Category Archives: Passport

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.

Can you trust your home-printer to print your own passport photograph?

Often you need to pay hefty amount of money to your local photographer for a passport photo with an expressionless face and a plain white background. While taking a passport photo is one of the easiest things to do, ironically majority of the U.S. photo studios tend to charge a lot of money to print a set of four identical passport photographs.   

If you are looking for an economical solution, you can give a serious thought to printing your own passport photos using home-printer. That’s true. You can save an enormous amount of money by getting passport photos printed at home. If you have a photo printer at home, you can easily convert any of your digital pictures into a valid passport-size photo meant for your passport or visa applications. In fact many of you, who are fond of photography, must have already printed your own passport photos at home. Those, who have never done it earlier and need more time to learn this art, can either send the digital photos to a friend, who knows can print them for you. Alternatively, you can also look for some online photo service providers, who can send you free prints of your passport photos. 

If you are worried about the sizing requirements of passport photos of in your country, you can log on to ePassportPhoto. The website allows you to upload your photo, resize it, select the country-specific dimensions, and save it as a .jpg file. Now you can either print it at home, or send it for free printing to international photo service providers by using the links on the website. If you are a computer-freak, you can even cut and paste an image, edit it, and get a simple but satisfactory product while sitting at home. Now it is possible to get multiple passport photos at the cost of buying one by using your home-printer. 

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.

How to look best in your passport photos?

We often see people complaining about a recent passport photo they clicked, and most of the times, it is the photo they need to use on their driver’s license. Now, as this is the photo that is going to stay with you for years to come, do you think you can really afford that “nasty look on your face”? Don’t worry! Here, are a few simple tips to help you look best in your passport photo: 

 1) Dress up nicely

NEVER wear an old battered shirt, or a ripped pair of trousers or a tee-shirt while going for a passport photo. How can you feel nice about your appearance when you dress-up miserably? The camera might miss your dress, but it would certainly figure out how you feel about yourself.  

2. Dump your hat and sunglasses

If you think you can outsmart the camera by hiding a bad hair day under a hat or you can use sunglasses to cover up red eyes, think again! You cannot take a driver’s license photo wearing a hat or sunglasses. Dump these items and opt for a natural look on your face while going in for a passport photo. 

3. Comb your hair

You are required to have your passport photo taken, soon after you pass your driver’s license test. Therefore, do not forget to carry your brush or comb before you leave the house.  

4. Maintain Neutral Expressions

According to new guidelines released by State department, toothy smiles in passport and visa pictures would now be categorized as unusual or unnatural expressions. The person must maintain neutral expressions with both eyes open, and mouth closed. The new guidelines would permit smiling with a closed jaw, but it is not a preferred expression for your passport photo.  

Remember, a passport photo can reflect your confidence and happiness if you closely follow these tips.