Category Archives: International

Why do you need extra passport photos handy?

While traveling abroad, you must carry extra passport photos with you. This is because you are required to submit passport photos for a Visa or for any other application forms. If you have extra passport photos handy, you can save both- money as well as time. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep the passport photos with you while visiting any other country.

You must check the passport photo guidelines of the country you are traveling to and ensure that you follow them.  If you are really looking for an economical solution, you can get few passport photos printed using your home-printer. In case you are doubtful about the size of passport photos you should carry with you, log on to ePassportPhoto, and select country-specific dimensions to print your photos. 

If you can experiment with your passport photos by using Photoshop, you can try another interesting option. You can get your passport photos converted into business cards. This means that you can put your passport photo on a business card while including business-related information, such as name, home address, e-mail address, and your mobile phone number. You can even print these business cards at home by using inkjet photo printer.  This business card would serve two purposes. Firstly, you can give them to your business associates and they would remember you due to your passport photo. Secondly, you have a passport photo handy if you require it for getting passport, visa, company, bank or tourist passes. You can simply staple the entire card to the application or cut it out to submit along with an application form. 

If you want, you can also put your passport number on business card – without specifying that it belongs to your passport. You are required to mention your passport number to the hotel where you stay in. If you want to conceal the passport number, you can add null numbers or alphabets either at the beginning or towards the end of the passport number printed on your business card.

Passport photos in Far East, specifically Hong Kong

China is one of the major cities in the world that attracts millions of tourists from across the globe every year. The country boasts of friendly people, primeval locations, and magnificent architecture. Any visitor to the country would require a valid passport and visa. 

If you are living in China and want to get your passport made in China, you must submit the passport application to the nearest passport issuing office of your area. If the person is not physically present in the jurisdiction of Hong Kong, he or she is advised against forwarding the passport application to the Passport Office in Hong Kong. The passport photo must only be in color in 2”x2” (5 cm x 5 cm) with a white, off-white, or very-light colored background. The passport photos must not have blue color in its background.    

In case you are visiting to China, you must have a passport with no less than 6 month’s remaining validity and one blank Visa page on the passport. In addition, the person must have one completed Visa Application Form (Q1) with one black & white or color passport photo stapled or pasted on the form. If you are planning to visit the country with regard to your business, investigation, lecture, technological or cultural purpose, and short-term studies, you must also possess the invitation letter from the host company or the unit. Other than this, you must possess a letter from your company. Besides, all visitors must show proof of adequate funds to support themselves while they stay in Hong Kong.  

The United State citizens must submit 2 completed Visa Application Forms along with 2 recent passport size photos. If you need to apply for an entry visa to China, you must submit the following documents with the Consulate:  

1. Country Passport with at least one full blank Visa page
2. The name of the applicant written in BLOCK letters
3. A duly signed Visa Application Form
4. One latest passport size photo, and
5. Application fees

How to get best passport photos of kids and babies

Passport rules have changed all over the globe in past few years, and now children and infants in the United States as well as in many other countries need to have seprate passports. However, it is not easy to take passport photos of the infants. Parents and photographers face great difficulty in keeping their floppy-headed infants looking straight at the camera. Moreover, keeping the children calm during this entire process is another challenge to ensure an acceptable passport photo.  

Lately, there has been a great deal of hue and cry on how to get the best passport photos for kids. In a nutshell, the passport photo of your baby must:  

· Be taken when the baby is awake · Have the baby looking directly into the camera
· Have his or her mouth closed with no pacifier
· Have baby’s face visible without any other object in view,   not even parents’s hands to support him
· Never fall on his face or cover his eyes
· Be devoid of any shadows from behind
· Not have the baby looking away from the camera
· Not have his or her face covered While the passport photo of the kid should be compliant with passport rules set by the government authorities, it is quite challenging to  make your baby and lens work in coordination.  

If you are unsure how your baby would respond during passport photo session, you can try this infant photography technique. This technique would surely help you get best passport photo of your child. Put a white piece of cardboard on the bed or the floor, and make your child lie down on it. The parents of the child must stand beside the photographer and try to keep the baby engaged during passport photo session. This way, your child can be more attentive, and would not also fall asleep. After few trials, you can expect to get a reasonable passport photo of your child.

What Does a Biometric Passport Indicate?

A biometric passport is equipped with enhanced security features to verify the citizenship of travelers. For past few years, various countries have introduced a wide range of procedures and computerized methods to avert passport scams to address the concerns related to international business and personal security.

A biometric passport has intricately designed passport pages, complex watermarks and a data chip. This chip contains all crucial information related to the passport holder such as digital signature data, which helps in authenticating the passport.  The biometrics are considered more personal and reliable than a passport photo or a PIN, as it uses personal traits such as facial or eye maps and fingerprints as primary identification features. These biometric features were accepted by The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) after analyzing multiple other biometrics including retinal scan.

