Guide to the Photo Size for the Malaysian Passport

Residents from any country in the world will require a passport with at least 6 months’ validity in order to enter Malaysia, accompanied by a valid visa. Residents of this country will need a passport to visit other countries.

Paperwork is extremely important when applying, and getting it right the first time round means you can be travelling very quickly. One of the most important aspects of the application is the photograph. This has to be produced exactly as per the instructions so that you can start confirming your travel plans. It is a good idea to have more photos than required so that you can use them for identification purposes on other documents.

Malaysia is a beautiful and diverse country, so get your photos exactly right for your passport (and Malaysian travel visa should you ever need one) to save any unnecessary hassle before you enjoy this stunning country. Read on to learn more!

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About the Photo Size for Malaysia Passport

Here we explain the exact details you need to know when supplying photographs for your passport. Please follow them carefully.

The ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) version of a Malaysian passport has been in existence since 2010. It was introduced to add more security measures, prevent forgery and identity theft, and to ease your passage between countries. This is known as an e-passport. The chip inside the e-passport cannot be copied or falsified in any way.

What Is the Size of the Photo for the Malaysia Passport?

Photos that are needed for an application are shown normally in centimetres – only 3 countries in the world (USA, Myanmar and Liberia) still use inches as their form of measurement.

The conversion rate for centimetres to inches is roughly 2.5cm = 1 inch. Do not worry, studios all over the world will know the exact measurements needed. Depending on how many copies you want, the cost should not be too prohibitive, so check out a few of these studios before choosing the one you want.

You do not have to use a professional photographer, but it may be wise to do so, to save making any errors.

The Malaysia passport photo size should be 35mm x 50mm and you will need 2. There should be a 10mm space above the face and also below, and it should be taken on a white background with no shadows. The dimensions of the passport photos for Malaysia must be accurate.

Other criteria for the photo for a Malaysia passport are:

  • Head and shoulders only, with a clear view of the face.
  • No coverings over the head, unless for religious purposes, such as if you wear a hijab or similar, but the face must still be clearly visible.
  • The images should be taken with face straight on and at the camera, no side views or other.
  • Eyes must be clearly visible, even if you normally wear prescription spectacles.
  • No hairstyles that cover the face, and no colouring or altering the image whatsoever, i.e., no touching up or filtering, nor altering facial appearance, and avoid ‘red eyes’.
  • Avoid flashy jewellery.
  • Dark clothing should be worn, to stand out against the white background.
  • The image must be clearly discernible as you, and no smiling or other facial movement.
  • Any freckles, spots, scars etc on the face, must not be hidden. Your skin tone should be as you normally have.
  • If you usually have a beard, this is acceptable.

It can be very difficult to take acceptable images of babies and small children! Photo booths are almost out of the equation, particularly for tiny ones who would have to sit on your lap.

Remember that a separate passport is required for each child.

Photos for babies and children have the following parameters:

  • Make sure the background is white, even if you have to use a sheet or tablecloth.
  • No, toys, dummies (pacifiers), bottles or other drinking receptacles etc. are allowed to be visible.
  • The image of the baby or child must be face-on, with a clear view of the features. Eyes must be open. The mouth must be closed, so no crying or giggling!
  • No hats or other adornments, just the top of the shoulders and face, which must take up to between 50% for the head and 60% of the image to include the shoulders.

If you go the studio route, many of the advanced ones have a special facility for holding the baby or child so that there is nothing visible, other than the child’s image.

How to Measure a Malaysia Passport Photo Size Online

You can use an online tool to measure the standard Malaysia passport photo size. If you have a clear image when they are cropped to size, these are acceptable, but the colour must be true and the image must be clear.

You can even print the image if you use photo quality paper. Not all online tools are free, so check out some costs before you go ahead – it might be more economical to get a studio to get your image and size correct.

The uploaded Malaysia passport photo size must not only be the right dimensions, but the size of the actual file you initially use must be less than 10 mb.

Once you have chosen the country you require (i.e., type in or use the drop-down for Malaysia), upload the photo, then you will be asked to select the background colour (white in most countries’ passport cases).

The crop page will open once the photo has been successfully uploaded. Make sure you use a file format that the tool accepts – usually .JPG or .JPEG.

Different tools may request other formats, but if you follow the instructions on screen, it should be easy. You can now print your photo if desired or use it as a digital image. Use the same image for the 2 copies that you will need for processing the passport. Do not forget to save your images, as they could be useful for other applications.

If you have Photoshop on your computer, you can also use this to crop photos to the correct size. If you are unsure of the technicalities, why not use the free online tool provided by the Malaysian State Travel Service (part of the government) here. Do not rely on it though, as the service can be a little spasmodic now and again.

What Is the Malaysia Passport Photo Size in Pixels?

If you are unaccustomed to new ‘technology’, one of the other things to understand as well is ‘pixels vs. resolution’. Whilst they both relate to size in one way or another, they are different.

Passport Photo Size in Pixels

A pixel refers to the tiniest possible speck that your screen can have. Your screen itself is made up of pixels which can be any colour that your computer allows (usually millions). Pixels make up fonts, images or videos on your screen, and essentially are building blocks for photographs.

The pixel photo size for Malaysia passport must be a minimum of 600 x 600 pixels, and a maximum of 1200 x 1200 (cropped to size).

Passport Photo Resolution

This refers to the size of the actual pixels themselves and needs to be correct if the image is scanned from an existing photo. The size required is 12 pixels per mm.

Using the Malaysian State office can be convenient, but remember, they do not take the photos for you – you must supply them with quality images to size.

Want to scan an existing photo?

In addition to the digital image requirements, your existing photo must be the correct size along with the other criteria, and if not, it must be cropped. The resolution should be 12 pixels per millimetre. The distance from the bottom to the top of the actual image must also remain the same as previously stated.

Use the Department of State’s free photo tool to:

  • Elect a digital image stored on your computer.
  • Resize and rotate it if necessary.
  • Save it to your computer to submit online or for printing.

You can use a smartphone, but ‘selfies’ are not allowed – get a family member or friend to take them if you don’t already have an acceptable image. Cameras that print your photo out as soon as it is taken (known as instant cameras or polaroids) are also not permissible.

You can use a tablet or a regular DSLR camera. Make sure the lighting is good, and preferably do not use a flash as it may distort the image or cause ‘red eye’.

What Is the Passport Photo Size Measurement in Inches for Malaysia?

If you still use inches in any of the 3 countries in the world that do not use metric measurements, you will need the following information:

Size: 35mm x 50mm = 1.38 x 1.97 inches. A professional bureau will take the images accordingly and, if you are worried about cropping exactly, they do everything for you.

What Is the Price of a Passport-Size Photo for Malaysia?

If you are using a photographic agency, the price varies depending on whether they take the photograph on the premises, or whether you scan it to them. You should expect to pay around 14-16 USD for a pack of 4 images.

There are places that will do them cheaper, but this price is quoted for professionally taken images, to the correct size, and supplied digitally to your email address. If you want them sent to you, this will be an extra cost.

Always check the up-to-date requirements for the country as they are not the same size for all photos for passports.

If you’d like to learn about this fascinating Southeast Asian country, check our Visit Malaysia page!