Schengen Visa Photograph Requirements

Schengen Visa Photograph Requirements

When you apply for Schengen visa, you must submit two photographs.  There are very strict requirements for the photographs. They must be taken according to the specification described below. Otherwise, your application may be delayed or rejected.  The photo requirements are the same for all the Schengen countries for visa purposes.

Schengen Visa Photo Requirements

    Sample photo
  • The photographs must be taken within the last three months.
  • Both the photos must be identical.  One must be pasted on the application form, and the other photo should be submitted loose.
  • The photo size is 35 mm x 45 mm.
  • Photos must be in color. Black and white photos are not accepted.
  • The head should cover around 70-80% of the complete photo.
  • Photos should have a light background.
  • Photos must not have any stapler pin marks disfiguring the face or the background.
  • Photos must be of high quality.
  • The passport applicant must generally be photographed without any headwear. The passport authority can permit exceptions to this rule, such as for credible religious reasons.
  • There should be no uniforms depicted on the photos.
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Schengen Visa Photo Specification

Face Size

Face size
  • Minimum size of the face should be 32 mm.
  • Maximum size of the face should be 36 mm.


  • The photo must clearly show the person‘s facial features from the tip of the chin to the crown of the head, as well as the left and right sides of the face. The face must take up 70 – 80% of the photo. This corresponds to a height of 32 – 36mm. In the case of voluminous hair, it must be ensured that the head (including the hairstyle) is fully depicted without reducing the size of the face, if possible. The height of the face may not be less than 32mm. The face must be centered in the photo.

Focus and Contrast

Focus Contrast
  • The face must be sharply focused in all areas, rich in contrast, and clear.


  • The face must be evenly illuminated. Reflections or shadows on the face, as well as red eyes, must be avoided.


  • The background should be one color, bright, and in a contrasting color to the face and hair. Ideally, a neutral grey color should be used. In the case of light-colored hair, a medium-grey background is suitable whilst a light-grey background is suitable for dark hair. The background should not have any pattern.
  • The photo should only show the person to be photographed (no other persons or objects in the photo).
  • No shadows must be shown on the background.

Photo Quality

Photo Quality
  • The photo should be printed on high-quality paper with a print resolution of at least 600 dpi (especially when taken with a digital camera).
  • The photo must be neutral in color, and skin tones should appear natural.
  • The photo should have no creases or impurities.

Head Position and Facial Expression

Head position and facial expression
  • The head of the person photographed should be neither at an angle nor turned (portrait style).
  • The person‘s expression should be neutral with the mouth closed and looking directly into the camera.

Eyes and Line of Sight

Eyes and Line of Sight
  • The person in the photo must look directly into the camera.
  • The eyes must be open and clearly visible and may not be covered by hair or spectacle frames.

Persons Wearing Glasses

Person wearing glasses
  • The eyes must be clearly recognizable (reflections from glasses, tinted glasses, or sunglasses are not permitted).
  • The edge of glasses or the frame may not cover the eyes.


  • Generally speaking, headwear is not permitted. Exceptions are possible, especially for religious reasons.
  • In such cases, the face must be visible from the lower tip of the chin to the forehead.
  • No shadows should be visible on the face.

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