General photograph guidelines

Your photo is critical to the usability and security of your passport. You must provide two identical colour photos of yourself with your completed passport application. They must meet the requirements set out below to ensure that your passport is fit for purpose.

When your passport photo meets the below requirements, processing at borders becomes much more efficient, especially through SmartGate. If we were to accept a photo that does not meet our requirements, you may have difficulty at international borders. A good quality passport photo also reduces the potential for identity fraud, which protects you as you travel.

The photos you provide with your completed application must be less than six months old and must meet the following requirements:

  • Good quality, colour gloss prints
  • Clear, focused image with no marks or ‘red eye’
  • Plain, light-coloured background
  • Uniform lighting (no shadows or reflections) with appropriate brightness and contrast to show skin tone naturally
  • Face looking directly at the camera and not tilted in any direction
  • Hair off the face so that the edges of the face are visible
  • Eyes open
  • Mouth closed
  • Neutral expression (not smiling, laughing or frowning)

The required dimensions of the photograph, and the image within it, are explained in this diagram.

If you usually cover your head for religious reasons, or wear glasses or facial jewellery, your photograph can include these items.

Head coverings should be plain coloured and must be worn in such a way as to show the face from the bottom of the chin to the top of the forehead, and with the edges of the face visible.

Glasses or jewellery must not obscure any part of the face, especially the area around the eyes, mouth and nose. For this reason, photographs including glasses with thick frames or tinted lenses are not acceptable, and there must be no reflection from lenses, rings or studs.

Babies and young children must be awake and have their eyes open in passport photographs. No other people or objects are allowed in the photo. The background colour must be uniform and meet the colour requirements.

If you are submitting a full passport application, one of your two photographs must be endorsed by a guarantor. An endorsement is not necessary if you meet the requirement for the streamlined passport renewal process.

If you are unable to meet the photo requirements due to a medical condition, please provide an explanation in the following form.

The Australian Passport Office does not endorse particular photo outlets or providers. We recommend that you choose an experienced passport photographer, and confirm that the photos they take conform with the standards specified by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

For further information, see Camera operator guidelines which draw on ICAO standards.

Examples of acceptable passport photos

Examples of unacceptable passport photos

washed out colour


hair across eyes/face

head tilted/portrait style

flash reflection on skin

not a neutral expression

too close

too far away

flash reflection on lenses

parent's hand visible

eyes closed

shadows behind head