Digital passport photos
This page is only for applicants who we invited to participate in our online passport renewal pilot. If you haven’t been invited, check the photo requirements for a paper application.
Your passport photo must be taken
- in person by a commercial photographer
- no more than 6 months before the date you submit your application
Your photo must have
- your face and shoulders centered and squared to the camera
- a neutral facial expression
- eyes open and clearly visible
- mouth closed, no smiling
- uniform lighting
- no shadows, glare or flash reflections
- clear, sharp and in focus
- natural skin tones
- a plain white or light-coloured background with a clear difference between your face and the background.
We accept photos with
- glasses worn if your eyes are clearly visible and there is no glare on the lenses
- hair down or up
- hats and head coverings worn daily for religious beliefs or medical reasons if your full face is both clearly visible and no shadows are cast on your face
We don’t accept photos with
- sunglasses or tinted eye glasses (even when the eyes are clearly visible)
- red-eye effect or red-eye alterations
- hats and head coverings not worn daily for religious beliefs or medical reasons
Photo and photographer’s details
When you upload your photo, you must provide
- the studio or photographer’s name
- the studio or photographer’s address
- the date the photo was taken
The requirements for a digital photo are different from the requirements for a physical photo.
Digital photo specifications
Please provide the following requirements to your photographer (PDF, or share the web address) when you have your photo taken.
- Your photo must be provided in .jpeg or .jpg format
- The file must be saved directly from the original file captured by the camera and either
- uploaded to an online file sharing service
- saved on a USB flash drive or
- sent by email
- The photo may be in either colour or in black and white.
- No altering of the file is allowed.
The image must
- have a 3:2 aspect ratio with the camera oriented in portrait mode
- be at least 1800 pixels high by 1200 pixels wide
- be no larger than 4500 pixels high by 3000 pixels wide
- between 1 and 4 MB in size
- have a chin to crown (the top of your head) measurement between 45 to 50% of the photo’s height.
Examples of acceptable and unacceptable passport photos
These photos don’t represent the actual size of a passport photo. Unacceptable photos show you what to look for before you submit your application.
Tips for taking a good passport photo
- If you’re in a wheelchair
- Passport photos must be taken against a plain white background. If your wheelchair has a headrest, a plain white covering should be placed over it. This makes your facial features and the edges of your face clear against the background.
- If you have headwear or nasal cannula
- Your headwear or a nasal cannula may appear in a passport photo if worn for medical reasons. Your eyes must remain clearly visible. Include a signed explanation with your application. We may ask for a letter from your doctor.
- Why can’t I smile in my passport photo?
- The International Civil Aviation Organization recommends that passport photos be taken with a neutral expression. This lets us use facial recognition systems to help prevent fraud. They electronically verify identity based on each person's unique facial features.
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: