March 15, 2023
France Visa Photo Requirements
If you want to travel to France even for short-term tourist purposes but don’t have visa-free access, you will need to obtain a French visa. Every visa application process requires its applicants to fill out an application form and attach the necessary documents, which include visa photos.
For a French visa, you need to have two identical photos of your face that meet various visa photo requirements regarding size, lighting, background, facial expression, wearing accessories, etc. If you don’t satisfy these conditions, your visa photo may not be approved. This means you won’t receive your visa either and won’t be able to enter the territory of France.
That’s why it’s so important to study the different French visa photo requirements, as any misunderstanding can become a critical mistake that prevents you from visiting your dream country. Proceed with reading to know every detail about French visa photos and what is needed to obtain such a desirable approval.
What photo size do I need for a French visa?
The France visa photo size must measure 35 mm x 45 mm with around 80% (30-36 mm) of your head covered in photos. Your head cannot be situated too close or too far away from the camera. Also, this picture must not be older than six months and represents the current condition of your face and appearance.
Head position and face expression
Your head must be present from the bottom of your chin to the top of the head and be in the center of the picture, not tilted and not favoring one side of the photo more than the other.
Your face has to look forward, and your eyes must look directly at the camera. If the image has your head turned sideways or looking over the shoulder, your visa application won’t be accepted.
You must have a neutral facial expression: you cannot smile, grin, look to the side, have an open mouth, raised eyebrows, etc.
It is also important to know that editing is forbidden – you cannot add digital makeup or change your facial features. The purpose of the photo for a visa is to show your face as it is – without any enhancements. Birthmarks, face tattoos, scars – that all must be visible.
The officials at the border control will compare the visa photo with what they see in reality. That’s why it is essential to make a photo that will represent you in your everyday life. If you look completely different, the officer may think that you are using someone else’s or a false photo. As a result, you can be entry-rejected.
It’s highly recommended to avoid any kind of accessories when taking a visa photo. You are not allowed to wear any head accessories, the only exception is if you need them for medical or religious reasons, so forget about headphones, jewelry, and other unnecessary items.
Even if you need to wear something for religious or health matters, you need to make sure that it doesn’t cover your face and that your features are clearly visible, including your chin and forehead.
In terms of glasses, you can wear only the ones with corrective glasses. You cannot wear sunglasses, glasses with tinted lenses, or glasses with thick frames. Only thin frames are allowed, provided that they do not cover your eyeballs. The color of your eyes should also be clear.
Lighting and background
The lighting for the France visa must be even: there cannot be any shadows – neither on the background nor on your face. Your features must be shown clearly, in the same way, for both sides.
The color balance of the photo must be natural and show your real skin tone. It cannot be black and white. The background should be neutral, in one color only, without any patterns or designs, light, and not contain other things. No chairs, frames, or other people – only you.
Can you take a visa photo without attending a studio?
If you don’t have spare time to spend on going to a photography studio or want to save money, you can take a photo at home using your phone. But this photo should meet all the same requirements – it must have a light one-color background, good quality, natural color balance, and show your facial features precisely. Then you should print it out on high-quality paper.
Remember to adjust your photo to the visa photo size requirements.
Are Schengen visa photo requirements the same as for a French visa?
A French visa is a Schengen visa that can be used for visiting France. This way, requirements for Schengen visa application and passport photo requirements are the same for France as well as other European Union countries. Besides supporting documents, applicants are required to provide their biometric data: fingertips and two photos.