Rules for Canadian passport photos
You must submit two (2) identical photos with each passport
Your photos must be:
- taken by a commercial photographer.
- 50 mm wide X 70 mm high (2 inches wide X 2 3/4 inches long) and sized so
the height of the face measures between 31 mm (1 1/4 inches) and 36 mm (1
7/16 inches) from chin to crown of head (natural top of head).
- clear, sharp and in focus. Photos may be in colour or in black and
- taken with a neutral facial expression (eyes open and clearly
visible, mouth closed, no smiling).
- taken with uniform lighting and not show shadows, glare
or flash reflections.
- taken straight on, with face and shoulders centered and
squared to the camera.
- taken in front of a plain white or light-coloured background with a
clear difference between your face and the background. Photos must
reflect/represent natural skin tones.
- original photos that are not altered in any way or
taken from an existing photo.
- reflect your current appearance (taken within the last 12 months).
- professionally printed on plain, high quality photographic paper (photos
printed at home and photos printed on heavy weight paper are not
The following must be included on the back of one photo:
- the name and complete address of the photo studio and the date
the photo was taken. The photographer may use a stamp or handwrite
this information. Stick-on labels are unacceptable.
guarantor clearly write: "I certify this to be a true likeness
of (applicant's name)" and sign his or her name (unless you
are applying to
renew a passport, as no guarantor is necessary for renewals).
- Glasses, including tinted prescription glasses, may be
worn in photos as long as the eyes are clearly visible and there is no glare
in the glasses. Sunglasses or photos where there is the red-eye effect are
- Hats and head coverings must not be worn, unless it is
worn daily for religious beliefs or medical reasons. However, your full face
must be clearly visible and the head covering must not cast any shadows on
- Your hair can be down.
- Shadows are not acceptable. Lighting must be uniform to
avoid shadows across the face or shoulders, around the ears or in the
- Child photos must follow the same rules indicated above.
- Photos must show the child's head and shoulders only. Parent's or
child's hands must not appear in the photo.
- Passport Canada recognizes the difficulty in obtaining a neutral
expression of a newborn and will allow for some tolerance in this regard.
- For newborn babies, the photo may 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 must be no shadows on the face or shoulders, around the
ears or in the background.
- If applying for a
one-time replacement passport for a child, you must include a photo that
has been taken within one month of the date the application is submitted.