Schengen Visa Photo Requirements for Indian Applicants

Last Updated : 20-Dec-2023

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Getting your visa approved depends on having the right travel documents. While people usually ensure their documents meet visa requirements, they often overlook the importance of the passport photo.

Having a Schengen visa passport photo following visa application guidelines is essential. The Schengen States have specified clear requirements for these photos, and it's crucial to consider these when taking a picture for your passport or visa application.

What are the photo requirements for a Schengen visa application?

The following are the photo requirements for every short-term visa for Schengen application:

    The Schengen visa photo size should be 35 mm in width and 45 mm in height.

    Provide two identical photos, both taken within the last six months.

    Colour photos are mandatory; black and white photos are not acceptable.

    Ensure your head occupies 70-80% of the photo.

    The background should be lightly coloured—preferably white, off-white, or grey.

    Face the camera directly, with a neutral expression and keep your mouth closed.

    Avoid patterns or objects in the background.

    Clothes should contrast with the background; avoid white.

    Submitted photos should be free of marks, stains, or creases.

Schengen Visa Photo Specifications

Now, let's delve into each specific requirement. Meeting these specifications significantly enhances your chances of obtaining an approved Schengen visa. Being extra careful with your visa photo is undoubtedly worthwhile for a smoother application process.

Format For The Schengen Visa Photo

    The photo should showcase the individual's facial features from the bottom of the chin to the crown.

    The face must occupy 70-80% of the photo, with a 32-36mm height.

    The face should be centred in the photo, ensuring it is neither tilted nor turned.

    In the case of voluminous hairstyles, the entire head, including hair, must be visible without reducing the face size.

    Photos must be in sharp focus, clear, and possess proper contrast.

Facial Expressions In The Schengen Visa Photo

    Maintain a neutral facial expression with a closed mouth.

    The head should be forward-facing, ensuring that all facial features are visible without any obstruction from hair or accessories.

    Special requirements exist for babies and very young children who do not need a neutral expression or look directly at the camera.

Lighting, Focus, And Contrast In The Schengen Visa Photo

    Photos must be in sharp focus, clear, and possess proper contrast.

    The photo should have no patterns or objects against a plain white background.

    Shadows in the background are not acceptable.

    Even lighting is essential, avoiding shadows, reflections, and red eyes.

Glasses Or Head Coverings In The Schengen Visa Photo

    Glasses and Religious Head Coverings: Allowed as long as they don't obstruct a clear view of the face and eyes.

    Religious Head Covering Guidelines: These are allowed as long as the entire face, from the bottom of the chin to the forehead, is visible and the covering doesn't cast shadows on the applicant's face.

    Eyeglasses: If you wear glasses, frames should not obscure any part of the eyes; eyes must be clearly visible.

    Hats or Caps: Not permitted.

Background And Quality Of The Schengen Visa Photo

    The background should be bright, ideally a light grey or white colour, and in contrast to the face and hair.

    The background must not be patterned, and the photo should show only the person being photographed.

    The photo must be clean, undamaged, and free of creases.

Resolution of The Schengen Visa Photo

    High-quality paper with a print resolution of at least 600 dpi is required to print the photo.

    Photos must be printed at high resolution on high-quality photographic paper.

Schengen visa photo requirements for children 

Children Aged 9 and Under:

    The facial area should encompass 50-80% of the photo.

    Vertical face height should fall within the range of 22-36mm, measured from the chin to the top of the head, excluding hair.

    The Schengen visa photo size for children is identical to that for adults.

Babies and Very Young Children (Aged 5 and Under):

    Similar facial measurements apply to children aged 9 and under.

    Children aged 5 and under are exempt from the requirement of a neutral expression or looking directly at the camera.

    Their heads do not have to be centred in the photo.

    Babies under one year are not required to have their eyes open.

Tips to ensure the photo meets the Required Standards 

Let's discuss some do’s and dont’s when it comes to taking your Schengen visa photo:



    Professional Photographer: Opt for a professional photographer who is familiar with passport and visa photo requirements.


    Comply with Guidelines: Thoroughly review and adhere to the specific photo guidelines provided by the Schengen States.


    Use High-Quality Paper: Print the photo on high-quality paper with a resolution of at least 600 dpi.



    Digital Alterations: Do not digitally enhance or alter the photo after it's taken. Submit the photo in its original form. Remember to keep the photo size for the Schengen visa in mind. 


    Forgetting to Remove Accessories: Remove accessories such as earrings, necklaces, or any items that might obstruct the view of your face. The focus should be on your facial features without distractions.

Where Can I Take The Schengen Visa Photo?

In today's digital age, you can have your Schengen Visa photo taken at home with the help of a friend or family member. You can also use user-friendly tools like Atlys to crop the picture before printing. 

If you prefer a professional service, places like post offices, libraries, and local government offices offer photo services, taking care of both the capturing and printing process. Photo services in shopping centres and malls are available, though they may charge different fees.

In Summary 

In conclusion, meeting the specific requirements and the Schengen visa photo size is crucial for a successful application. These specific requirements visually represent the applicant and play a vital role in confirming their identity.

Government Sources

Atlys is strongly committed to delivering dependable information sourced directly from official government channels. We gather detailed information to meet your requirements. You can rely on Atlys, but cross-check details on official government websites for additional confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately, a black and white Schengen visa passport photo is not allowed; the photos must be in colour.

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