The German Embassy or Consulate uses photographs provided by German visa applicants on biometric documents. There are German visa photo requirements. Therefore, the German officials are usually strict with the criteria for these photographs. As a result, every applicant must follow the instructions stated herein to provide an acceptable photo, and thereby avoiding unnecessary delays.
You must provide these photos when applying for any type of German visa (Work, Student, Freelance or Medical Treatment visas). Note that your application may be denied or delayed if you do not meet the German visa photo requirements.
Applicants should consider the following features when taking their photos for a German visa:
Background of the photo
Take your photo with a neutral grey background. In short, your photo must be taken with a background such that your face shows clearly in its natural state.
The print resolution for images must be at least 600dpi. Print your photo on high-quality paper. All photos must be clean, and with natural colours. However, photos can be in colour or black and white. The photo must be non-pixelated and not damaged in any way.
Placement of head and eyes
Look directly at the camera and keep your eyes open when taking a photo. Do not cover your eyes with glasses or hair. Remove and keep away all sunglasses.
Do not cover your hair when taking the photo. However, exceptions are made for individuals with a particular religion. In this case, your head must be visible for from the chin to your forehead.
It should not be dark when taking your photo. Similarly, there should not be too much light. Take your photo within a room with even lightning. Avoid red eyes, flash reflections and shadows on your face.
Your photo must not be blurred or have too much contrast. It must have a sharp focus, proper contrast and be clear.
Acceptable photo formats
Of all the German visa photo requirements, most consular officers start by checking this one. Therefore, make sure that you have this checked.
- Your face must be between the 32 – 36mm in height. That is to say, your face must occupy about 70 – 80% of the photo. If your photo measures more than 40mm or less than 27mm, then it will be rejected.
- Don’t stand too far or too close when taking a photo.
- The photo must show only one person’s face.
- There must be no objects or shadows in the photo.
Young children and babies
Children younger than 5 years have fewer restrictions. For instance, the child’s face must not have a neutral expression, and their head must not be centred. Also, the child must not be looking directly at the camera.
Similarly, children younger than 1 year must not have their eyes open in the photo. However, the child’s face must take up between 50 to 80 per cent of the photo. To clarify, the child’s face, from the top of the head down to the bottom of the chin should be between 22 and 36mm.
This German visa photo requirement is for children who are younger than 9 years.
- The child’s face must take up between 50 to 80 per cent of the photo. To clarify, the child’s face, from the top of the head down to the bottom of the chin should be between 22 and 36mm.
Your child’s photo will be rejected if the face measures less than 17mm or more than 40mm
Read about other visa requirements