Uploading a visa photo — error messages

You will receive an error message if your visa photo does not meet 1 or more of our requirements. We have provided solutions to fix them.

Your photo is more likely to be accepted if you use a professional photographer or a business that takes passport photos.

Technical requirements for professional photographers PDF 453KB

Online error messages

The picture is not a passport style portrait of suitable file size

The picture must be in a passport portrait format

The photo must not be too dark or too bright

The face image must not be too large or too small

The face must be looking straight at the camera with no tilt

The face must be looking straight at the camera with no turning of the head

Only one face is allowed and bold clothing patterns should be avoided

There must be no shadows on the face

There must be no glare or reflection on glasses or face

The eye region must not be obscured by heavy framed glasses or shadow

The person is wearing dark glasses

The photo must be of sufficient resolution

Your photo is not in focus

The picture is not a passport style portrait of suitable file size or otherwise does not meet our requirements

Your image might be too big or too small to meet our requirements.

How to fix your photo

Your photo must be:

  • between 900 x 1200 and 2250 x 3000 pixels
  • between 500 KB and 3 MB
  • in portrait format.

If the photo is too big or too small, you need to resize it or take a new photo.

If you cannot resize the image, take a new photo and adjust your camera’s settings to meet our requirements.

Acceptable photos

The picture must be in a passport portrait format

Your image might be too big or too small to meet our requirements.

How to fix your photo

Your photo must be:

  • between 900 x 1200 and 2250 x 3000 pixels
  • between 500 KB and 3 MB
  • in portrait format.

If the photo is too big or too small, you need to resize it or take a new photo.

If you cannot resize the image, take a new photo and adjust your camera’s settings to meet our requirements.

Acceptable photos

The photo must not be too dark or too bright

We cannot clearly see your face. Your photo is too dark, too bright or has too much shadowing.

How to fix your photo

Make sure:

  • there is a good source of even lighting across the whole image
  • your background is not too bright or too dark — light grey is often a good background colour
  • you have adjusted your camera’s exposure settings.

The face image must not be too large or too small

We cannot clearly see your face. Your photo may be too small or your face does not take up enough of the frame.

How to fix your photo

Make sure:

  • your face takes up 70% to 80% of the frame
  • you have a clear gap around the head
  • your photo is between 900 x 1200 pixels and 2250 x 3000 pixels.

If you continue to receive this message, try making the photo larger.

The face must be looking straight at the camera with no tilt

Our software has detected that your face is leaning to the side.

How to fix your photo

Make sure:

  • you look directly at the camera
  • your whole face can be seen
  • your face is centred in the frame and does not lean to one side
  • the photo is upright (portrait), not rotated, when you upload it.

The face must be looking straight at the camera with no turning of the head

Our software has detected that your face is leaning to the side.

How to fix your photo

Make sure:

  • you look directly at the camera
  • your whole face can be seen
  • your face is centred in the frame and does not lean to one side
  • the photo is upright (portrait), not rotated, when you upload it.

Only one face is allowed and bold clothing patterns should be avoided

Your photo can appear to have more than 1 face if it contains strong patterns — either in the background or on your clothing — or if the photo is very large.

How to fix your photo

Make sure you:

  • are the only person in the photo.
  • wear plain clothes and stand against a pale, plain background

If you think your photo meets our requirements, try reducing the size of your photo.

There must be no shadows on the face

Our software has detected shadowing or uneven lighting on your face. Causes can include:

  • light sources that do not light your whole face
  • standing too close to the background (creating shadows behind the head)
  • long hair and jewellery.

How to fix your photo

Take a new photo and make sure:

  • there is enough lighting across your face
  • you tuck long hair behind your ears
  • there are no patches of light or dark shadows in the image
  • you are standing 1.5 metres away from the background.

There must be no glare or reflection on glasses or face

Our software cannot correctly read the eye region in your photo. This might be because of glare on your glasses or strong lighting.

How to fix your photo

Make sure you:

  • remove your glasses to avoid glare
  • direct strong camera flashes at the ceiling to avoid glare from the eyes.

The eye region must not be obscured by heavy framed glasses or shadow

Our software cannot correctly read the eye region in your photo. This might be because you are wearing glasses with heavy frames, or the photo has shadowing or not enough lighting.

How to fix your photo

Ensure the eye region in your photo is clearly visible.

If you are wearing glasses, try removing them and take a new photo.

If you still receive this message, make sure there is enough lighting on your face.

The person is wearing dark glasses

Our software cannot correctly read the eye region in your photo. This might be because you are wearing glasses with heavy frames, or the photo has shadowing or not enough lighting.

How to fix your photo

Make sure:

  • your eye region is clearly visible
  • there is enough lighting on your face.

If you are wearing glasses, try removing them and take a new photo.

The photo must be of sufficient resolution

We cannot accept your photo because the photo resolution needs to be higher.

How to fix your photo

Check your photo is between:

  • 900 x 1200 and 2250 x 3000 pixels
  • 500 KB and 3 MB.

If you still receive this error message you may need to:

  • change your camera settings
  • use a different camera, or
  • check how you saved the image.

When you save the image on a computer make sure you do not reduce its quality by choosing options that reduce or limit the file size.

If the camera you are using cannot take a high quality photo that meets our requirements, you need to use a different camera or visit a professional photographer.

Your photo is not in focus

We cannot accept your photo because the image is not sharp enough.

How to fix your photo

Take the photo again using your camera’s auto focus setting and, if possible, use a tripod to avoid camera movement.

Contact us

If you try to fix your photo error but you keep receiving error messages, then contact us for help.

Contact us