Author Archives: Tom Green

New Online Service Aims to Eliminate Green Card Lottery Scams

New Online Service Aims to Eliminate Green Card Lottery Scams


eGreenCardPhoto.com makes it fast, easy and free to create a compliant digital photo
for the green card lottery application.

Palo Alto, Calif. – October 20, 2009  – Every year millions of people submit their application to the Diversity Immigrant Visa program, also
known as the green card lottery – more than 13 million applied last year.
Submitting the application is free, but the process is complicated by stringent photo requirements. The applicant must  submit a digital passport photo that adheres to various specifications, such as a minimal color depth (24-bit) and resolution (150 dpi).

The complex requirements have generated a market for services offering submission to the green card lottery at a hefty price of $50-$150. In many cases, such services use misleading and illegal techniques to acquire customers (for more information, see the FTC’s Consumer Alert at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt003.shtm). The government’s forms are simple, and the application is free, but nevertheless
people have turned to these services due to the stringent photo
requirements.

eGreenCardPhoto.com is a new online service that enables anyone to create a fully compliant digital photo for the green card lottery. The service is 100% free, and is sponsored by ePassportPhoto.com, the
leader in online passport photos which has served millions of customers since 2005. By following three simple steps, eGreenCardPhoto.com makes it easy and
free for anyone to apply to the green card lottery while avoiding the green card lottery submission services, often known as green card lottery scams

What's Walgreens afraid of? (tiny ePassportPhoto.com!?)

Walgreens, you’ve lost my drugstore visits!

From a customer-oriented company always thinking about making life easier and cheaper for us, Walgreens turned into a store that censors the content of your photos

 

(Photo by http://www.futuregringo.com/)

Listen to this true story about ePassportPhoto.com and decide for yourself what you think about Walgreens:

November 2005 – “Birth of free passport photos online”

Like my other solid business, it all started from a real customer need unmet until them: I needed to renew my passport and send the application with 2 passport photos.As many have experienced, getting the best passport photo (and not the usual mug-shot) is not that easy. Definitely given that this photo will accompany you for 10 years.Plus it costs a hefty sum of money for a simple digital photo when you think about it!

A casual lunch break got me and a friend Tom thinking: why wouldn’t we make this whole process of passport photos totally online and for free for people (and make a dime or two if we can from advertising): digital cameras are all over the place, broadband is ubiquitous, and a good passport photo can only be achieved when you have the time to take a few shots of yourself at your own leisure – we felt there’s something here!

After plenty of brainstorming and decent amount of web coding we brought ePassportPhoto.com to life (back then buying a decent domain name was easy compared to today!). With zero marketing we got great positive feedback and excitement on the free offering and the way to avoid the usual passport photos rip-offs.One posting led the another: the Times Online, Popular Science, King5 Network, Lifehacker, Boing Boing, The Consumerist and tech65.org are just a few of the places that spotted how ePassportPhoto.com transforms the passport photos industry.

We did a plain 3-step simple solution for people from around the world to create passport photos for free. And yes, we started actually making some dollars from ads and premium customers of ours.

We got an enormous satisfaction – It was really heartwarming to see people from around the world in the thousands daily using our service.It was also fun acquiring the #1 spot for passport photos terms at Google!

March 2009 – The big “W” at work

Believe it or not after more than 3 years of running this service, more than 3 million people from practically every country on earth visitedePassportPhoto – did I mention how much did we spend on marketing?

Word of mouth played a significant role and here are some of the terrific feedback we’ve been getting and is captured in the recently opened Facebook page:

In addition to the free do-it-yourself option that we provide, we launched a guaranteed premium service for official passport photos.We treated all customers as good as it gets – people love us.Really.One of the premium service options is for customers to pick their passport photos – or more precisely a 4×6″ photo print bearing their passport photos – at a Walgreens store.We thought that anyone can print what they want to Walgreens photo center – right?

Well, note x a c t l y! at some point Walgreens’ radar picked up on our so called “scam”. A few emails were sent to us saying:

We have been getting passport prints from your online service, and we DO NOT print photos that are sent to our store … Customers need to come into the store to have their passport photos taken. We do not allow customers to create their own passport pictures and print them themselves…. It would be appreciated if you would no longer endorse our photofinishing services on your website

Or another example:

Walgreens is not affiliated with this scam or company and will charge your customers a second time for the cost of the passport in store because when they are sent over the internet there is a charge due in store. We will redirect all of our customers to contact this company for any issues.

