Permanent resident photos
Use this guide if you are:
- applying for a permanent resident card, or
- if you are submitting an application for permanent residence in Canada.
Keep in mind:
- Check your application guide. It will tell you how many photos you require for your application.
- You must provide identical and unaltered photographs.
- Photos may be in colour or black and white.
- Photos must be original and not altered in any way or taken from an existing photograph.
- Taken by a commercial photographer.
- 50 mm wide X 70 mm high (2 inches wide x 2- 3/4 inches long) and sized so the height of the face measures between 31 mm (1- 1/4 inches) and 36 mm (1- 7/16 inches) from chin to crown of head (natural top of head).
- Clear, sharp and in focus.
- Taken with a neutral facial expression (eyes open and clearly visible, mouth closed, no smiling).
- Taken with uniform lighting and not show shadows, glare or flash reflections.
- Taken straight on, with face and shoulders centred and squared to the camera (i.e. the photographs must show the full front view of the person’s head and shoulders, showing full face centred in the middle of the photograph).
- Taken in front of a plain white background with a clear difference between your face and the background. Photos must reflect/represent natural skin tones.
- Original photos that are not altered in any way or taken from an existing photo.
What is an altered photo?
An altered photo refers to any photo that has been edited or changed in any way, by any means, and includes, but is not limited to, technical corrections or enhancements such as adjustments to colour, brightness, contrast and sharpness of the image, cropping around the subject’s head and shoulders (cutting and pasting the subject against a white background), editing of the facial features (changing size or shape of eyes, nose, mouth, ears, etc.), editing to improve the appearance of the subject (eliminating wrinkles, blemishes, birthmarks; changing hair colour; removing red-eye; removing glare, etc.), changing the background (eliminating shadows, etc.), or editing the subject’s clothing (changing colours, etc.).
- Reflect your current appearance (taken within the last six months)
- Professionally printed on plain, high quality photographic paper (photos printed at home and photos printed on heavy weight paper are not acceptable)
The back of one photo must include:
- the subject’s name and date of birth
- the name and complete address of the photography studio
- the date the photograph was taken
The photographer may use a stamp or handwrite this information. Stick-on labels are unacceptable.
- Glasses may be worn in photos as long as the eyes are clearly visible and there is no glare in the glasses.
- Sunglasses and tinted eye glasses are unacceptable.
- Photos with the red-eye effect or red eye alterations are unacceptable.
- Hats and head coverings must not be worn, unless they are worn daily for religious beliefs or medical reasons. However, your full face must be clearly visible and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.
- Your hair can be down.
- Shadows are not acceptable. Lighting must be uniform to avoid shadows across the face or shoulders, around the ears or in the background.
- Child photos must follow the same rules indicated above.
- Photos must show the child's head and shoulders only. Parent's or child's hands must not appear in the photo.
- We recognize the difficulty in obtaining a neutral expression of a newborn and will allow for some minor variations in this regard.
- For newborn babies, the photo may be taken while the child is sitting in a car seat, as long as a white blanket is placed over the seat behind the child's head. There must be no shadows on the face or shoulders, around the ears or in the background.
Your application will be rejected if your photos do not meet these specifications.
If you are in a wheelchair, we recommend that a plain white blanket placed over the wheelchair behind the applicant's head so that your facial features and the edges of your face are clearly visible.
Headwear or nasal cannula:
When required for medical reasons, you can wear headwear or a nasal cannula in your permanent resident photo – as long as your eyes remain clearly visible. We recommend that you include a signed explanation with your application. We may request that you submit a letter from your doctor.
Acceptable permanent resident photos
These photos do not represent the actual size of a permanent resident photo.
Height of face correct
Correct child pose
Unacceptable permanent resident photos
Here are a few unacceptable permanent resident photos so you know what to look for before you submit your application.
Shadow behind ears
Hands in picture
Reflection on glasses
Face not square to camera
Facial features not clearly visible
Tinted eye glasses cannot be worn
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