Acceptable photos

Photos must meet strict requirements to be accepted with your visa application. Photos not meeting these requirements will be rejected, and your application will not be processed until an acceptable photo is received.

The requirements, explained below, are at the same quality level as for passport photos, however the photo size requirement may be different to your countrys passport photo sizes. We strongly recommend using a professional photographer, or a business that is set up to take passport photographs.

How to take an acceptable photo - instructional video
Instructions to take to professional photographers PDF 188KB

Main requirements for acceptable photos

Your photo must be

  • the appropriate size (this is not necessarily the same size as a passport photo size)
  • less than 6 months old
  • in focus
  • in colour and showing natural skin tones (no red-eye)
  • unaltered by photo-editing software
  • taken against a plain light-coloured (not white) background.

We need a clear shot of your face

  • face the camera straight-on with head straight, eyes open and mouth closed
  • look neutral - don’t smile or frown
  • don’t have hair, head coverings or clothing across your face or eyes: your face must be clearly visible with no obstructions. Your hair should be pulled back behind your ears
  • position your head in the centre of the photo, leaving space around the sides and top of the head and hair
  • remove sunglasses.

If you wear glasses

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

Head coverings

Remove head coverings (including headbands) unless they’re worn for religious or medical reasons. Photos of people wearing head covering for religious or medical reason must show a clear, unobstructed facial image showing the hair line.

Read first

Read the 'Instructions for taking acceptable photos' below first if you are taking your own photos.