Well, I read their policy and it’s amazing to see that this goliath can forbid people from printing 4×6″ photos according to its content.In any event, we definitely didn’t want to steal their customers (although that as a matter of fact they should probably give us some referral fees for driving customers to their stores)

Not so heartwarming anymore… So, heart-shattered, I wrote an email to Walgreen saying:

1. We come in peace

2. We respect Walgreen and we want to work together with your admired great company

3. Show us the right way, how can we change ePassportPhoto to be legit

Walgreens didn’t even responded back – nothing

Guys, is there anyone home? Are you people at Walgreens looking down little people’s alley?

I’ve heard of Walgreens acting like a big company but couldn’t believe it until now. Perhaps Walgreens is a place where few short minded clerks run the show with policy papers in their hands, not respecting customers anymore.

I don’t know if it’s CVS or Walgreens for you but if you ask me – Walgreens has lost my drugstore visits.

Hope you enjoy our website

– The ePassportPhoto team

Visa and Passport Photographs for Mexico

Tourism is one of Mexico’s largest industries and the country is the largest destination for travelers from South and Central America. It is also the world’s 8th most popular tourist destination and in 2006 the country received over 21 million foreign tourists. Besides the famous resorts like Acapulco and Cancun with their long golden beaches and hectic nightlife, there are a number of smaller more secluded sea side getaways for those looking for a quieter and more relaxed time.

The other famous tourist attractions are the ruins of the Maya and Inca cities which offer an awe inspiring glimpse into long dead but, for their time, very advance civilizations. Mexicans are a warm and friendly people and go out of their way to make visitors feel welcome.

The temperate climate and the unique culture – a blend of Spanish and Native American, are other reasons why the country has become one of the world’s major tourist hot spots. The best time to visit is from December to July. However, if you are going to any of the sea side resorts during the college breaks; be prepared for hordes of noisy college students enjoying their vacations there.

Mexican passport photos are of a fairly simple nature. The main requirements are:

  • The picture should be submitted in 4 copies. While 3 is the official quantity required, the authorities are known to often ask for an additional one while the application is being processed and submitting an extra one will save time.

  • The photos should be of the standard size – 3.5cms X 4.5cms

  • They should be in color and taken against a white or lightly colored background.

  • You should be looking directly at the camera. Pictures even slightly in profile have been known to be rejected.

  • Your face should fill between 70 to 80% of the photo area.

  • One important requirement is that the photos should be images captured on film and printed on photographic paper. Digital image printed out on glossy paper like you would do for photos you have taken are not accepted.


Mexican Visa photos should meet the same specifications as the passport ones. Once again it is advisable to submit and extra copy (4 in all) of your photos along with the visa application to be in the safe side.

While the specs Mexican visa and passport photos are not as highly defined as those of some other countries, be careful not the take the requirements for granted and ensure that you submit the right kind of photos.

Citizens of some countries do not require visas to enter Mexico. Before traveling to the country is makes sense to check with the Mexican Embassy nearest you as to whether or not you need a visa.

 

 


Taiwan Visa and Passport Photographs

Taiwan is an old country – the first human habitations on the island came into being 10,000 years ago. It was only in the 15th century that immigrants arrive from China and slowly took control of the land. In the early 16th century the Portuguese occupied the island and called it Formosa (Beautiful). They stayed for about a century until the Dutch forced them out and became the occupiers. They in turn were ousted from the island in the mid 17th century by forces from the mainland and the island became a part of China until after World War II when the local leaders split with the mainland Communists and set up an independent country on the island.

Most visitors to the country are content with is experiencing the high tech cities and manufacturing zones which make up about one third of the island. The natural beauty of the other two thirds has long been ignored but today, with improvements in transportation and tourist infrastructure, the hinterland, with its variety of natural beauty and wonders, is more accessible and is proving to be an increasing popular tourist attraction.

Like many countries, Taiwan has the same specifications for both passport and visa photographs.  

  • The photo should be submitted in duplicate and the size must be 2 inches X 2 inches.

  • The photo should be recent and in any case not older than six months.

  • The photos should be in color with a plain with background and you need to be looking directly at the camera.

  • Your face should be in the center of the photo and should occupy about 75% of the total picture area.

  • While normal spectacles may be worn in the photos, care should be taken that reflections from the lenses do not obscure the view of the eyes. Dark or tinted glasses should not be worn unless they are regularly used for medical reason, in which case the embassy may ask for a medical certificate to support this.

  • Hats or head gear, except for those required on grounds of religion are not allowed.


A visa application must be accompanied by your passport which should have at least six months validity remaining from the date of our entry in
to Taiwan as well as a plane of ship ticket with a confirmed departure date not later than 30 days from the date of arrival.

