Acceptable photos for a visa or NZeTA

Your photo must be less than 6 months old and clearly identify you. It must also meet all of our technical requirements.

Meeting our photo requirements

If your photo does not meet all of our requirements we will ask you for a new photo.

If you are applying for a visa we will stop processing your application until we receive an acceptable photo. If you are requesting an NZeTA, your request may be delayed or refused.

Visa and NZeTA photos are not passport photos

Use the photo examples on this page to check your photo is correct and meets our requirements.


Do not use the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs website or other online tools to check your photo as those tools are for passport photos only.

Using a professional photographer

Your photo is more likely to be accepted if you use a professional photographer or business that takes passport photos. Give the photographer our instructions to make sure get a photo that meets our requirements.

Technical requirements for professional photographers PDF 364KB

Technical Requirements for Professional Photographers in Simplified Chinese PDF 1MB

Paper applications for visas

The photo you submit with a paper application must be 35 mm wide and 45 mm high. Further instructions are on the paper application forms.


You can only apply for an NZeTA online.

Online applications for visas

The photo you submit with an online application must be:

  • between 500 KB and 3 MB
  • between 900 x 1,200 pixels and 2,250 x 3,000 pixels
  • a JPG or JPEG file.

We are unlikely to accept your photo if it is not the right size.

Acceptable visa photo dimensions.

Online requests for NZeTAs 

If you request an NZeTA using the web app, you can either upload an existing photo or take one using your device's camera.

If you use the mobile app you can only take a photo using your device's camera.

Your photo must be:

  • less than 10 MB
  • a JPG or JPEG file.

If you take a photo with your device, the camera must have a minimum resolution of 540 x 720 pixels. Large photos will be automatically formatted.

Online photo error messages

If there is an issue with your photo you will receive an error message when you submit your visa or NZeTA photo online. To help you, we have provided a list of online errors and how to fix them.

Submitting a visa or NZeTA photo online — error messages

Taking your visa photo

Your photo must:

Be in portrait, not landscape

Acceptable photo - portrait.  Incorrect photo - landscape.

Be of you, not a photo of a photo or your travel document

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

Have even lighting with minimal shadowing

Acceptable photo - portrait.   

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

Be in colour, showing natural skin tones

Acceptable photo - portrait.    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

  Incorrect photo - too close to camera.  

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

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

Only contain plain clothing patterns

Acceptable photo.  Incorrect photo - Hawaiian shirt.

Be of one person

  Incorrect photo - two people.

We need to clearly see your face

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 - 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.  

Position yourself 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.      

If you 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.