Passport photo guidelines

Your photo is critical to the usability and security of your passport. The facial recognition technology used in conjunction with Australian passports makes border processing more efficient and reduces the potential for identity fraud. If your photo does not meet the standards detailed below, your passport may not work at automated borders.

  • Good quality, colour gloss prints, less than six months old
  • 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 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), which is the easiest way for border systems to match you to your image. 
Acceptable passport photo dimensions - detailed description on the page

The required dimensions of the photo are 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, or you wear facial jewellery, your photo 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.

Jewellery must not obscure any part of the face, especially the area around the eyes, mouth and nose. There must be no reflection from rings or studs.

Glasses are not allowed in passport photos taken from 1 July 2018. In rare cases they may be permitted where glasses cannot be removed for medical reasons (eg severe light sensitivity or recent eye surgery). Vision impairment alone is not sufficient for medical exemption.

If glasses must be worn for medical reasons, the frames must not obscure the eyes and there must be no reflection from the lenses. A medical certificate is required. The medical certificate must:

  • be signed by a registered medical practitioner
  • state the reason why glasses cannot be removed
  • include the medical practitioner’s full name, registration number and the address and phone number of the medical practice.

For babies and children under three, a photo with an open mouth is acceptable. The photo must comply with all the other requirements above. No other person or object should be visible in the photo.

If you are submitting a full passport application, one of your two photos must be endorsed by a guarantor. An endorsement is not necessary if you are renewing your passport.

If you are unable to meet the photo requirements due to a medical condition, please explain using a medical certificate or form B11 (pdf) (78.13 KB) where appropriate.

The Australian Passport Office does not endorse particular photo outlets or providers. We recommend that you choose an experienced passport photographer. You should confirm that the photos they take meet our standards.

For further information, see Camera operator guidelines (pdf) (264 KB) which draw on ICAO standards.

Please do not attach the photos to your application form as this can damage them if not attached correctly.

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
Head covering obscuring eyes
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