Ensuring Passport Sized Photographs are Valid

Usually, for applications to be valid, it is normal to provide passport size photographs.

Most types of applications require two identical passport-size photographs of each applicant with their full name written on the back of each one.

Depending on the type of application, the photographs may need to be certified by another party. You may use our commissioner services for this certification, if required.

For ease of administration, please ensure that they are placed in a small sealed envelope attached to the form and without any staples, clips, pins or anything else which could mark or damaging the photographs.

Passport Photographs Format Requirements

The format requirements below meet internationally agreed standards. If the photographs are not in this format, they will usually be rejected.

The photographs must be:

The requirements listed above are mandatory for some applications – see introduction.

The photographs must also:


Not Acceptable


Photographs of children aged six and over must meet the full format requirements set out in this guidance.

Photographs of children aged five and under must show a clear image that is a true likeness of the child. As young children can be difficult to photograph, children aged five and under do not need to have a neutral expression or to look directly at the camera, but they must face forward and meet all other format requirements.

In addition, babies under one year old do not need to have their eyes open even though this is preferable. All other requirements must be met. If the baby’s head needs to be supported, the supporting hand must not be in the picture.

If there are difficulties in meeting these conditions, you should use a photographer instead of a photo booth.

If a professional photographer is used, please ensure that they are aware of the format requirements specified in this guidance, particularly that the photographs will not show a white background when printed.

Please note that it is your responsibility to provide acceptable photographs in the format specified in this guidance. If you do not, your application may be delayed or, in other cases, rejected as invalid.

Please also note that the photographs provided become part of official records and will usually not be returned.