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Photo Requirements and Specifications for Canadian Citizenship

July 23, 2020BY Immigrationincanada

Acquiring citizenship in Canada is a dream for every family and individual. The citizenship application is designed to simplify the process for everyone to apply smoothly. However, the authority follows strict rules, regulation and requirements for the application of citizenship. One of the critical features of the citizenship application is attaching your photo with the form. There are strict specifications and requirements to follow when you submit your photo with the citizenship application form. Your photos must meet specific requirements. In this article, we will look at the detailed information of photo requirements and specifications regarding the citizenship application.

Photo Requirements for Citizenship Application

The following basic requirements must be followed while taking the pictures for the citizenship application in Canada:

  • The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Canada (IRCC) requires two (02) passport size photos for a complete submission of your citizenship application. Both photos must be identical and current.
  • These photos must be printed on a high-grade photographic paper. Do not use home printers or regular printers to print your photos. It must be done with the help of a photo lab.
  • The two (02) passport size photos can be coloured or black and white. Moreover, they must be within the last six (06) months before your application submission.
  • The photos must be genuine. There cannot be any editing or alteration.
  • The background must be plain white or any other pale background.
  • The photos cannot be blurry. They should be clear and completely visible to the naked eye.
  • The visibility will be determined perfect if the full size and shape of your head and the top of your shoulder is clearly visible. You must be facing directly to the camera with your face being exactly at the centre of the photo.
  • You must make sure not to show any expression, which means you cannot frown or smile at the camera. It also means that you must keep your mouth closed and exhibit a neutral expression. In addition, your face must be square to the camera.
  • Finally, failing to fulfil the requirements can result in rejection of the citizenship application. However, you will have scope to resubmit your photos fulfilling all requirements before the application is processed.

Precise Specifications of The Photo for The Citizenship Application

Once you fulfil the checklist of requirements, your photo needs to follow some strict specifications as well. The photo lab usually knows these specifications required to take your photo.

  • First, the photo size will have to be 50 mm × 70 mm. Converting it in inches will be 2 inches × 2 and quarter inches.
  • The photos will have to show the full front view of the face with face in the middle and just the top of the shoulders.
  • The size of the head is specific, as well. It should be between 31 mm to 36 mm from chin to crown. The crown is the top of your head, which means the skull if the hair is removed.
  • According to the IRCC, if you wear glasses regularly, you can wear glass in your photos as well. However, these glasses must be non-tinted prescription glasses, where the frames do not cover any portion of your eyes. Additionally, this also means that you cannot wear any sunglasses.
  • You may also wear ear accessories, but make sure your ears are clearly visible and not hidden by the piece of jewellery.
  • Your head can be covered for religious reasons, but you must make sure that your full facial features are clearly visible.

Information to Include on the Back of Your Photo

While providing your photos for citizenship application, you will need to include some information on the backside of the photo. Additionally, you must make sure that while adding the information, you do not ruin the actual picture on the front by writing too roughly. The information to be included are:

  • Name of the person in the photo
  • The address of the person in the photo
  • The postal code of the person in the photo
  • The signature of the person in the photo
  • Name of the company the photo was taken
  • The date the photo was taken

Things that Can Reject Your Photo

Along with all the specifications and requirements, there are other things that an applicant must be followed. Failing to maintain these standards will result in rejection of your photo and possibly the citizenship application.


The IRCC allows only non-tinted prescription glasses, where the frames do not cover your eyes. Anything other than that will result in rejection. You cannot wear sunglasses under any circumstances at all.


You will need to wear regular everyday clothes while taking photos. You cannot wear uniforms such as army uniform, navy uniform or any professional uniform.

Hats and headgear

You cannot wear anything on your head that covers your head and face unless it is for religious reasons. For example, you can wear a hijab that does not cover your face, but only your hair. It also means that women cannot wear a niqab while taking photos.

Covering face with hair

It is absolutely unacceptable to cover your face with anything while taking photos of the citizenship application. So, you may style your hair, but you need to ensure that hair does not fall on your face as well as does not cover your ears. Moreover, you will have to avoid wearing hair accessories like headbands, or your photos will get rejected.

The attire

Although it may not seem that important as only until your shoulder will be visible, you should pay attention to your clothing. It is advisable to wear collared shirts or t-shirts so that you look formal enough. Avoid any v-necks or tank tops as they will make you seem that you are not wearing anything at all. Sometimes, these may lead to photo rejection.

Avoid white colours

As the background of the photo must be white or anything light, you should avoid wearing any white or light colour clothes. Sometimes, white colour clothes along with the white background may make you not visible, which can lead to the authority rejecting your photos. So, wear bright colours that express your face and head appropriately.


Citizenship application is very crucial for a resident in Canada. The application must follow the rules and regulations set by the IRCC. Along with other criteria, an applicant must maintain all the required specifications and requirements while submitting his/her photo with the citizenship application. Just a minor mistake can lead to application rejection, and you might never get citizenship in the future.

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