Foreigners who apply for a visa to enter the United Arab Emirates need to have several documents supporting their application. The documents vary depending on the purpose of your visit but for every application, you must have at least one visa photo, although you usually have to submit at least two.

However, there are specific requirements for the UAE visa photo which you submit, and if you do not abide by the specifications, it could lead to your visa application being rejected.

The UAE visa photo should be taken in a professional studio and it has to be recent (no older than six months) as it should reflect your current appearance.

UAE visa photo size

The size of a UAE visa photo should be 43 mm x 55 mm. However, in some places, it states that you should submit a 2-inch x 2-inch picture, which is about 50 mm x 50 mm. As there seems to be conflicting information online as to the UAE visa photo size requirements, you should ask your sponsor to provide you with the exact specifications.

If you’re submitting an electronic copy of the picture, it should be 300 pixels in width and 369 pixels in height.

UAE visa photo specifications

In addition to the size, the visa photos you submit for the UAE visa application should adhere to the following specifications:

Background, positioning, and quality

  • The background has to be white, without any patterns
  • The picture should be colored, not black and white
  • You must be in the center
  • Your head, hair, ears, and shoulders have to be in the picture
  • Your face should take up 70% – 80% of the picture
  • The picture should be of good quality: there should be no shadows, over- or under-exposure, or glare
  • The picture must show your real skin tone
  • When printed, it should be in good quality photo paper, and there cannot be any creases or staple marks

Do not edit the picture, not even to remove imperfections, birthmarks, tattoos, or red-eye. Instead, if there are mistakes, you should re-take the picture.

Unless otherwise specified, do not sign or mark the picture in any way

Facial expression

  • You must have a neutral facial expression (mouth closed)
  • You must be staring straight ahead
  • Your head should not be tilted
  • Your eyes should be open and clearly visible

Attire

  • You should wear darker clothing so that you stand out from the white background.
  • Eyeglasses are not recommended. However, if you must wear them, then make sure they do not obscure your eyes and eyebrows (no thick rims) and that there is no glare on the glass. Tinted glasses are not
  • Headgear such as hats, headbands, and accessories are not allowed. Only headgear for religious purposes is allowed. However, make sure that your head-covering does not cover your face – the forehead, chin, and other facial features should be visible.

UAE visa photo requirements for young children

Even young children, such as infants and babies, have to submit a visa photo. The specifications for a UAE visa photo for children are as follows:

  • The child should also look straight at the camera with a neutral facial expression
  • The child should be alone in the picture. You cannot be holding them up – not even your hands should be visible.
  • Toys are also not allowed
  • If the child cannot support himself/herself, then the picture should be taken from above as they are lying down.

Dubai visa photo size

Just as with the other emirates in the UAE, the size of the required pictures for your Dubai visa application is 43 mm x 55 mm (or alternatively 2-inch x 2-inch). If you’re submitting an electronic copy of the picture, it should be 300 pixels in width and 369 pixels in height.

What other documents do I need for a UAE visa?

In addition to the UAE visa photo, when applying for a UAE visa, you also need several other documents, such as:

  • A passport, along with photocopies of the passport’s relevant pages.
    • In some cases, you may not need to submit your original passport at all. You may include photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport (or all the pages on your passport)
  • A confirmed round-trip airline ticket or an airline ticket for onward travel. If you are applying through an airline, the ticket must be from that airline.
  • Proof of accommodation, such as your hotel.
  • Proof of legal residence in your country (ie. your visa or residence permit). This only applies if you are not a citizen of the country in which you are living.
  • If you have a host:
    • Proof of your relationship to the host
    • A copy of your host’s UAE Resident Visa and/or their Emirates ID
    • Certified copy of their work contract or their salary certificate
  • Proof of previous travels
  • Any additional documents related to your purpose of travel.

See a more detailed list of UAE visa requirements here.