General 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.

Photos must be 35mm - 40mm wide x 45mm - 50mm high

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

If you usually cover your head for religious reasons, or you wear glasses or 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.

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

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  form B11 (pdf).

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) which draw on ICAO standards.

Photo examples

Acceptable

Unacceptable

acceptable
Acceptable
unacceptable
Side on to camera
unacceptable
Hair obscuring face
acceptable
Acceptable
unacceptable
Head tilted downwards
unacceptable
Head tilted to side
acceptable
Acceptable
unacceptable
Insufficient contrast
unacceptable
Background not plain
acceptable
Acceptable
unacceptable
Background too dark
unacceptable
Head covering obscuring eyes
acceptable
Acceptable
unacceptable
Eyes not open/toy visible
unacceptable
Parent visible
acceptable
Acceptable
unacceptable
Reflection off glasses
unacceptable
Shadows on image and background
acceptable
Acceptable
unacceptable
Glasses obscuring eyes
unacceptable
Mouth open