Meeting our photo requirements
If your photo does not meet all of our requirements we will ask you for a new photo. We cannot process your visa application until we receive an acceptable photo.
Visa photos are not passport photos
Visa photos are different to passport photos. Use the photo examples on this page to check your photo is correct and meets our requirements.
Do not use the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs website or other online tools to check your photo as those tools are for passport photos only.
Using a professional photographer
Your photo is more likely to be accepted if you use a professional photographer or business that takes passport photos. Give the photographer our instructions to make sure get a photo that meets our requirements.
Technical requirements for professional photographersPDF 453KB
The photo you submit with a paper application must be 35 mm wide and 45 mm high. Further instructions are on the paper application forms.
The photo you submit with an online application must be:
- between 500 KB and 3 MB
- between 900 x 1200 pixels and 2250 x 3000 pixels
- a JPG (or JPEG) file.
We are unlikely to accept your photo if it is not the right size.
Online photo error messages
If there is an issue with your photo you will receive an error message when you submit your visa photo online. To help you, we have provided a list of online errors and how to fix them.
Uploading a visa photo — error messages
Taking your visa photo
Your photo must:
Be in portrait (not landscape)
Be of you (not a photo of a photo or your travel document)
Have even lighting with minimal shadowing
Be in colour, showing natural skin tones
Be in focus (not blurry)
Not contain red-eye
Be an original photo (not changed by photo-editing software)
Not be a selfie
Be taken 1.5 metres from the face
Be taken against a plain, light-coloured (but not white) background with no patterns or objects
Only contain plain clothing patterns
Be of one person
We need to clearly see your face
Face the camera and keep your head straight
Keep your eyes open and mouth closed
Do not smile or frown
Show your face clearly and that long hair is tucked behind your ears
Position yourself in the middle of the photo
Remove sunglasses and hats
If you wear prescription glasses
Make sure your eyes show clearly through the lenses, with no reflected light
It may be easier to remove them.
If you wear a head covering for religious or medical reasons
Make sure that your face and hairline can be seen in the photo