Before applying for a Taiwan visa, you need to ensure that you’re passport does not have the limitation “Prohibited from entering The Republic of China” stamped or endorsed on it. This kind of restriction is placed on the passports of many countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. As the visa fees are subject to change and also may vary from country to country, you should check the current fees and other requirements with the Taiwan Embassy or Representative office before submitting your application.

Swiss Passport and Visa Photos

Switzerland is a land of mountains, lakes, snow capped peaks, the world’s best watches, chocolates and cheeses, an international banking hub and one of the cleanest and well maintained countries in the world. What more is there to say? Everyone knows Switzerland and has their own reasons for going there.

The Swiss are know for their methodical and organized approach in all things. This is evident in the clear cut requirements for obtaining a visa which are:

  • A passport which should be valid for at least three months from the expiry of the Swiss visa
  • The application for completed in every respect a confirmed round trip ticket from your country of residence to Switzerland and back. If the ticket is not immediately available proof of purchase in the form of written confirmation for a travel agent or airline giving details of your itinerary is acceptable. If you are proceeding to another country after Switzerland, you may be required to show a valid visa for that country. This is best confirmed from the Swiss embassy.
  • You will have to show proof that your are financially able to make the trip. This could be either in the form of a copy of the most recent bank statement or a letter from your bank confirming your bank balance. The basis for deciding your financial viability will be that you will need at least $100 per day of your visit.
  • You will be required to submit a letter from our employer (unless you are retired) that will confirm your position in the company and your salary.

 

The requirements for both Swiss passport and visa photographs are the same. To apply for either a passport or a visa you must submit 2 photos of a 3.5cms X 4.5cms size along with your application. Your face, from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin, should measure between 29 to 35mm. In the case of children below 11 years of age, the face should be between 23 to 34 mm, measured in the same way.

The background should be either pure white or off white with no patterns, designs or external objects in the frame. If you wear glasses they should be worn in the photo but neither the frame not any reflection from the glass should obscure the eyes. Head wear is allowed if religious beliefs require it to be worn, but the head wear should not in any way cover the face or restrict identification. The photos should be less than six months old and your facial expression should be neutral. It is essential that your mouth is closed and your teeth are not visible in the photos as this will affect is applicability for use with facial recognition software.

Sweden – Passport and Visa Photos

Famous as the land of the Vikings and the home of the two great Bergmans of cinema – Ingrid and Ingmar, the Volvo and also of ABBA, Sweden is unique in that it’s long and interesting history has had little outside influences on it. Like Switzerland, it has maintained both it sovereignty and neutrality through the ages.

Sweden is a land of beautiful countryside and abundant natural wonder ranging from innumerable lakes to snow capped mountains. A variety of flora and fauna make it a great destination for the nature lover. The country is also a popular destination for business travelers who are attracted by the country’s professional work ethic and the cutting edge technologies that its companies’ are creating.

Sweden has many different types of visas and you should always contact the Swedish Embassy to ascertain which category you fall under and what type of visa you should apply for. Sweden has a liberal tourist and business visitor policy and getting a visa is not difficult. However, although the requirements may appear to be fairly simple, including those of the photos to be submitted along with your application, please make sure that the forms are completed in every respect since the Swedish policy is not to ask for additional information in the case of incomplete forms, but to reject them. If your application has been rejected once, even for the most innocuous reason, future applications will be subject to even greater scrutiny.

As with most countries, Sweden has standardized on the type photos required for both passports and visas. The photos must be in color and of the standard passport photo size, which is 3.5cms X 4.5cms. The face should occupy about 70% of the photo and you must be looking directly at the camera so that both sides of your face are visible.

The background should be light colored and should contain no shadows or objects. It is important that your expression be neutral which means that you should not have a big smile on your face and your teeth should not be visible. While regularly worn spectacles should be worn in the photo, there should be no reflection that limits the visibility of the eyes in the photo. Head gear of any kind and dark or heavily tinted glasses are not allowed. The photos must be submitted in duplicate with the applicants name clearly printed on the back of the photos in pencil.

Sweden permits citizens of many countries, epically those of the European Union, to enter the country without a visa or obtain a visa on arrival. However, since the rules on these are very strict, it is better to check with the embassy to know your eligibility and also the visa fees which vary form country to country.

Russia – Passport and Visa Requirements


For most of the 20th century Russia, or the USSR as it was then called, was a victim of its self imposed isolation and cut off from the rest of the world. Business travel was rare since foreign trade and investment was not encouraged and while there was no ban on tourists coming to the country, the visa policies and the conditions and limitations imposed on the visitor, made a trip there something only the hardiest traveler would undertake.

With the fall of communism Russia is once again open to the world and the wonders of the country are once again accessible to all who wish to go there. Russia is a huge country, straddling both Europe and Asia and if you want to see it properly, be prepared to spend at least a few weeks so that you will be able to cover the country in some detail.

