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UAE passport & visa photo requirements
3 min read
Updated on May 14, 2024

Taking the right photo is important for your UAE visa or passport application.

The UAE has specific guidelines for passport and visa photos to match their facial recognition technology and biometric security measures. If your photo doesn't meet these standards, your application might be rejected.

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To help you meet these requirements, we’ve compiled a guide with all the information you need to take a compliant photo. Read on to learn how to ensure your photo is taken correctly.

Guidelines for UAE passport and visa photos

If you need a UAE passport or visa, your photo must meet these specifications:

  • Recent photo: The picture should be taken within the last six months to accurately show your current appearance.

  • Photo dimensions: The photo should be 35 mm x 40 mm for a passport application and 43 mm x 55 mm for a visa application. Your face should occupy 70-80% of the photo.

  • Quality: The photo must be in color, clear, and in sharp focus. It must also be printed on high-quality photographic paper with no ink marks or creases. The image must not be retouched or digitally altered and should clearly show your natural skin tone

  • Background: Use a plain, light-colored background for passport applications and a plain white background for visa applications with no patterns or shadows. There should be a clear contrast between your face and the background.

  • Head position: Look directly at the camera without tilting your head. Your head and shoulders should be level and centered in the frame.

  • Facial expression: You should have a neutral expression with your eyes open and visible and your mouth closed.

  • Lighting: Make sure the light is even and doesn’t cast shadows or create glare on your face or in the background.

  • Eyeglasses: If you must wear glasses, choose thin frames that don’t block your eyes. Your eyes should still be clearly visible, and there must be no glare on the lenses. Tinted lenses and sunglasses are not allowed.

  • Head coverings: Hats and head coverings are only allowed for religious reasons and should not cast a shadow on your face. Your facial features, from the top of your forehead to the bottom of your chin and the edges of your face, must still be visible.

  • Hair and clothing: Wear regular dark clothes that contrast with the white background. Your hair shouldn’t cover your eyes or hide your face. Minimal jewelry is allowed.

Taking passport & visa photos for infants and children

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Taking passport and visa photos for infants and children requires special attention. While the basic criteria for photo quality, background, and how recent the photo must be are the same as for adults, the other requirements are more adaptable to accommodate the unique challenges of photographing young children.

  • Eyes visibility: This might require timing and patience with infants, as capturing them with their eyes open isn't always easy. Glasses should only be worn if necessary for medical reasons, and there should be no reflection on the lenses.

  • Facial expression: Unlike adults, who must maintain a neutral expression, children and infants are given some flexibility. However, it's best to capture them with a relaxed expression and their mouth closed.

  • Clothing: Dress your child in simple, everyday outfits that don’t cover their face. Avoid hats and pacifiers. If a child must wear headwear for religious purposes, their face must still be fully visible​.

  • No visible support: If you need to hold the child to keep them upright, make sure that your hands or any part of your body are not showing in the photo. ​

  • Focus on the child: Do not use any props. The photo should only include the child, without other people or distractions.

Infants who can't sit or stand can be photographed from above as they lie on a plain white surface or positioned in a car seat draped with plain white cloth.

Learn what every traveler should know before visiting UAE in our trip guide.

Get support for your UAE Visa application

If you’d like to apply for a UAE Visa and need more information, you can get in touch with our customer support team. Contact them any time via WhatsApp or through the iVisa chat.

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