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Information about photograph requirements to apply for a Canadian visa

One of the visa requirements for most visas that you apply to is to submit photographs of the applicant. To fulfill the Canada visa requirements, you must also submit photos of yourself.

This article will go through the details on the Canada visa photo requirements for the different types of applications.

What is a Canada Visa Photograph?

A Canada visa photograph is a small photo or set of photos of the applicant attached to the visa application. It serves to identify the person who is applying for that particular visa so the Embassy or Consulate processing it knows who they are evaluating.

For the Canada visa, you must also submit photos of yourself if you are applying. The Canadian Consulate or Embassy will look through the photos, evaluate whether they fulfill the requirements, and then go through the application.

Why do I Need to Submit a Canada Visa Photo?

If you have decided to apply for the Canada visa, then you must try to comply with all the requirements. Since you want to get the visa, you will have to go through the requirements one by one and make sure you do not make any mistakes.

If you submit all the necessary documents, but you do not attach the visa photos, then the Canadian Embassy will reject your application because of that. So, if you are serious about getting the Canadian visa, then you must definitely submit a visa photo.

Where Can You take a Canada Visa Photo?

There are many photo studios that provide visa photos. You will most likely find many in your location. You must pick one which knows how to take visa photos, so ask them questions about the requirements to see whether they know how to do it.

Additionally, the photo studio that you pick must be ready to verify in writing and with signatures that the photo they have taken is a photo of you. If they refuse to certify your identity in the photo, you must not choose that photo studio because the Canadian Embassy will not accept a photo that has not been verified by the photographer.

What are the Canada Visa Photo Requirements for Temporary Residents?

When you are applying for a Canadian visa that falls into the category of Temporary Resident, then amongst all the other documents, you must also submit visa photos.

You must provide two photographs of yourself with the visa application. If you fail to meet the requirements, then you will be required to re-submit them. If you do not re-submit your photos, then your application will be rejected, and you will have to start all over again, including paying the Canada visa fees.

The Canada Visa photos should be:

  • Printed on quality photographic paper.
  • The photos must be identical.
  • Taken within the last 6 months.
  • In color or black and white.
  • Clear and there should be no blurriness in them.
  • With a plain white or light-colored background. The background must be clear, and not have any designs.
  • Not be altered digitally.
  • The face must be in the center of the camera. It shouldn’t be too far and not too close, with the top of your shoulders showing.
  • Have a neutral face expression and with your mouth closed, neither smiling nor frowning.
  • If you wear eye-glasses, they must not be tinted and the frames must not hide your eyes.
  • You are not allowed to wear sunglasses.
  • You must not wear any hairpieces or cosmetic accessories if they disrupt your normal appearance.
  • If you wear a headscarf for religious purposes, it must not cover any feature of your face.
  • In terms of the Canada visa photo size, the frame must be at least 35 mm (millimeters) with 45 mm (1 3/8” x 1 ¾”).
  • The size of your head in the photo must be between 31 mm and 36 mm (1 ¼” and 1 7/16”) from the top of your head to your chin.

After you take the photos, you must also write information on the back of it to verify your identity. On the back of the photos you must include the following:

  • Your name (Applicant’s name).
  • The name and address of the place where the photo was taken. The photograph is also allowed to use a stamp or simply handwrite the information.
  • The photographer must write the following: “I certify this to be a true likeness of (Applicant Name)” and sign it with their name and surname.

What are the Canada Visa Photo Requirements for Permanent Residents and Citizenship Applications?

If you are applying for an Immigration visa to become a Canadian Permanent Resident or you are applying for a Canadian citizenship, then you must also submit photos. The requirements for these photos are similar to the ones for the Temporary Resident Visas, but there are a few differences.

The additional photo requirements for Permanent Canada visas are as follows:

  • Submit two identical photos if you are applying for a Permanent Visa or Citizenship.
  • You must submit one photo if you are applying for Renunciation.
  • In terms of the size of the Permanent Canada visa photo, the frame must be at least 55 mm (millimeters) with 7- mm (2” x 2 ¾”).
  • The size of your head in the photo must be between 31 mm and 36 mm (1 ¼” and 1 7/16”) from the top of your head to your chin.
  • On the back of the photo you must provide your own name.
  • The back of the photo must also have the name and address of the photo studio as a stamp or in handwriting.
  • The photographer must write “I certify this to be a true likeness of (Applicant Name)” and sign it with their name and surname.

If the photographs do not completely meet these requirements, then you will be asked to provide new ones or you application will be rejected.

What are the Canada Visa Photo Requirements for Babies and Children?

If you are applying together with an infant or a child, then they must also have their own visa photos attached to the application. The requirements for these photos are the same as the ones specified above depending on the type of visa you and your child are applying for.

The Canadian Embassies recognize that it is quite difficult to take photos of babies and children, so they will be more lenient in terms of the requirements. However, in general they expect you to comply with them. A few tips on how to get a photo of the infant or child that fulfills the requirements are as follows:

  • You can put the baby laying down or in a car seat.
  • The background must be clear or white, so it is best to put a white sheet under the infant or over the car seat.
  • If you are holding your baby in the photo, your hands must not be visible in the photos.
  • Try to have the baby’s face in the middle of the photo and with their mouth closed.

What is the Cost of a Canada Visa Photo?

Depending on the photo studio you choose, the cost of the photos will be different. You should expect to pay at least $10 to $20 for each photo at commercial photographers or choose a cheaper option which will provide bundles of photos for a similar price.

If you are applying with your dependents, such as your spouse and children, expect the photos to cost around $100 in total. It might seem expensive, but it is worth the investment so the photos will be of good quality and you will not have to re-submit them and pay twice.

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