Photo guidelines

We only issue passports with high-quality photos that meet international standards for biometric matching. This helps protect you against identity fraud. It also helps you to cross borders more easily.

This is what we require:

  • Two identical, good quality colour prints, less than six months old, produced using dye sublimation, not from an inkjet printer
  • No retouching of any kind (including removal of background, moles, wrinkles or scars)
  • Clear, focused image with no marks or 'red eye'
  • Plain white or light grey background that contrasts with your face
  • Uniform lighting (no shadows or reflections), with appropriate brightness and contrast to show natural skin tone
  • Face centred and looking at the camera straight on; not tilted in any direction
  • Hair off your face, so that the edges of your face are visible
  • Eyes open, mouth closed
  • Neutral expression (not smiling, laughing or frowning)
Acceptable passport photo dimensions - detailed description on the page

Photos have to be 35mm to 40mm wide and 45mm to 50mm high. The size of the face from chin to crown can be up to a maximum of 36mm, with a minimum of 32mm.

If you usually cover your head for religious reasons, and if you wear the covering when you cross international borders, then you can wear the covering in your passport photo.

Religious head coverings have to be plain-coloured, not be patterned, and be worn in a way that shows your face from the bottom of the chin to the top of the forehead.  The edges of your face on either side also have to be visible.

Jewellery can’t obscure any part of your face, especially the area around your eyes, mouth and nose. There can’t be any reflection from rings or studs.

If you have to wear glasses for medical reasons, the frames can’t obscure your eyes and there can’t be any reflection from the lenses. You’ll have to show us a medical certificate that:

  • says why you can’t remove your glasses
  • is signed by a registered medical practitioner
  • includes the medical practitioner’s full name, registration number and the address and phone number of the medical practice.

For infants (under three years of age), a photo with an open mouth is acceptable. The photo has to comply with all the other requirements above. No other person or object can be visible in the photo.

Unless you qualify for streamlined renewal, or apply online in Australia, one of your two photos will have to be endorsed by a guarantor.

If you can’t meet these photo guidelines because of a medical condition, you’ll need to show us a medical certificate or B11 form (PDF 127KB) that explains why.

We don’t recommend or endorse particular photo outlets or providers. Choose an experienced, professional passport photographer. Confirm that the photos they take meet these guidelines.

For more information, see our camera operator guidelines (PDF 306KB), which draw on standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

We’ll attach your photos to the form when you lodge it. Don’t try this yourself, as you might damage them.

Photo examples

Acceptable Unacceptable
An example of an acceptable passport photo
Acceptable
An example of a passport photo where the subject is turned too far to the side
Side on to camera
An example of a passport photo where the subject's hair is obscuring a portion of their face
Hair obscuring face
An example of an acceptable passport photo
Acceptable
An example of a passport photo that has insufficient contrast between the subject and the background
Insufficient contrast
An example of a passport photo that doesn't have a plain background
Background not plain
An example of an acceptable passport photo
Acceptable
An example of a passport photo where the background is too dark
Background too dark
An example of a passport photo where the subject has a head covering that is obscuring their eyes
Eyes/edges of face obscured
An example of an acceptable passport photo
Acceptable
An example of a passport photo where the subject's eyes are not open. There is also a toy visible in the photo
Eyes not open/toy visible
An example of a passport photo of a child where a parent is also visible in the photo
Parent visible
An example of an acceptable passport photo
Acceptable
An example of a passport photo where there is a reflection off the subject's glasses, which is obscuring their eyes
No glasses
An example of a passport photo where there are shadows on the subject and background
Shadows on image and background