Compatible with Windows
10, 8, 8.1, 7, Vista, XP
Passport Photo Maker is compatible with Windows
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How to Make a Visa Photo

Make visa photos yourself

If you travel a lot, you know that a lot of countries require a visa to be allowed in. There are different sets of rules in every country that can be really frustrating, and that also applies to a visa photo if you want it to be approved and accepted by the embassy. Whether you are a regular traveler or plan your first trip abroad, you might want to know how to make a visa photo at home.

Below you’ll find all the basic rules on how to create a decent visa photo using the shots you’ve made with your camera or even a mobile phone.

Requirements For Background

Choosing a proper visa photo background is crucial for a successful application process. The key requirement is to use a one color background. For example, you can stand against a plain white or light grey wall, or hang a creamy sheet to avoid textures and patterns in your photo. You should also make sure there are no odd objects in the frame. Of course, you can later delete them on your computer but it’s better to keep any editing to a minimum. If you’re taking a visa photo of your children, do not allow any other person into the frame. The background requirements are the same for the photo of a baby or toddler.

Visa photo background examples

Prepare a plain one-color background before you take your visa photo

Image Quality

Embassies set high requirements for image quality. Your printed visa photo won’t be accepted if it is incorrectly exposed, blurred or pixelated. As a rule, a digital visa photo should be in JPEG, equal to or less than 240 kB in file size, and 600x600 pixels in dimension.

Make a visa photo of high quality

Don't submit too dark or too exposed photos with heavy shadows on your face

To get a photo of high quality, try using a natural light (such as from a window) since it helps to avoid shadows on the face and background. Switch off the flash as it increases the likelihood of red-eye and background shadows. Don’t apply any filters and don’t change color/contrast settings of your camera or smartphone. That way you won’t redeem any imperfections but will likely get rejected for an unrealistic look of your picture.

Can I Smile For a Visa Photo?

One of the most common and confusing question is “Can I smile on a visa photo?”. In fact, you can only if it looks natural. A visa photo should help embassy employees to properly identify you so say an absolute ‘no’ to toothy smiles or silly expressions. A simple and natural smile won’t make you unrecognizable but be careful: while some countries are totally OK with a smile on visa photos, the others will most likely reject your application. Check out their official guidelines beforehand.

Face expression on a visa photo

Use a natural face expression so you can be properly identified

Besides a smile, you should also consider your facial expression, head position, gaze direction, the need for glasses, etc. To take a visa photo, make a neutral, preferably non-smiling face expression. Only your head, neck and shoulders will be seen in the photo so keep your shoulders straight and don’t tilt your head to any side. Look right into the camera with both of your eyes fully open. Eyeglasses are no longer allowed in new visa photos, except in rare circumstances when eyeglasses cannot be removed for medical reasons. In this case, their frames must not cover the eyes, there must not be any glare, shadows or refraction that obscures the eyes.

Clothes and Headwear

Before hitting the shutter make sure you’ve put on casual clothes you wear on a daily basis. For women, it’s better to avoid shoulderless tops as in the cropped visa photo their shoulders will look naked. Take off a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless it’s worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows. Headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.

What clothes to wear for a visa photo

Make sure the clothes and headgear you wear do not cover your face in the photo

Edit and Print Your Visa Photo in 5 Minutes

It’s possible to make a visa size photo using Paint software but the whole editing process is getting much easier if you have a tiny yet powerful ID photo maker to serve all your needs. Passport Photo Maker will allow you to prepare and print a photo for visa in a very short time. The program features a number of useful functions, including:

  • The up-to-date database of all the popular ID types, such as Schengen visa photo, US visa photo, etc.
  • Photo size presets for the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, France, Germany, and more
  • Background & clothes replacement tool
  • Built-in image editor for instant photo enhancement
  • Integrated print templates stating the number of photos, paper type, etc.

All you need to do is select the country you're travelling to – the program will then prompt you how to make a visa photo for this country. Regular updates ensure that your photos will meet the official requirements so you won’t need to check out official websites.

Edit your visa photo in Passport Photo Maker

Here’s an example of making the American visa photo in Passport Photo Maker

Passport Photo Maker allows you to quickly yet efficiently edit your photos. You can manually crop photos or use auto face detection. The picture can be enhanced in just a few clicks: photo retouching, including red eye removal, clothes change with 100+ templates, lighting correction. The background replacement module helps to pick the suitable background. When editing is done, you can print the required number of photos or save them for later printing.

The program is an ideal solution both for home users and professional photographers. An easy to learn interface, advanced image processing, a powerful toolkit, a smart printing module – all that makes it a perfect photo tool. And what is even better – the trial version is available for free download right now. The program is available in different editions for individual users and professional photo studios.


Create and print high quality ID photos with Passport Photo Maker!


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