Russian passport photos must meet the following specs:

  • They should be 3.5cms X 4.5cms

  • 6 copies of the photos have to be submitted with the application

  • The head must occupy approximately 75% of the total photo area

  • Photos should be recent and bear a clear resemblance to the applicant

  • Any for covering of the face, even because of traditional costume requirements is not allowed

  • If you are wearing spectacles in the photo, there should be no light reflecting off them and your eyes should be clearly visible through the lenses.


There is not much detail given about the specs for visa photos expect that they should match passport photo requirements. However to be on the safe side, please ensure that you are looking straight at the camera, if you have long hair, make sure it does not cover any part of your face, and that the background is either white or of a light color. Avoid any patterned backgrounds in your visa photos. The best way to ensure that your Russian visa photo is accepted easily, besides following the guidelines mentioned above, is to make sure they are in line with the generic visa photo specs of European countries.



 

Russia has a somewhat complicated procedure for applying for a visa. The policies are also known to be subject to frequent changes (often not formally announced) caused by changes in the international security scenario and bilateral problems with some countries. It is advisable to contact the nearest Russian Embassy or Consulate to find out what are the actual polices and restrictions prevailing at the time you are applying for your visa.



Getting a visa to visit Russia may entail answering more questions than you would have to for other European countries and it may also take longer to come through, but it is worth the effort to be able to visit the land full of ancient history, incredible beauty and friendly people.

Photos Specs for Iranian Visas and Passport


In spite of all the troubles, Iran is still a great place to visit. The people are friendly by nature and will welcome foreigners who understand their culture and are careful not to violate any of its norms.

The best and safest way to see the country is to travel in an organized tour group. Since it is a religious state with very strong orthodox Muslim beliefs, women should not travel alone in the country and even when traveling in groups should always observe the local customs like wearing modest clothes that cover their bodies and also scarves to cover their heads. There are few restrictions for men except that ties are never worn as they are considered a symbol of decadence that the authorities do not approve of. Also it may be better to avoid wearing shorts, although the climate may make that form of dress appealing.

The Iranian civilization is one of the worlds oldest and the region is thought to be the birth place of modern man. It is obviously not a place for a fun filled holiday full of restaurants and bars, but if you are looking to see where history began and visit ruins dating from the beginning of recorded time, this is the country to visit.

Iranian Embassies rarely grant passports those wishing to acquire one are usually directed to the contact the Home Department in Tehran.

However, the Photo Requirements for both Iranian passport and visas are much the same. The photos must be of 3.5cms X 4.5cms in size and be in color. The background should be white. You should be looking directly at the camera. One important point to keep in mind is that all women above the age of 9 are required to have their hair covered in the photos. However, the face should be clearly visible.

For a tourist visa you need to submit the visa application for in duplicate along with 3 photos. The application should be accompanied by your passport and a round trip ticket. The passport should be valid for a period of 6 months beyond the date of departure from Iran.

For a business visa only a single copy of the form along with one photo need be submitted. Beside the passport, valid for 6 months after your departure from Iran and the round trip ticket, you will also need to give a letter from your employer containing the full details of the purpose of your visit, the dates you will be visiting different places in the country, the names and addresses of all those who you will be meeting during your trip and the name of the hotels you will be staying at. Your employer should also certify that the company will take full responsibility for all your actions and expenses during your visit.

Photos Requirements for Singapore Visas and Passports


From a British outpost established in the 18th century to protect their colonial interests in the region to the bustling commercial hub of Asia today, Singapore has come a long way. A vibrant tourist destination for travelers from all over the world, it is famous for the multicultural traditions of its ethnic Chinese, Malay and Indian communities. Anyone who is doing business in Asia, and possibly anywhere else in the world will have a Singapore connection. Its colorful history and tourist attractions and the huge shopping opportunities make it a major tourist magnet.  While it is a free and democratic city-state, be warned that there are very harsh laws for such things at drug use. But as long as you obey the law, you can look forward to an enjoyable, safe and colorful trip.


Photo specifications for both Singaporean passports and visas are the same. The country is every exacting in its photo requirements and any deviation for the norms will mean the application, either for a passport or a visa, will be rejected.

  • The photos must be very sharp and clear. Any photos that the authorities find to be sub standard will be rejected.

  • The size must be 3.5cms X 4.5cms and be borderless

  • You must be looking directly at the camera and your eyes should be wide open.

  • The size of your face in the photos should measure between 2.5cms to 3.5cms from the top of your heard to your chin and should be in the center of the photo.

  • The top of your shoulders must be visible in the photo.

