If you are applying for a United Kingdom passport, you will need to have your photo taken as part of your application. When you have your passport photo taken, you will need to be mindful of the UK passport photo requirements, which have certain UK passport photo specifications. Today’s blog will therefore provide an overview of the passport photo requirements to the UK. Learn about the rules for UK passport photos (including the correct photo size for a UK passport), and the common mistakes for UK passport photo. 

UK Passport Photo Requirements

  • The UK passport photo specifications (which apply equally to the rules regarding the United Kingdom Passport photos) are as follows:
    • Applicants who are lodging a physical application for a UK passport (versus an online application) will need to submit two photos in printed form. 
    • Applicants who are lodging an online application for a UK passport (versus a paper application) will need to submit a single (non-physical) photo. 
  • Please note that the UK passport photo requirements for physical vs digital photos are different. For example, if you are submitting a physical photo for your application, you will need two copies of that photo (versus just one if you are applying using a digital photo). Digital photos should adhere to the following dimensions: maximum of 10MB and minimum of 50KB (750h pixels by 600w).
  • Please note that the UK passport photo size and passport dimensions are the same for both digital and physical photos. The photo size for a UK passport is 35 millimeters long and 45 millimeters high (with a required head size of maximum 34mm and minimum 29 mm high from head top to chin). Please note that applicants are not allowed to submit pictures which have been altered from a larger size. What this means is that the original photo must meet the prescribed UK passport size passport requirements (it cannot simply be cropped to meet the acceptable standards). 
  • Face forward in your photo.
  • Avoid wearing any objects or fabric which obscure your face (please note that an exception is made for religious coverings).

The common mistakes for a UK passport photo

  • Even though the rules for UK passport photos are pretty clear, applicants for UK passports tend to make similar mistakes, which are easily avoidable. Try to avoid the following mistakes when submitting a photo for a UK passport: 
    • Submitting a blurry photo (photos must not be blurry or unclear).
    • Submitting a photo that is taken against a colorful/printed backdrop (all photos must have been taken against a basic white wall).
    • Submitting a photo that has a watermark (or other blemish) on either the back or front.
    • Having “red eye” in a photo (the photos must show your natural eye color).
    • Submitting an old photo (please note that you can only submit recent photos (i.e. those shot a month prior to your passport application).
    • Submitting a photo that has individuals/objects other than yourself within the frame.
    • Wearing sunglasses (or glasses in a photo).
    • Having your face obscured in a photo (either by your hair or by another garment).

UK passport photo requirements for children

  • The UK passport photo requirements for children are relatively the same as those for adults. 
  • Children must be the sole subject in UK passport photos (please avoid having toys in the frame).
  • While infants and toddlers (i.e. those who are age six years or fewer) can avoid having to look directly at the camera, children older than six must look directly into it in order for the photo to be valid (to be clear, infants who are not yet a year old may have their eyes closed in a photo).
  • The UK passport photo size for children is the same as those for adults (35 millimeters long and 45 millimeters high).
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