This guide is intended to provide Schengen Visa Applications with comprehensive information for ensuring their photographs meet the E.U. specifications.

Photograph quality

The photograph must meet the following requirements:

  • were taken within the past 6-months
  • are 35–40mm in width
  • show primarily the face, head and top of shoulders; the face should comprise 70–80% of the photograph
  • are clear and sufficient resolution
  • are high quality prints with no defects, or imperfections such as marks or creases showing wear

You should also ensure that your photograph meets the following requirements:

  • you must look directly at the camera
  • your skin tones must appear natural and not altered
  • the lightness and contrast of the photo must look natural
  • the photograph must be printed on high quality paper, and at high resolution

*Digital camera photographs must printed on photo-quality paper and be printed at a high resolution or else they may be rejected.

Photograph quality guidance
Photograph quality guidance

Style and lighting

The photographs must:

  • be shot in natural colour
  • your eyes must be open and clearly visible
  • there must be no hair across your eyes
  • you must directly face the camera,
  • you must not move your head or shoulder to one angle away from the camera
  • the background lighting must be plain and natural
  • there should be no shadows or flash reflections anywhere on the photograph
Photograph style and lighting guidance
Photograph style and lighting guidance

Glasses and head covers

Glasses: your eyes must clearly be shown with no reflection off the glasses, and no tinted lenses. Use of heavy frames is discouraged as it could increase the chances of making the photo unusable.

Head coverings: are only permitted for religious reason. However, all facial features from the bottom chin to top of forehead and both edges of your face must be clearly shown.

Expression and frame

Your photographs must be of you alone. No other items or people should be in the fame. Your expression should be neutral with your mouth closed.

Glasses and head covering guidance
Glasses and head covering guidance