  • Photos should be taken without hats and head covering unless these are normally worn and are a religious or cultural requirement and if they do appear in the photos, your face should not in any way be obscured.

  • If you normally wear glasses, these should be worn in the photo but there should not be any flash reflection obscuring your eyes and no part of the frame should cover your eyes. Also sunglasses and tinted lenses cannot be used.

  • No other objects such as a part of a chair or decoration items should appear in the photo.

  • The background should be white unless your hair or head covering is of that color in which case the background should in a shade of light gray dark enough to make your hair or head covering clearly visible.

  • The photo should be in a matt finish and have no creases, stain or other mothers on it.

  • Two copies of the photo should accompany the visa application.

Singapore requires a great many supporting documents including proof of adequate funds to accompany the visa application. The best thing to do is to contact the nearest embassy for details. 

Photos for Finnish passports and Visas

Finland is a country of contrast, from the modern urban areas to the wild and majestic countryside. Full of forests and lakes with great winter sports opportunities, it is a leading outdoors, adventure and sporting holiday destination. It is also a place where you can experience the Midnight Sun – during the summer months the sun remains in the sky for several weeks on end making a land of continuous daylight.

Finnish Passport and Visa photo
and other specifications are among the most stringent in the world. This odes not mean that there is anything extra or unusual about them but every parameter is defined and needs to be followed if you want your application for a passport or visa to have the right kind of photos so it in not rejected. Here is what is expected of the photos:


  • While the present policy is that both black and white as well as color photos are accepted, this will change soon, so it is safer to submit only color photos

  • The photos must be less than six months old

  • The photos should be 47mm X 36mm

  • The size of your face in the photos should be between 32 and 36mm measured from the opt of the head (not including the hair) to the base of the chin.

  • The background must be plain gray with no shadows

  • The contrast must be such that the facial features are clearly discernible

  • Your head should be in the center of the photo

  • Both your head as well as your shoulders should be facing the camera

  • No portrait style photos with profiles of special effects will be accepted

  • Your expression must be neutral and you mouth closed sp that your teeth are not visible

  • Your eyes must be wide open but not unnaturally so

  • No part of your face should be covered by any headgear or hair

  • Glasses should not be worn for the photo

  • Lighting must be uniform and there should not be any dark patches or spots in the photo

  • Natural light should be used and any tints will not be acceptable

  • There should be no red eyes effect caused by the use of a flash

  • It must be printed on top quality paper and be clear with a sharp focus

  • No scratches, stains or other marks should be visible

  • Digital retouching or other modification of photos is not allowed as this will affect the viability of face recognition software.

 

Having gone through all those specs, it is still preferable to contact the Finnish Embassy and see if anything else is required and also to know what documents are required to be submitted along with our application. While visa policy for European and some other countries is fairly straight forward, in some case special supporting documents are needed.

Passport and Visa Photos for Denmark


The land of the Vikings, the seafaring race that was once feared throughout Europe is now a peaceful and tranquil land of great natural beauty and warm and friendly people. Located on the Jutland peninsula, Denmark, including the 400 islands that line the coast, is one of Europe’s smallest countries. However that does not stop it from being a favored holiday destination not just for Europeans, but for people from all over the world. The Danes are a tidy and organized people who take great pride in maintaining the natural beauty of their country which can be seen from the pristine villages that dot the landscape, the crystal clear water in the fjords, the lush vegetation on the rolling grasslands and the mountains and the long stretches of clean beaches. Of course, the cuisine, especially the Danish pastries are world famous.



Passport and visa photographs requirements for Denmark
are the same and are not complicated. However, the photo specifications must be followed very carefully. Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives visa applicants this warning – “Photos will be scanned onto the sticker and it is very important that the following requirements are met. If not the application process will be delayed until a proper photo is handed in.”

 


  • The photos must be recent and identical

  • Photos must be 45mm high and 35mm wide

  • Only color photographs are accepted. Please note that the older policy of accepting either black and white or color photos is no longer valid.

  • The background should be light and plain. Patterns or designs in the background are not acceptable. The photos must be such that when scanned the image appears clearly.

  • Your face MUST fill between 70 to 80% of the total photos area.

  • While headwear is allowed if required because of religious beliefs, the face including the cheekbones and the chin must not be covered.

  • While both printed film based photos and digital images are accepted, the minimum resolution for digital photos is 300 pixels.


Citizens of European Union countries do not require a visa to enter Denmark. People from some other countries are also exempt from requiring a visa. These include Australia, Canada, Japan and the USA. If you are a citizen of another country, you should check with the Danish Embassy nearest you to see if you are required to have a visa to enter Denmark

People from other countries who do require a visa to enter Denmark should be in possession of a passport with at least 6 month validity left and a return ticket. If you have a Schengen visa which is common for many European Union countries, this will suffice for your entry into Denmark also.

