Passports serve as identification when you are travelling abroad. In addition to the basic information about where you live and other identifying facts, photographs are an important passport component as they are the means by which you can be identified. Each country sets its own requirements for passports and passport pictures specifically.
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United States Passports
United States citizens must include two passport photos with their application. The photographs must be identical, colour photographs that are 2-by-2 inches in size. These pictures must be printed on regular, photograph-quality paper and taken within the last six months, demonstrating what you currently look like while you are wearing normal street attire. The picture must consist of a frontal view of your full face. Your picture should be from the top of your head to at least 1 to 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of your chin.
European Union Passports
Although there is no standard European Union passport, each country sets its own rules for passport picture requirements. The European Union passports generally require "standard" photographs; these are 3.5-by-4.5 centimetres and must include a frontal view of your full face and full head. Your eyes must be open, while your face should have a natural expression (meaning your mouth should be closed).
Canada requires passport pictures to be 2-by-2.75 inches, which may be in colour or black and white, with a close-up of the head and shoulders and the face making up at least 25 per cent of the picture. The length of the face should be from the crown of the head to the chin. Specifically, the measurements must be between 31 and 36 millimetres. Canadian passport pictures must be printed on plain, high-quality photographic paper, but not heavyweight paper.
The United Kingdom and Australia have the same passport photo requirements as the European Union. Most Asian countries utilise the "standard" passport photograph size used by the European Union. China, however, requires passport photographs to be 48-by-33 millimetres and Indian passports must have photographs that are 3.5-by-3.5 centimetres. Mexican passports follow the same photograph size requirements as the United States. Brazilian passport pictures must be 7-by-5 centimetres.
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