The ICAO has also described the standardized file formats and communication practices that should be used in passports. For example, the contactless chip used in a biometric passport can store a digital impression of each biometric feature preferably in JPEG or JPEG2000 format. This contactless chip allows you to store minimum of 32 kilobytes biometric data and uses the interface compliant with the ISO/IEC 14443 international standard. The biometric features stored in the passport are compared by electronic border control systems or e-borders. These standards ensure not only the interoperability among various countries, but also among different makers of passports.

The contactless chip would store the same data, which is visible on the photo page of the passport. In addition, the chip would also include a digital photo of the passport holder, which would facilitate the process of biometric comparison by using the facial recognition technology. The new US passport carries a new look, and would enable international security agencies integrate crucial anti-fraud and security features in the passports.

It is expected that by 2015, ICAO would have a database of over a billion people worldwide. With a sudden rise in fraudulent methods, it has become mandatory for international security agencies to reinforce security features in passports. Therefore, a biometric passport helps in preventing the theft of identity and fraud. The ICAO suggests facial recognition as the principal biometric followed by iris and fingerprint recognition. The biometric information stored on passport helps in identifying fraud and automating immigration checks in future.

Passport Photos in Germany

While applying for passports or visas, Germans have been asked to maintain serious expressions on their face. This is done to allow biometric scanners pick right facial features of the passport holders. Besides, the authorities have been directed to accept only those photos for passports, which are taken from the front to allow the “most natural facial expressions possible.”   

These security measures have been taken after September, 2001 attacks to consolidate the security network in Germany as well as around the world. The German Interior Minister Otto Schily says that the facial identification systems can only match the natural features of a person with his or her mouth closed. The United States, Canada, and Britain have already followed these specifications and have already started issuing Biometric passports.

German officials recently exhibited the new passports based on these guidelines. The officials accept that such passport photos would be very tough to manipulate. From March 2007, the German passports have also been carrying two scanned fingerprints stored on a chip.

Remember, U.S. passport photo specifications are different from that of German passport photos. And, not many photographers in Germany are familiar with these specifications. Therefore, you must take a print out of these requirements for U.S. Passports and explain them to your photographer. 

While posing for your passport photo, you should always ask for a complete frontal view of your face. Look directly into the camera and maintain neutral expressions without any smile on your face. Never use the photos that have reflections on the face or with red eyes. The background of the passport photo should be light-colored so as to provide adequate contrast to the face and your hair. The passport photo must be printed on a high-quality paper with around 600 dpi resolution sans any marks or stains on it.

Top 10 Passport Photos Mistakes – by celebs mugshots

Posing a la portrait


Pointing your head to the side makes your passport photo immetiadly not valid – we admire the great way Ms. Hilton loves to pose but for your next passport photo keep it simple

Background noise


Mr. Barkley – keep this background piece out of the pic

Too light contrast


Eminem we know you can make the photo light just a bit darker

Closed eyes


Let's ignore for a second the background noise here.  Although this should be an easy one, but in our case Mr. Bushwick keeps his eyes shut (or some part of them)

Unneutral expression


Mr. Lil Wayne – the biometrics will go off the wall with such expression

Open mouth


Lindsay, please keep your mouth closed. Apparently, the biometrics computers get nervous when they encounter the white color of the teeth

Too dark contrast


Nothing to do with Mr. Tyson'S skin color, the biometrics machines and the State Dep. folks would reject this photo due to dark contrast

Uncleared eyes


Nicole's left eye is slightly covered by her beautiful hair – a big no-no for passport photos

Background shadow


Even the respectful Mr. Blumenthal's photographer got this mistake here.  How to avoid this? simply stand a bit farther from the wall to avoid the shadow

Looking off the camera


The eyes should always be pointed forward.  Ms. Foxy Brown we're here! look at us!

 

Source: the smoking gun's mugshots

10 Do’s and Don’ts for Passport Photos

Our passport photo experts have put together a list of basic guidelines that you should follow in order to make sure that your speech writers for hire passport photos are compliant:

  1. The subject shouldn't appear too far away
  2. The image shouldn't be too light
  3. The subject should look straight into the camera – not portrait style
  4. Eyes shouldn't be tilted or closed
  5. Avoid flash reflection on skin or red-eye effect
  6. Make sure eye-glasses don't cover the subject's eyes
  7. Face shouldn't be covered – also avoid hats or caps or hair across the subject's face
  8. Avoid shadows behind the head or across the subject's face
  9. Keep baby/toddler toys out of the frame
  10. The subject's expression should be neutral

Make your free passport photos with ePassportPhoto.com!