Photo Requirements for Polish Visa and Passports

The home of Pope John Paul II, Fredric Chopin and Marie Curie, Poland’s long and tumultuous history is closely linked with that of the rest of Europe. Poland has been conquered, partitioned, and subject to wars at many times in its long history. Whatever has happened, the Poles have maintained their unity and have never lost their fierce patriotic zeal. Even while under post World War II communist rule, long before other countries in the same situation tried to will their freedom, the Poles made a valiant although failed attempt when they rose up against the foreign rule in 1956.

The Polish people are famous for their friendliness, hospitality and their strong family values. Poland today is a modern country but for the tourist looking for something different, there are old villages where time seems to stand still and you are taken back hundreds of years, pastoral setting that rival those to be found anywhere else in Europe in their beauty and serenity and ancient castles and forts that take the visitor back to the more turbulent times in Poland past. Its location in the heart of Europe makes it a great place to either begin or end an exploration of the rest of the continent.

Requirements for Polish passport photographs are:


  • Three identical photos must be submitted along with the application

  • The photos must not be more than 6 months old

  • The size should be 35mm X 45mm

  • The photos should be in color and must have a light grey background

  • The size of the facial image, as measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin must be between 31 to 36mm

  • The eye line should be between 20 to 30mm from the bottom of the photo.

 

 


Visa photo requirements are somewhat different and are spelt out in more details:


  • The photos should be submitted in 3 copies

  • They must be in color
  •  The photos must be printed of high quality paper and have a bright background

  • The photos should not be more than 6 months old.

  • The person should be looking straight at the camera and both sides of the face should be clearly visible.

  • The head should occupy about 75% of the total picture surface

  • The shoulders should be visible

  • Facial coverings and hats or other headgear are not permitted in the photos

  • Hair should not cover any part of the face and the eyes should be clearly visible
  • The mouth must be shut and teeth not visible in the photosWhile there is no restriction on the wearing of glasses in the photos, it is preferable to remove them to ensure that reflections do not affect the visibility of the eyes.

  

Passport and Visa Photos for Pakistan


Pakistan, until about half a century ago, was a part of India. When India became independent, the North West part of the country became an independent state. Much like India in many ways and sharing much of the same heritage, it is a place of great charm and has many places of natural beauty. Visitors should be aware that it is an Islamic state and Islamic laws and conventions, including those on women travelling alone or how women are required to dress, apply. The unrest in neighboring Afghanistan has affected the tourist inflow to the country but the volume of business visitors has remained unaffected.

Photos for Pakistan passports and visas must meet the same criteria. While the specifications for the photos are not a demanding as some other countries, you should ensure that what you submit meets the laid down photo requirements.

The photos should be recent and never more than six months old. Two copies of the photos need to be submitted along with either the passport or visa application. Be careful of the size since it is not that used by most countries – the photos need to be of a 2 inch X 2 inch size. The size of your face in the picture, measured from the bottom of the chin to the top of the hair, should be between 1 and 1 3/8 inches in size and you need to be looking directly at the camera. The photos should be in color and have a white or near white background. You should be wearing normal clothing, as appropriate for your country, when the picture is taken and hats, scarves or other head coverings are not allowed. If your religion  or a medical condition requires you to wear a head covering, you will be asked to submit a signed affidavit stating that it is worn for religious reasons or else provide a doctor’s certificate that the head gear is a medical requirement. There is no standard format laid down for this affidavit or medical certificate so the best thing to do, if you need to submit one, is to contact the embassy and ask them for the wording and other requirements.

An unusual requirement is that while the photos have to be printed on thin paper, the paper itself must be able to withstand temperatures of up to 225 degrees F. This because the passport photos are heat fused onto the document. This does not apply to visa photos, but since some embassies prefer to stick to a single standard, it is safer to ensure that even visa photos meet this requirement.

Pakistan exempts people from certain countries from requiring a visa. On the other hand, there are restrictions on entry into the country for certain categories of people, especially if they in the case of certain nationalities if they have been found to have travelled to India within a short time of their Pakistan visit. Your best option will be to contact your nearest Pakistan Embassy or Consulate and ask them about any restriction that may apply in your case.

Passport and Visa Photos for Indonesia


Made up of over 17000 islands and stretching over 5000 miles along the equator, Indonesia is a place of great natural beauty and offers the tourist a wide variety of topographies and ecological regions, which explains why it is growing in popularity as a tourist destination. An ideal destination for the outdoor tourist, it offers miles upon miles of coral reefs that lie in clear waters, making diving and snorkeling a joy. There are thousands of miles of pristine beaches, both at the popular tourist resorts and the remote locations – ideal for the adventurous traveler. Rainforests, volcanoes and an abundance of unique wildlife, including the famed Komodo Dragon make up just some of the other attractions.

