Schengen Visa Photo Requirements: Size & Specifications 2023

Last Updated : Jan 18, 2024

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30-Second Summary

Basic Schengen Visa Photo Requirements:

    Schengen visa photo size 2023: 35mm (width) x 45mm (height)

    Clear, high-quality photo

    Face occupies 70-80% of the picture

    Full facial visibility from chin to top of head

    Both left and right sides of the face visible

    Vertical face visibility: 32-36mm

    Face width between 27mm and 40mm to avoid rejection

    Centered face in the photo

    Entire head, including hair, must be visible

The Schengen visa picture requirements are a very important aspect of the Schengen visa application.

Getting your visa approved boils down to having all the proper travel documents. Most people will ensure that all the documents they gather meet the visa requirements. However, one particular document that travellers overlook is the passport photo.

Having a passport photo that meets the requirements for the visa application is vital. Hence, the Schengen States have gone above and beyond to state all the passport photo requirements. These requirements must be considered when taking a photo for a passport or visa application.

What Are The Schengen Visa Photo Requirements?

The European Union countries have adopted a common standard regarding visa application photos. This ensures you can follow this guide when taking a photo for any visa type in the Schengen area.

I have made a list of those requirements for you:

    You need two identical photos which are not older than six months.

    The Schengen visa photo size must have a width of 35 mm and a height of 45 mm.

    The Schengen visa photo must be in colour. Black and white photos are not allowed.

    Your head should take 70-80% of the photo.

    The photo's background should be lightly coloured, such as white, off-white, or grey.

    There should be no patterns or objects in the photo background.

    The person should be looking straight at the camera.

    The applicant's facial expression should be neutral, with a closed mouth and not laughing.

    Ensure that your clothes do not match the background.

    No parts of the uniforms should be visible in the photos.

    Submitted visa photos should not have marks, stains, or creases.

How Does The Schengen Visa Photo Look?

See the sample Schengen visa photo below to help understand the requirements easier. As you can see in the photo, it must have a plain background, and your head should be in the centre of the photo.

The photo should be bright and clear without obstructing the applicant's face. The colours should be natural on the printed photos, and the photo should accurately reproduce your skin colour.

Perfect Schengen visa photo sample

What Are The Specifications For The Schengen Visa Photo?

While taking your visa photo, you must keep several things in mind. However, it is essential to understand why you must adhere to these Schengen photo requirements.

The main reason is, that the facial biometric data is stored in Visa Information System or VIS, used by the Schengen Members collectively. Therefore, if the described requirements are not followed, the facial recognition of the applicant will not function, nor will the image be reproduced correctly in the document.

I have covered each specification and elaborated on all details below:

Format For The Schengen Visa Photo

To avoid getting your Schengen visa rejected, ensure that your passport photo matches the required specifications accurately. First, you must make sure that the photo is of high quality.

    Schengen visa photo size 2023: 35mm (width) x 45mm (height).

    Face should occupy 70-80% of the photo.

    Full facial visibility required, from chin to top of head.

    Both the left and right sides of the face must be visible.

    Vertical face visibility: 32-36mm.

    Face width between 27mm and 40mm to avoid rejection.

    Centered face in the photo.

    Entire head, including hair, must be visible.

    Photo must be clear and not reduce facial size.

Lighting, Focus, And Contrast In The Schengen Visa Photo

The lighting in the photo should be such that the applicant's face and eyes are clearly visible and sharply in focus. A blurry, too-bright, or poor-contrast photograph can get rejected.

The photo should be uniformly bright, with no dark or bright patches and no shadows should be visible. Make sure that there is no reflection and that the applicant's eyes do not appear red in the photo.

Background And Quality Of The Schengen Visa Photo

The photos must have a plain background with no visible objects and no patterns of any kind. The background should be bright, and of one color, preferably off-white or grey, and no shadows should be visible in the background.

The photo background can be in a contrasting color to the face and hair of the applicant. For instance, for light-colored hair, a medium-grey background is suitable, while a light-grey background is suitable for dark hair.

The photos must be of high quality with a minimum of 600 dpi. The natural skin tone of the applicant, as well as the photo, should have a proper color balance. The submitted Schengen visa photo should not have marks, stains, or creases.

