Passports are the internationally accepted modes of identification in the world. The reason being that passports help in building trust between countries and allowing their citizens to travel across each country. Passports are issued after thorough personal, professional, and legal verifications so that the bonafide of each person can be defined.
A photograph is the essential part of a passport and the first mode of verification of the passport holder. Most countries only allow colored photographs to be used in passports but a few others also allow black and white photographs. Also, most countries are now using Big Data to collect and save large volumes of data, such as facial patterns and fingerprints of their residents as well as foreign travelers. This collection helps in the security and scrutiny of the countries and saves international travelers from a lot of paperwork.
Passport photo verification procedures
The passport photograph is validated live against the face of the applicant. This is done by a physical confirmation while passport collection and by any other defined methods and meetings. These verification procedures slightly vary between different countries. Some offer very convenient passport confirmation services to their public while others, not so much. One common thing is that the photograph is verified by a meeting to confirm.
Image requirement for Passport Photos
While every country has its qualifications and terms for the photographs to be used in its passports, a bright and recognizable image of the passport owner must have the following basic requirements:
👉 The image should be front-facing. Photos showing profiles or taken from indirect angles are not allowed.
👉 The focus must be precise and explicit.
👉 The eyes should be open and the ears must be visible. They should not be hidden by hair. 👉 Teeth should not be visible in the photographs as this will affect the facial recognition software.
Integration of digital verification
Many countries use biometric verifications along with passports. This makes the duplication of passports a nearly impossible task. It also assists to allow computerized authentication of the passports and documentation of the passport holder’s arrivals and departures. A biometric passport integrates a remotely readable computer chip into the regular passport. This makes it work like a smart card. The smart card stores all essential information, including digital image, that is needed for a complete background check of its holder. It can be used for various other reasons as well but facial recognition and biometric verification are the most common reasons for the use of this smart passport. The facial recognition software is used to verify the identity of the person carrying the passport with a far greater degree of certainty than traditional visual comparison.
Baby Photo Requirements
Children’s photos, especially those of infants are often difficult to take. Specifications may vary from country to country, while some certain basic requirements remain the same. These include:
👉 The baby or child should be visible with the facial details clear.
👉 There should be no other objects in the photos –no toys, decorations, or other people.
👉 The full face must be visible. 👉 Both eyes should be open. This condition may be relaxed for infants but is essential in the case of older children for computerized facial recognition.
Size requirements of various countries
The basic passport photograph requirements for some countries are as follows:
👉 The United States: 2” x 2” Photos must be less than six months old. Headwear is only allowed if it is a religious requirement. The face must be completely exposed.
👉 Canada: 5cm x 7cm. Only photos on plain high-quality photographic paper are acceptable. A heavyweight paper may not be used for printing photos
👉 Mexico: 2” x 2”. Four copies to be submitted and the background must be white or very lightly colored
👉 United Kingdom: 4.5cm x 3.5cm. No “red Eye” is permitted and the photos should not have any folds or creases.
👉 Germany: 4.5cm x 3.5cm. The face and ears must be seen.
👉 France: 4.5cm x 3.5cm. Skin tones must be natural and not changed for cosmetic purposes. Wearing of spectacles in the photos is not allowed.
👉 Italy: 4.5cm x 3.5cm
👉 Spain: 4cm x 3cm
👉 ·Russia: 4.5cm x 3.5cm. The head must occupy 75% of the total photo. No light should reflect off spectacles if they are worn in the photos.
👉 Turkey: 4.5cm x 3.5cm
👉 Netherlands: 4.5cm x 3.5cm. Teeth must not be visible in the photos.
👉 Australia: 4.5cm x 3.5cm. The photo should not be more than 6 months old.
👉 China: 4.8cm x 4.3cm
👉 Japan: 4.5cm x 3.5cm
👉 India: 3.5cm x 3.5cm
👉 Singapore: 4.5cm x 3.5cm. Eyes must be wide open. The background should be white unless your hair is of that color in which case a darker background may be used to make the hair visible.
👉 Korea: 4.5cm x3.5cm
👉 Brazil: 7cm x 5cm. The ears must be visible and the face not covered. Please note that the first measurement, in all cases, is the height of the photos and the second is the width. All countries require that the photos are in color and no other person or objects be present in the photos. As can be seen, many countries are standardizing on the 4.5cm x 3.5cm size. However, due to the increased security measures in some countries, it is better to check from a reliable source and be sure that there have been no changes in the passport photo specifications before applying.
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Passport photographs can be used for many other purposes. Since they meet most requirements for driving license and identity card photographs they fit these most of the time. The only edit you may have to perform is to resize the photo. Also, most countries require the same size and specification photos both for issuing passports to their citizens and also for the issuing of visas to foreign nationals who want to visit the country.