Indonesian passport photo requirements are fairly simple:

 

  •  
    6 photos of 50cms square size are to be submitted along with the passport application. Please note that some Indonesian government departments and Embassies give slightly different photo sizes. To be safe, please contact the embassy or office you are submitting the passport application to and check on the size they require.

  • The photos should be in color with a medium red background. This means that the red should not be so bright as to reflect light and affect the clarity of the picture and not so dark as to cause the details of the face to be lost in a dark background.

  • You must be looking directly at the camera

  • Your face should be in the center of the photos and occupy about 75% of the photo area

 Specifications for visa photos are more clearly defined:

  • The size should be 50cms square
  • 2 copies are to be submitted with the visa application.
  • The photos should be in color with a white background. Light shades and patterns will not be accepted.
  • The size of your face in the photos is very important. Measuring from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin, the image should be not less than 1 inch and not more that 1 and 3/8 of an inch

  • The photos should not be more than six months old

  • Your clothes should be normal daily wear. Uniforms are not acceptable in visa photos even for those whose work requires them to wear one.

  • If you normally wear a wig or hair extensions or use a visible hearing aid or other such device these should be worn in the photo. However, spectacles should not be worn.


Just because the Indonesian visa photo requirements are not too complicated, do not submit any old photos. You may find them being rejected and have to apply all over again.

The Indonesian government permits citizens from selected countries to enter Indonesia without a visa or to obtain an automatic visa on arrival. There are two types of visa – tourist and business and both have different requirements in terms of the application procedure and supporting documents required.

Indian Visa and Passport Photos

India is more than just a country. In size it occupies an entire subcontinent. Its population numbers over one billion and is second only to China. It is home to hundreds of cultures, languages and every religion known. Climatically it contains just about every environment you could ask for, from snow capped peaks to lush valleys, from the desert to the rain forest and everything in between.

India is one of the world’s oldest civilizations with a history dating back to at least 4000 BC and probably beyond that. From the prehistoric Aryans who came from the steppes of Central Europe to the Mughals from Central Asia to the British who occupied the country till it became independent in the mid 20th century, it has assimilated all the cultural influences it has received and made these influences its own.

Tourism is a major industry in the country and no matter what the tourist is looking for, they will find it here. The people are warm and friendly and Indian tradition holds hospitality as being almost a holy trait. In the last decade the economy has been growing at a very high rate and today it is one of the worlds leading economies and most experts feel that the 21st century will see both China and India emerging as super powers.

Indian visa and passport photos specs are fairly straight forward but they must be strictly adhered to or the application will be rejected. The photos must be 3.5cms X 4.5cms and in color. The background must be white. While that is about all the official visa sources have to say, please do keep the following in mind because applications have been known to be rejected for not confirming to the these factors:

  • If you are wearing glasses, please make sure that reflection from the lenses do on limit the visibility of your eyes

  • If you have long hair, ensure that it does not obscure your face.

  • It is preferable not to wear a hat or any kind of head covering in the photos.

  • You should be looking directly at the camera and both sides of your face should be visible in the photos

  • Your face should occupy about 75% of the total photo area.

 

 

There are both tourist and business visas available for visiting India. The tourist visas are fairly easy to obtain. All you need is a passport with at least six months validity left and a confirmed round trip ticket. Business visas too are easy to obtain but may require the submission of more details about the nature of the business the visit is for. India does not bar the entry of people form any country, although in the case of certain countries where there are diplomatic or security concerns, some special requirements may exist. Contacting the Indian Embassy to check on any special requirements (unlikely though it may be) and the visa fees is a good idea.

French Passport and Visa Photograph Requirements


France is one of the world’s most frequented destinations. It is one of the most popular holiday locales and offers the tourist everything from the glories of Paris to the famous wines of the Burgundy and Champagne regions, to the beaches of Nice and St. Tropez and incredible scenery in the interiors of the country. From the Loire valley to the French Alps, there is something here for everyone. And of course, the delights of French food are known throughout the world. The country is also one of the world’s largest economies and has trading ties with every corner of the planet which translates into huge volumes of business adding to the already huge tourist inflow.

French requirements for both passport and visa photographs are spelt out in detail and any deviation from these specifications will result in the passport or visa application being rejected. The following conditions must be met for both passport and visa photos:

  • The photos should be submitted in 2 copies

  • The photos should be less than six month old

  • The photos should be of a 3.5cms X 4.5cms size

  • The size of the head in the picture, measured from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin should be approximately 3cms.      That is, the face should make about 80% of the total photo area.

