Schengen Visa Photo Requirements

Schengen Visa Photo Requirements: Color, Background & Size

Submitting your recent photo is part of the requirement if you need to apply for a Schengen visa. The photo must meet certain specifications. Also, the member countries have additional requirements regarding color, background, size, and expressions.

If you want to travel freely within the 27 member states with just one visa, you should really be careful about one of the most important requirements.

Today, we will discuss all the requirements you need to meet to get your Schengen visa approved.

Schengen Visa Photo Size

The photograph must be a recent head-and-shoulders portrait. The size should be 3.5 cm wide by 4.5 cm high (35 mm x 45 mm). The photo resolution needs to be at least 600 dpi or higher. Your photo should occupy 70–80% of the picture frame.

Schengen Visa Requirements

Photo Background Color & Face Angle

TLDR; White and Not Busy Background!

The background of your Schengen Visa photo should always be white. No patterns or designs present on the background are allowed. So, to avoid confusion with the background, it’s advised to avoid any white dresses. The face angle should be straight.

Schengen Visa Photo Straight Face

Schengen Visa Photo Specifications

Your Schengen visa photograph must meet specific guidelines for quality and specifications:

  • Must be taken in full color
  • The photo color should be natural, with no excessive makeup, and no special effects.
  • Contrast and brightness level must remain even across the entire photo.
  • The lighting of the photo should be well-balanced.
  • Make sure there is no reflection and shadows on the image
  • No glare on the photo
  • Printed on matt photo printing paper. No Ink mark on the photo is allowed.
  • Colored lenses are not allowed.
Total coverage of the photo should be 70-80%

Sharp Focus, Blurry Photos Not Allowed

The visa photo should be of the highest quality and clarity possible. No blurriness and Pixalation in the photo are allowed.

The photo must be taken in a professional manner with a high-resolution digital camera. The photo must also show all facial features clearly and sharply, including eyes, nose, ears, mouth, chin, and forehead.

It is important to note that photos taken on mobile phones are generally not accepted as they are often blurry or low-resolution. Remember, providing clear and sharp visa photos that adhere to all applicable guidelines is essential for ensuring your Schengen visa success.

Schengen Visas Blurry Photos

Schengen Visa Photo Requirements: Head Covering

If you normally wear a hat or other head covering (eg: Niqab, Hijab) due to religious beliefs, you will need to adjust for Schengen visa photos. Your face and ears should still be clearly visible to identify you properly. Make sure no part of the face, or ears is hidden inside your coverings. It’s not allowed according to the Schengen visa photo guide.

We want to ensure that wearing a hat/religious covering is allowed, but the face should be open.

Schengen Visa Photos Head Covering

Recent Photo

It should also be taken within the past 6 months to reflect your current appearance accurately. Photographs older than 6 months may not be accepted by Schengen member states.

Can I Wear Glasses For Schengen Photo?

TLDR; Yes or No!

It depends on the type of glasses.

If you usually wear heavy glasses for vision correction, you should remove it. But basic glass that doesn’t create any glare is ok.

However, we always recommend not to wear one.


The glass might create minor glare or reflection. Also, glasses might create facial identification issues. Make sure to take off sunglasses, and other similar heavy accessories before taking your photograph as well.

Schengen Visa Photo Glass

Natural Expression

Schengen member consulates require a neutral expression in the photo. No smiling allowed. However, a slight smile will stills be accepted so long as it does not change the basic shape of the face.

No Excessive Photo Editing or Color Corrections

You can’t do any excessive photo editing or color correction for Schengen visa photos.

The photo also not be overexposed or underexposed; this means that all areas of the picture should be well-lit and visible. Darker areas such as hair, facial features, and clothing details should have well balance and clarity. Furthermore, there must not be any red-eye caused by flash lighting in the photo either.

Schengen Visa Photo Guide Pixalated


When taking a Schengen visa photograph, one must also be careful about your hairstyle. The hair should not cover any part of your face or eyes. If you have longer hair, you may need to tie up your hair so that it does not cover any facial parts.

Facial identification features such as ears or chin should clearly be visible.

Schengen Visa Hair Style

Photo For Baby Under 6 Years Old

We know how hard it is to take photos of babies for visas. The guideline above is applicable to your minor too.

The baby should be the only person visible in the photo. S/he should be looking at the camera with a neutral expression. The mouth should be closed.

Schengen Visa Baby Photos

Photo For Baby Under 6 Months Old

Babies that are under 6 months old can be photographed while they are lying down on the bed or sitting in a baby chair. The background must be one color, preferably white.

For the picture, the baby should not have anything like your hands, or pillows supporting them. It is okay if the baby’s eyes are closed or if they are looking away from the camera.

It is also okay if the baby’s mouth is open in the picture.

Final Thoughts

We have covered Schengen visa photo requirements in detail. If you have anymore questions or queries, feel free to comment below, and we will clear up all your confusions.

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