.

Head coverings

Remove any head coverings and headbands, unless you wear them for religious or medical reasons. If you wear a head covering for religious or medical reasons, make sure your face and hairline can be seen clearly in the photo.


Do not wear clothing with bold patterns as the system may mistake these for other faces.

Read first

Read the 'How to take acceptable visa photos' below first if you are taking your own photos.