Schengen Visa Photo Requirements and Specifications


Whether you are planning a touristic, business, educational, medical, or other visit to any of the 26 Schengen states, for a non-Schengen country resident – with few exceptions, obtaining first the appropriate Schengen Visa from the Consulate or Embassy of the country of main destination is legally required.

Applying for the Schengen Visa, being a formal procedure, involves submission of your individual documents and data based on specific pre-set criteria. Amongst many other papers to attach your Schengen visa application package are also two newly made photographs of the applicant that should meet specific requirements and specifications as regards of their oldness, quality, format, and background.

What everyone must be aware of before submitting Schengen Visa photos is that they must absolutely be in a high quality form in order to make their reproduction easy – something needed when facial biometrics applies in the ID Document of the visa holder.

Following, we will provide the detailed explanation of formal requirements of Schengen Visa photographs through some illustrative photos. Knowing and meeting properly these requirements is essential, as only if in the needed format, the biometric recognition of the applicant and perfect reproduction can be authorized correctly.

Photo Illustration and their Explanation

Sample Passport Photo for Germany Visa

FORMAT

Schengen Visa Photo Requirements - Minimum allowable size

Minimum allowable size

Schengen Visa Photo Requirements - Maximum allowable size

Maximum allowable size

Illustration:

Schengen Visa Photo Requirements Illustration

Explanation:

Acceptable format involves visibly showing facial characteristics of the applicant, from the tip of the chin to the top of the head, counting both, left and right, sides of the face, while the face is positioned in the center of the photo. About 70-80% part of the photo must be filled by the applicant’s face, with an acceptable face height of 32-36 mm, not forgetting to completely show applicant’s head, including hairstyle.

FOCUS AND CONTRAST

Illustration:

Schengen Visa Photo Requirements - Focus and Contrast

Explanation:

Allowable form to show face of the applicant in the photo is being visible and sharply focused, having a strong contrast. Avoid having a photo that is too blurring, too bright or with a poor contrast.

BRIGHTNESS

Illustration:

Schengen Visa Photo Requirements - Brightness

Explanation:

The accepted brightness in the photo is when it is uniformly spread all over the face. It is crucial completely avoiding reflections, shadows, and red eyes.

BACKGROUND

Illustration:

Schengen Visa Photo Requirements - Background

Explanation:

Avoid having a colorful, patterned, or shadowed photo background, as the acceptable form is a one color, ideally neutral grey, background that is bright and gives face and hair the needed contrast.

QUALITY

Illustration:

Schengen Visa Photo Requirements - Quality

Explanation:

Be aware that photo must be printed in a high quality paper and printing resolution of at least 600 dpi, as the only accepted form. The skin tone of the applicant must be natural while the entire photo must be neutral, avoiding creases and layers.

FACIAL EXPRESSION AND HEAD POSITION

Illustration:

Schengen Visa Photo Requirements - Facial Expression and Head Position

Explanation:

Avoid keeping your head neither turned or at an angle or opening mouth. The only accepted form to pose is by keeping a neutral look with eyes focused directly on camera with a mouth closed.

EYES AND LINE OF SIGHT

Illustration:

Schengen Visa Photo Requirements - Eyes and Line of Sight

Explanation:

When you pose for the photo, ignoring to focus your eyes in the camera or closing them or putting your hair across eyes is intolerable, as the accepted way posing is by entirely looking straight into the camera, with fully open eyes and not covered by hair or else.

GLASSES

Illustration:

Schengen Visa Photo Requirements - Glasses

Explanation:

When you pose, avoid putting sunglasses, dark optical glasses, optical glasses that have frames covering your eyes, and similarly, avoid flash reflection. The only accepted photo with optical glasses on is when the applicant’s eyes are fully visible and not covered by glasses’ frame.

HEADWEAR

Illustration:

Schengen Visa Photo Requirements - Headwear

Explanation:

Avoid posing with a hat, headwear that covers your face, or having your face shadowed by headwear, as none of them are allowable. The only exception is for religious headwear, and even then, the face must be clearly visible from the lower tip of the chin to the forehead.

Source and Photo Credits: https://www.msz.gov.pl