During visa application, acceptable photos are required to apply for your visa to Canada. Therefore, before you proceed with your visa application, it is important you know the Canada visa photo requirements. Note that your visa application may be rejected if the visa application photograph specification is not met.
To help you overcome such a mistake, we have compiled all the Canada visa photo requirements at a glance.
Permanent Resident Photos Specification
Use this guide if you are applying for the following:
- applying for a permanent resident card, or
- if you are submitting an application for permanent residence in Canada.
Print the permanent resident photo requirements for yourself or your photographer (PDF, 614.24KB).
- Examine your application guide. It will inform you of the number of photos required for your application.
- You must provide photographs that are identical and unaltered.
- Color or black-and-white photographs are acceptable.
- Photos must be original, not altered in any way, and not based on another photograph.
- Photographed by a commercial photographer.
- 50 mm wide x 70 mm high (2 inches wide x 2- 3/4 inches long) and sized so that the height of the face is between 31 mm (1- 1/4 inches) and 36 mm (1- 7/16 inches) from chin to crown of the head (natural top of head).
- Clear, sharp, and focused.
- Photographed with a neutral expression (eyes open and clearly visible, mouth closed, no smiling).
- Taken with a neutral expression (eyes open and clearly visible, mouth closed, no smiling).
- Photographed in natural light with no shadows, glare, or flash reflections.
- Straight on, with the person’s head and shoulders centered and squared to the camera (i.e. the photographs must show the full front view of the person’s head and shoulders, with the full face centered in the middle of the photograph).
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- Taken in front of a plain white background with a distinct difference between your face and the background. Photos must reflect/represent natural skin tones.
- Original photographs that have not been altered in any way or derived from an existing photograph.
- Reflect your current appearance (taken within the last six months)
- Professionally printed on plain, high-quality photographic paper (photos printed at home and photos printed on heavy-weight paper are not acceptable)
What is an altered photo?
An altered photo is one that has been edited or changed in any way, by any means, and includes, but is not limited to, technical corrections or enhancements such as adjustments to the image’s color, brightness, contrast, and sharpness, cropping around the subject’s head and shoulders (cutting and pasting the subject against a white background), editing of the facial features (changing the size or shape of the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, etc.), editing to improve the asymmetry, editing to improve the (changing colors, etc.).
The back of one photo must include
- the subject’s name and date of birth
- Secondly, the name and complete address of the photography studio
- the date the photograph was taken
Note: This information may be stamped or handwritten by the photographer. Stick-on labels are not acceptable.
Extra Details – Canada Visa Photo Requirements
- Glasses may be worn in photographs as long as the eyes are clearly visible and the glasses do not glare.
- Sunglasses and tinted eyeglasses are not permitted.
- Photos with red-eye or red-eye alterations are not acceptable.
- Hats and head coverings are not permitted unless worn on a daily basis for religious or medical reasons. However, your entire face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on it.
- You may wear your hair down.
- Shadows are not permitted. To avoid shadows across the face or shoulders, around the ears, or in the background, lighting must be uniform.
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Child Photos – Canada Visa Photo Requirements
- Child photos must adhere to the same guidelines outlined above.
- Photos should only show the child’s head and shoulders. The hands of either the parent or the child must not be visible in the photograph.
- We recognize the difficulty in obtaining a newborn’s neutral expression and will allow for minor variations in this regard.
- The photo of a newborn baby can be taken while the child is sitting in a car seat, as long as a white blanket is placed over the seat behind the child’s head. There should be no shadows on the face, shoulders, ears, or in the background.
Your application will be rejected if your photos do not meet the above specifications.
Medical considerations – Canada Visa Photo Requirements
If you are in a wheelchair, we recommend that you place a plain white blanket behind your head so that your facial features and the edges of your face are clearly visible.
Headwear or Nasal Cannula
You can wear headwear or a nasal cannula in your permanent resident photo if necessary for medical reasons, as long as your eyes are clearly visible. We recommend that you submit your application with a signed explanation. We may ask you to submit a letter from your doctor.
Acceptable Permanent Resident Photos: Canada Visa Photo Requirements
The images below do not represent the actual size of a permanent resident photo.
Unacceptable Permanent Resident Photos – Canada Visa Photo Requirements
Here are some examples of unacceptable permanent resident photos so you know what to avoid before submitting your application.
Temporary Resident Visa Application Photograph Specifications
Photograph and head size specifications
For more photo examples, please see the brochure (PDF, 494 KB) (PDF, 505.82 KB).
- The face must be square to the camera with a neutral expression, not frowning or smiling, and the mouth closed.
- If the photographs do not meet the requirements, you will be required to provide new photographs before your application can be processed.
- Include two photographs of yourself with your application.
- Your photos must adhere to the guidelines outlined below. If the photographs do not meet the specifications, you will be required to provide new photographs before your application can be processed.
- Photographs must be printed on high-quality photographic paper.
- The photos must be the same and taken within the last six months. They can be black and white or colored.
- The photographs must be clear and well-defined, with a plain white or light-colored background.
- Photographs that are digital must not be altered in any way.
- Your face should be square to the camera, with a neutral expression that is neither frowning nor smiling, and your mouth closed.
- You may wear prescription glasses that are not tinted as long as your eyes are clearly visible. Check that the frame does not cover any of your eyes. Sunglasses are not permitted.
- A hairpiece or other cosmetic accessory is acceptable as long as it does not conceal your natural appearance.
- If you must wear a head covering for religious reasons, make sure your entire face is visible.
Photograph and Head Size Specifications
- A minimum frame size of 35 mm x 45 mm (1 3/8′′ x 1 3/4′′) is required.
- The photographs must include the top of the shoulders as well as the full front view of the head.
- The head size must be between 31 mm (1 1/4′′) and 36 mm (1 7/16′′) from chin to crown.
- Crown refers to the top of the head or if it is obscured by hair or a head covering, the location where the top of the head or skull would be if it could be seen.
- If the photographs do not meet the specifications, you will be required to submit new images before your application can be processed.
Photo Specifications (PDF, 494 KB) (PDF, 505.82KB)
Note: You may print this and bring it to the photographer.
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