Canadian Passport Photo Requirements

The two identical unaltered photographs must meet the following specifications:

  • The photos must be taken against a plain white or light-colored background so that the applicant’s features are clearly distinguishable against the background. If there is not enough contrast between the background and the traits or clothing, the photo will be rejected.
  • Shadows are unacceptable. The lighting must be uniform to avoid shadows across the face or shoulders, around the ears or in the background.
  • There must be no reflection or glare on the face or glasses.
  • Applicant must show a neutral facial expression (no smiling, mouth closed) and look straight at the camera.
  • The length of the face on the photo from chin to crown of head (natural top of head) must be between 31 mm (1¼ in.) and 36 mm (17⁄16 in.).
  • The photos must measure 50 mm X 70 mm in size (2 inches wide X 2 ¾ inches high).
  • The photos must be a close-up of the head and shoulders so that the face covers approximately 25% of the photo.
  • Eyes must be open and clearly visible. The applicant can wear glasses, including tinted prescription glasses, as long as the eyes are clearly visible and there is no glare in the glasses. Sunglasses and red eyes are unacceptable.
  • The photos must show a full head without any head covering, unless it is worn for religious beliefs or medical reasons. However, both edges of the face must be clearly visible.
  • The name of the photographer or studio, the address and the date the photo was taken (not the date the photo was printed) must be provided directly on the back of one photo (see illustration above). This information may be handwritten by the photographer. Stick-on labels are unacceptable. Sufficient space must be allowed for the name of the applicant, the signature of the guarantor and the guarantor’s declaration.
  • The photos must show a full front view of the face and
    top of the shoulders squared to the camera (the
    image of the face and shoulders must be centered in
    the photo).
  • The photos must be clear, sharp and in focus.
  • The photos must be produced from the same film or
    from the same electronic file capturing the digital image.
  • The photos must be printed on plain, high quality
    photographic paper. Heavy weight paper is unacceptable.
  • Either black and white or color photos are acceptable.
  • The photos must be originals and not taken from an existing photo.


Children

  • Photos must show the child’s head and shoulders
    only. Parent’s or child’s hands must not appear
    in the photo.
  • Passport Canada recognizes the difficulty in obtaining
    a neutral expression of a newborn and will allow for
    some tolerance in this regard.


Photographers in the U.S.

  • It is essential that you provide photos that comply
    with Passport Canada’s specifications.
  • Standard U.S. format (2 in. x 2 in.) is not acceptable for
    Canadian passport photos.

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