In this article we have compiled complete and up to date information regarding photo specifications, as set by the Russian consulate services abroad for individuals applying for Russian visas.
To complete your set of documents for a Russian visa application, you need to provide one recent passport-style photograph of yourself, taken no earlier than six months before you start your application, showing your current appearance.
The photo should meet certain criteria concerning the size and content.
Important: failing to meet the standard specifications might result in delay of your visa application process. Photos not meeting mandatory formats are rejected as invalid, in which case you will need to reapply with the new photo, which you would certainly like to avoid. Note that the photo should not be the same photo that appears on your previous visas or passport.
General Russian visa photo specifications:
Photograph size must be 3.5 x 4.5.
The photograph must be taken against a single color
light background, up to 10% gray or blue is recommended. Yellow, red or other
colors are not acceptable for the background. The image should be contrasted
against the background and features should be well distinguishable. The image
should be in color, in high quality and not blurred. Your skin should have natural tones;
Face in focus. Your entire head must be shown on the
photo from the top of your hair to the bottom of your chin, and the top of your
shoulders. In a good example your face will fill 70%-80% of the photo;
Avoid wearing dark glasses or head coverings unless it
is part of your religious or ethnic clothing worn daily, and you also wear it
on your passport photo. Nothing must cast shadow on your face. Your hairline
must not be obscured in the photo. Head coverings worn for religious purposes
must not hide the facial contours;
Hold a neutral facial expression with both eyes open,
Bandages worn at the moment of taking the photograph
can be permitted for medical purposes only;
Veil or face jewelry is not permitted on the photo
If your wear glasses avoid light reflexes, try not to
wear heavy frames. The lens must be clean and transparent. Do not use tinted
lenses. Make sure that your eyes are clearly seen through the glasses;
It is not acceptable to wear uniforms in photos;
Do not wear headphones, wireless, hands-free or
similar devices on the photo. If you regularly wear hearing devices or other
similar items, they can be worn.
The photograph must show you alone without chair
backs, toys or other people visible, the area behind you should be uncluttered.
Photocopies or digitally scanned images from driver’s
licenses or other official documents are not allowed. Low quality vending
machine photos, magazine snapshots, or photos taken by mobile devices, as well
as full-length photographs are not allowed;
Print your photo on photographic paper. The paper
should bear no ink marks or creases.
Glue the photo to the specially marked place on the
visa application form. Do not staple or attach using adhesive tape!
See below the examples of acceptable and non-acceptable photos for Russian visas:
Take your photo and check the requirements listed in this article, if everything is fine and your photo meets the specifications, you’re ready to proceed with your visa application!