Baby Photos for a Canadian Passport

Updated September 14th, 2015

Here is a helpful comment from Jacky for Canadians living in the US:

If you are from Canada living in the USA, you can always go to Walgreens, they print canadian passport photos and they stamp the back on the passport photos and date them. I live in Utah and had to get some done here.. went to few places myself but none of them would do canadian passport photos….

Now back to the original post…

So today I noticed an interesting trend in my SEO, and that was I have been getting search engine hits about baby photos for Canadian passports. So I thought I would look into it and do a favor for my neighbors to the North (figurative neighbors, since I’m from the US, but I actually live in Greece).

infant passport photo tutorial
Using positional aids can be the difference between your baby’s passport photo being accepted or denied. Make sure your photographer gets it right.

I was surprised to find that Canada is even more strict than the US because I had heard a lot about how baby passport photos were more easily accepted in Canada. But that is a thing of the past. Canada decided to make stricter requirements in an effort to hinder human trafficking, which I applaud. Thanks Canada!

On the other hand I have been reading that the requirements implemented in 2002 have left some parents frustrated after having their passport photo rejected several times. But don’t worry Canadian friends, the same tutorial I did for taking a US passport photo will assist you for your country’s requirements as well.

The main difference is that you MUST have the photos taken at a commercial photographer’s studio and provide the name and complete address of the studio, along with the date the photo was taken. I have read that many photographers have had problems keeping within the strict guidelines of these infant passport photos, so my suggestion would be to read my tutorial here for ideas about positional aids (such as rolled up towels under a white sheet), and take these suggestions with you to your local baby photographer. You can also use your hand behind the baby with a white sheet in between because the Canadian officials are said to be extremely strict about ANY part of the parent’s hand or finger showing in the photo.

Here is a run down of the requirements for a successful baby passport photo according to Canadian guidelines…

The photo must be:

-Taken by a commercial photographer (as stated above)

-50mm wide by 70 mm high and sized so the height of the face measure between 31mm and 36mm from chin to natural top of the head (your photographer should be able to deal with all of these measurements, hopefully)

-Taken with a neutral facial expression: eyes open and clearly visible, mouth closed, no smiling… it has been said they aren’t as strict about this with babies, but try your best to have a picture with these requirements.

-In focus.

-Color or black and white (both are accepted).

-Taken with uniform lighting, no shadows, glares, or flash reflections.

-Taken in front of plain white or light-colored background (I would just use white, better safe than sorry) with a clear difference between the face and background.

-Must represent natural skin tones.

-Photos may not be altered in any way, they must be originals.

-Professionally printed on plain, high quality photo paper (you are not allowed to print them at home, sorry).

On the back of the photo you must write the name and complete address of the photo and studio and the date the photo was taken. The photographer may use a stamp or handwrite the information, stick-on labels are not allowed. You (the guardian) must clearly write: “I certify this to be a true likeness of (applicants name)” and sign his or her name.

So there you go, I hope that was of some help and good luck taking pictures, remember to have the photographer take a bunch because you need at least one that follows all of these extensive requirements.

Happy travels!


(information for this article was gathered from this site and this site)

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