Facial Expressions In The Schengen Visa Photo

The applicant should be looking straight into the camera's lens, and the head of the applicant should be in the center of the photo. The applicant should not tilt or turn their head while getting photographed. The applicant's eyes should be clearly visible in the photo, without hair or eyeglass frames covering them.

The person getting photographed must have their mouth closed; however, you can smile slightly in the picture.

Resolution Of The Schengen Visa Photo

High-Quality Schengen Visa Photo Guidelines:

    Resolution: Minimum 600 dpi, Maximum 1200 dpi

    Use a digital camera for optimal resolution

    Print on high-quality photo paper

    Schengen visa photo size: Width 35mm, Height 45mm

Please check out our Schengen Visa guide for more information related to the Schengen Visa.

Do Children Need To Meet Schengen Visa Photo Requirements?

Most Schengen countries have relaxed rules regarding pictures, especially for children under 9 years. However, a picture is required when you apply for any visa type for your children.

Schengen Visa Photo Requirements for Children:

    Face should occupy 50-80% of the photo

    Vertical face height: 22-36mm (chin to top of head, not including hair)

    Schengen visa photo size is the same as for adults

Children Under 5 Years Old

As mentioned earlier, the Schengen photo requirements are relaxed for children under this age. For example, unlike adults, children do not have to keep a neutral expression or look directly at the camera. In addition, their heads do not have to be centered in the photo.

Though looking directly at the camera is not required, the color of their eyes should be visible in the photo.

Babies Under 6 Months

Newborns and babies under 6 months can be photographed lying down or on a baby chair. There should be or background of one color a plain white sheet when taking a picture of the baby lying down or on a baby chair. However, ensure that no accessories used to support the baby are visible in any photographs, such as hands, toys, or baby chair.

It is not stipulated in the requirements that babies must look straight at the camera, and it is no problem if the baby's eyes are closed. It is also okay if the baby's mouth is opened in the picture.

The rest of the requirements, such as the format, distance, brightness, and background, also apply to all children's pictures. If the face measures less than 17mm or more than 40mm the photo would be rejected.

Sample of a baby's Schengen visa photo

Can I Wear Glasses Or Head Covering In The Schengen Visa Photo?

You are allowed to wear a religious head covering and eyeglasses as long as they do not obstruct a clear view of your face and eyes.

Know that you are not allowed to submit photos with head coverings such as hats or caps. Religious head covering is permitted if the entire face is visible from the bottom of the chin to the forehead. Ensure that the covering does not cast any shadow on the applicant's face.

Applicants wearing eyeglasses should remember that flash reflection off the lenses, tinted lenses, or sunglasses are not permitted. In addition, the frames of your glasses should not cover any part of the eye, and your eyes are clearly visible in the photo. Photographs with red eyes are not acceptable.

Photo of headwear for religious purposes

Where Can I Take The Schengen Visa Photo?

With advanced technology, your friend or family member can take a picture of you at home, and you can print them anywhere near you. You can even use Atlys's photo tools to crop your picture at home before printing.

Many facilities such as post offices, libraries, and local government offices will take your photos and even print them for you. In addition, photo vendors in shopping centers and malls can take your passport photo; however, they charge different fees.

How To Get A Schengen Visa?

To travel to any Schengen counter, you will have to apply for an entry visa. To learn more about the visas and how to apply, you can check out a detailed post on Schengen Visas here on Atlys.

You can obtain a visa through AtlysBlack or through the VAC outsourced by the Embassy.

I recommend AtlysBlack as this is a personal visa concierge service that offers expedited visa appointments. This also means you will have end-to-end management on every step of your application. Making a Schengen visa application easy.

All Done!

In conclusion, never underestimate the importance of complying with Schengen photo requirements. A small oversight in your photo can lead to significant complications in your travel plans. By following the guidelines provided in this comprehensive guide, you'll ensure that your Schengen Visa application process is smooth and stress-free.

Before submitting your application, double-check your photo, seek professional assistance if needed, and embark on your European adventure with confidence.

Government Sources

We gather our information directly from government authorities, guaranteeing its reliability. Complex concepts are simplified using AI for clarity, and our dedicated team meticulously verifies every detail to ensure accuracy. Be confident that the information you find here is trustworthy, as we solely rely on reputable sources.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately, you CAN NOT have a black and white Schengen visa passport photo. The photos must be in color.

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