Canadian Passport Photo Specifications
The most common reason why passport applications are rejected is because the photos do not meet the standard specifications placed. The reason why these specifications are so strictly enforced is that the passport is your primary document for international travel. It is important that the country is sure that you really are the bearer of the passport. The photo is the quickest and most efficient way to verify this.
For Canadian passports, there are several things an applicant must follow so his or her application will not be rejected. First, a passport application requires two identical photos to be submitted. The two photos must come from the same film or electronic file that captured the digital image. In other words, if the photo was captured using a digital camera, the two photos must come from the same file.
There is also a strict requirement for the size as well as the paper used for the photo. Dimension-wise, the photograph must be 50mm x 70mm in size. In inches, that translates to two inches wide and 2 ¾ inches long. In the photo itself, the length of the face must be between 31mm and 36mm. The length comprises the chin to the crown of the head.
The photo must be a close-up of both the head and shoulders. The face must cover about 65 to 75% of the photo. As for the paper, the photo must be printed on a plain, high-grade quality photographic paper, not heavy-weight paper. The photograph can either be in color or black and white.
The photo has to be taken against a plain white background. Light-colored ones are acceptable as long as the applicant’s features are clearly visible and distinguishable against them. There has to be enough contrast between the background and the applicant’s traits or their clothing; otherwise, the photo will be rejected.
For the image composition, shadows in the photo are unacceptable. If the applicant is wearing prescription glasses, there must not be any glare or reflection on them.
The same also goes with the face. The applicant must be looking straight at the camera with a neutral expression. The mouth should be closed and the applicant should not be smiling. The eyes must be clearly visible and open, so sunglasses and red-eye are not allowed. Needless to say, the photo must be sharp, clear, and in focus. Blurry photos are automatically rejected.
Head coverings like hats or caps are not allowed. The only time head coverings are allowed is if the applicant’s religious beliefs dictate it or if the applicant has a valid medical reason for doing so. In both cases, however, the edges of the face must be clearly visible and defined.
For children and babies, only the child’s head and shoulders should be visible in the photo. The parents’ hands must not appear in it. When it comes to neutral expressions, some leniency is allowed, since it is quite hard to force a neutral expression on a newborn baby. If the photo is for a child’s replacement passport, a photo of the child taken within one month of the application date should also be submitted.
The photos must be taken by a commercial photographer for the passport photos to be acceptable. The name of the studio or photographer that took the photos must be provided on the back of one of the photos. The address of the studio or photographer as well as the date when the photo was taken must be provided as well.
There must also be sufficient space for the applicant’s name, the guarantor’s signature, and the guarantor’s declaration. However, photos submitted for the Simplified Passport Renewal for Canadians need not be signed by the guarantor. For more information regarding this article, read The Guide To Canada Passport.