  • If possible, the ears should be exposed

  • Photos should be in color showing natural skin tones.

  • The background should be either white or a very light color. Anything else is not acceptable.

  • Glasses or other eyewear of any kind that affects the appearance of the person is not allowed. To be on the safe side, it is best to remove your spectacles before having your photo taken even if you normally wear them.

  • Face masks and veils, even if traditional and part of normal wear, are not permitted.

  • The photos should not have any flash reflection on the skin

  • There eyes should not appear red in color as often happens with flash photography.

  • Hair should not obscure, even partly, a clear view of the person’s eyes. 

 


 

France exempts citizens of many countries from require a visa to enter the country for short durations.


Because of increasing security concerns France is very particular that citizens applying for a passport and visitors wanting a visa should comply with all the specifications and requirements of the photographs failing which the applications will be rejected without any reference to the applicant. So please be sure that the photos you submit along with your passport or visa application for France, do not deviate in any way for the conditions mentioned above.




Belgian Passport and Visa Photo Specs





Belgium is one of Europe’s smaller countries being only 12,000 square miles in size and having a population of 10 million. The country has been a constitutional monarchy with a stable government system for nearly two hundred years, the only exception being during World War II when it was occupied by Germany. The three main official languages of the country are French, German and Dutch but English is widely understood, especially in the urban areas. The Belgians take pride in the preservation of their culture as can be seen in their museums and well maintained palaces and grand houses. Besides the many tourist attractions the country has to offer, it’s location in the heart of Europe makes it an ideal base from which to travel to the rest of the continent.

Tourism is an important industry that generates nearly 3% of the country’s GDP. The growth of the industry can be seen from the fact that from employing 2% of the working population in 1993, it is not the occupation of over 3% of the workforce.

To apply for a Belgian visa you need to submit 3 color photos with the following specifications.

 
  • The background should be white or off white only so that the facial features are easily distinguished

  • Only original photos which are clear and sharp will be accepted. Scanned images will be rejected.

  • The photos should be printed on good quality photographic paper

  • It should be 2 inches X 2 inches is size

  • The face as seen in the photos should be 1 inch as measured from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head

  • You should be looking directly at the camera with both sides of your face being visible

  • You should keep a neutral expression with your mouth fully closed

  • Hats and other forms of head coverings are not allowed unless religious or cultural requirements make it compulsory for you to wear them.
     
 




It may sound very simple, but this is what causes a lot of people to be careless and submit the wrong type of photos. Take the time to ensure that what you are submitting meets the Belgian visa photos specs

Belgian visa rules are not demanding and in most cases just a passport with at least six months validity and a confirmed return ticket are all you need to get a visa. However, different policies apply to different regions so it is better to contact the Belgian embassy to check what are the documents you need to submit along with the application. If you have  Schengen visa it is valid for entry to Belgium, unless it is a single entry visa and you have already enter another Schengen country. If you plan to use a Schengen visa, make sure that it is a multiple entry one.

Spanish passport photos

 

A trip to Spain is like a dream come true.  With it's gorgeous countrysides, Mediterranean beaches, and its art, culture, and cuisine that go back for centuries, more and more people are heading to Spain to experience this great country.

When you're planning your trip, keep in mind these specific requirements for Spanish passport photos:

  • There must be two identical photos
  • The photos much each be 30mm x 40mm
  • The head must occupy 70% of the passport photo
  • Background must be white 

It is important to note that the Spanish passport photo requirements are different  compared to those for the rest of the EU, so you may have to have a new passport photo made if you have never been there before.

To create your own Spanish passport photo online, use our photo wizard

 

Passport photos to China


 


A trip to China is a big deal. 
If you’re going there, chances are pretty good that you’ve been planning
your trip for a while.  No doubt you are
looking forward to seeing family and friends that you’ve been away from for
years.  Or, perhaps you’re going to
explore and experience
China for the very first time.  That’s why you don’t want to risk any issues
from an improperly prepared passport.

Beginning in 2007, Chinese passports are now valid for 10 years from the date of issue.  If you're planning to visit China for the 2008 Olympic Games and are not a special guest, you want to consider beginning the process for updating and applying for your passport immediately to avoid any delay.

The passport photo for China has specific requirments that you must adhere to if you will have your passport approved:

  • Photo must be 48mm x 33mm
  • The head height must be 8mm – 33mm
  • The head width must be 21mm – 24mm
  • Background may be white or light blue

 
You can create your own passport photo using the photo wizard on epassportphoto.com