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All About the Canada Visa’s Photo Size

Canada Visa Photo Size

If you plan to spend any significant time in Canada, and certainly if you intend to work in the country, you may need a visa. Like all countries, this one ascribes to some regulations about the issuing of such a travel document.

The first step that you will need to take is ensuring that the photograph you submit meets the criteria set out by the High Commission of Canada. That means ensuring that you get one taken in the correct size. In this article, we explain how to go about it!


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Do I Need a Photo for a Canadian Visa?

Yes, all applications must include 2 identical photographs. Any application that does not include photographs will be rejected, and you’ll have to apply again.

Canada Visa Photo Requirements

If you are applying for a visa in Canada, you will want to speed up the process as much as possible. That means ensuring the photo meets all requirements on your first application.

When it comes to this process, the requirements are different from those of a Canadian passport’s photo size. Do not try to use the same set of photographs for both documents. You will need to submit separate headshots of varying sizes.

To have your visa photograph accepted, it will need to meet all of the following criteria:

  • The photo must have been taken within the last 6 months.
  • Size of 35mm by 45mm.
  • The head should be in the centre of the frame, and measure 31mm.
  • Space not taken up by the head must have a neutral background colour.
  • No smiling, grimacing or other facial expressions – keep your face neutral.
  • Eyes must be open. Spectacles are fine, as long as they are not tinted and do not create glare. Sunglasses are not permitted.
  • Headwear is only permitted if required for religious reasons. Baseball caps, beanies and other fashion-focused accessories are strictly forbidden.
  • Colour or black-and-white are both acceptable, but colour is preferred.

There is no flexibility in these regulations, so do not try to save your wallet by cutting corners! You will just need to start over again and your trip will be potentially delayed. Instead, it’s best to have your photo taken once and taken correctly.

Where Can I Get a Photo for a Canadian Visa Taken?

1. Online with Your Smartphone

Various websites will make this photo for you without the need to leave your home. Take a snapshot using the camera on your smartphone and, if all goes well, this will be adapted to meet the needs of a Canadian visa. It’s a service offered on the web, although you still may wish to go the professional route to ensure accuracy.

2. Visit a Professional Photo Shop

If you do, it is advisable to visit a professional photographer to take your headshot. This will ensure that all appropriate requirements are met. You will find this service available on most high streets.

A photography store that develops photos and sells camera equipment, for example, will typically offer you a headshot that can be used. Such a photographer will also vouch that the likeness is of you, so you may need to show them some ID.

Make sure you explain that you are applying for a Canadian visa, not a passport. As we’ve explained, these 2 documents have different criteria, and if you submit the wrong photo size your application could be delayed or rejected.

3. Use an Automated Booth

Alternatively, you could use an automated booth if you are unwilling or unable to visit a store. Check the automated settings of such a machine carefully though, ensuring you will receive the correct size and image quality.

The other thing to be mindful of is spinning the seat to the right level. This way, if you are in the correct position before you print your photos, you will get them right first time round!

Also, be aware that you will need to submit 2 identical photos for your application. With this in mind, it may be advisable to ask for 4 photos in case there is a problem with the mail service. This may cost more initially but could save you money and time in the longer term.

What Is the Visa Photo Size for Canada?

Once you have an appointment to get your photo taken, explain your needs to the photographer very clearly.

There are 2 major considerations when it comes to the photo size of a Canada visa. The dimensions need to be correct. Equally, though, you need to ensure it is of sufficiently high definition. Here are the details:

Canada Visa Photo Size in MM

The size of a photograph for this visa must measure 35mm across and 45mm high. That is 1-3/8″ across and 1-3/4″ high. Always ensure you use a professional photographer or an automated booth that can produce photographs of this size.

Also, be aware that these requirements are different from those of a Canadian passport, as mentioned previously. This document requirest a photo sized at 50mm by 70mm (2″ by 2-3/4″). If you submit this larger photograph for a visa, your application will not be accepted.

Canada Visa Photo Size in Pixels

Getting the physical dimensions of the size is only half the task! It must also be clear enough to be considered acceptable. This means meeting a minimum pixel count.

The clarity of images is measured in 2 ways – DPI (Dots Per Inch) and PPI (Pixels Per Inch). DPI is the most common measuring stick used by photographers and physical printers in North America. Computers tend to measure files in PPI.

To be deemed acceptable, your photo must be a minimum of 305 DPI. If you visit a professional photographer with experience in taking headshots for a Canadian application, they will ensure that it is of sufficient quality.

What Is the Canada Visitor Visa Photo Size?

If you do not hold a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), you will need a temporary visitor visa to enter Canada.

This applies whether you are staying in the country, simply passing through as part of a longer journey, or stopping at a Canadian airport while your plane refuels.

The photograph requirements for the Canada visitor visa are the same as the standard one. It must be sized at 35mm x 45mm and have a minimum DPI of 305.

What Is the Canada Temporary Visa Photo Size?

A temporary visa in Canada is the same photograph as the Canada visitor one. This means that the usual standards apply – you will need 2 photos, sized at 35mm x 45mm with a DPI of 305 or higher.

What Is the Canada Work Permit Visa Photo Size?

If you plan to work in Canada, you will need a work permit visa to be legally compliant. This means that you will need to submit appropriate photographs that meet the criteria. Like all aforementioned Canadian requirements, you will need to ensure the photos are 35mm wide, 45mm tall and sufficiently high definition.

What Is the Canada PR Visa Photo Size?

This is slightly different from a standard one. PR stands for Permanent Resident. People that live in Canada permanently must have a PR card if they wish to travel outside the country. This needs to be renewed every 5 years.

As mentioned, the photo size of a PR card is different from that of a standard, visitor or work permit visa. For a PR card, you will need to submit 2 passport-sized photos. Under Canadian law, that means they must measure 50mm x 70mm. These photos must be taken by a professional photographer, too – no online transactions will be accepted.

How to Check Canada Visa Photo Size

If your photograph was taken by a professional, ask them to show you confirmation that the size requirements are being met. This means measuring up the photograph and confirming it is appropriately high definition.

If you are taking a DIY approach to your photograph, you will need to be just as careful when checking the size. Measure it with a ruler and ensure it is not too large or too small. It can be tricky to check the DPI of the photo in this instance, though. This is why we recommend that you consider using a professional service.

What Happens if I Submit the Wrong Canadian Visa Photo Size?

If you submit photos of an incorrect size, your application will be delayed at best or outright rejected. Canadian Immigration takes care to ensure that the requirements are followed.

In these cases, the relevant authorities will contact you and explain the situation, asking you to submit new ones or restart your application from scratch.

This would delay your application, so it is always better to meet the necessary criteria of your photo the first time around. After all, this way you’ll ensure that your trip goes on time as planned!

Ultimately, it depends on you, whether you want to go it alone on your photos, or whether you can use a professional, who will have done many of these in their career.

We hope you’ve found this article useful! You can apply for your ETA visa for Canada on our dedicated page which, fortunately, doesn’t require you to submit a photo!

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