Can You Smile in Passport Photo? Guidelines and Tips

Summary: This article is mainly talking about the topic on can you smile in passport photo, including the importance of passport, the reasons why you can or cannot smile in passport and how to make your passport online.

remove woman photo background into white passport photo

Having your passport photo taken can be a stressful experience, especially if you are asked to smile in the photo. However, it is important to know that not all countries require you to smile in your photo. In fact, many countries have strict rules about the actions allowed in passport photos, and smiling may not be one of them.

This article will discuss the importance of passport photos, whether you can smile in your passport photo, and how to get a professional passport photo, so read on to find out!

What is a Passport Photo and Why is it Important?

passports on the map

A passport photo is an important document that serves as a visual representation of your identity. It is used to identify you when traveling abroad and when applying for visas, passports and other official documents. Passport photos are also used for identification at airports, border crossings and other government offices.

The accuracy of the photo must be verified by a professional photographer to ensure that it meets the standards set by the government. By having your passport photo taken, you can ensure that your identity is properly documented and recognized when you travel or apply for various documents.

Why are our passport photos and ID photos so important? The rise of biometric photography has changed the face of travel, as well as the issuance of passports. Currently, the Henry Passport Index ranks the U.S. passport seventh, offering visa-free travel to as many as 186 different destinations around the world.

Can you Smile in Your Passport Photo?

girl hold a passport with smile

Currently only the United States allows smiling in your passport photo, although almost every country in the world requires you to have a neutral expression when submitting your photo.

When it comes to passport photos, there are several rules that must be followed to ensure that the photo is accepted. One of the most important rules is that you cannot smile in your passport photo. This rule is in place to ensure that the passport photo accurately represents your everyday appearance and does not give any false impressions about your identity.

While this may seem like an odd rule, it is very important to the accuracy of identification and should be taken seriously when passport photos are taken.

The main point of biometric photography is to facilitate facial recognition. This software compares data from your passport photo with a scan of your facial features at the airport based on an accurate measurement of your appearance. Smiling can make it more difficult for facial recognition software and port officials to identify you, especially if you are showing your teeth.

Biometric Passport Photos and Facial Recognition

man facial recognition

For humans, facial recognition is an automatic, unconscious process. However, software needs to examine all the features separately, making it a more complex action. Machines need to compare two-dimensional images with three-dimensional faces.

They can only do this by analyzing the features in the image. For this reason, high-precision equipment in airports, subway and train stations (e.g., Osaka, Japan), hospitals and many other high-traffic areas take detailed measurements of people's facial features - the width of their eyes and mouths, the distance between them, and so on.

Today, all passports are biometric, and they contain a chip that stores all the information needed for the software. That's why ICAO requirements are now the standard for issuing passports.

The government doesn't want you to smile in your photo for one simple reason: facial recognition. A smile in a passport photo distorts your facial features and makes it almost impossible to match you to the document, especially when done by a computer. Currently, in some countries, such as Australia, when you arrive at the airport and go through customs, your photo is taken by a computer to match your passport. You are not allowed to smile while your picture is being taken.

How to Make Your Own Passport Pictures

Fotor is a passport photo editor that helps you get professional photos for your passport, visas and many other official documents around the world.

Fotor profile picture maker
Fotor - Best Passport Photo Editor

Converting your regular photo to a passport size photo has never been easier. With Fotor, you don't have to worry about your passport photo, just upload your photo and Fotor will automatically replace the background with white.

Fotor also offers easy-to-edit ID photo templates, browse and choose your favorite template for customization. Give it a try!

Make Your Passport Photo Now

Fotor's background remover can easily help you make professional passport photos with different background colors. A passport photo with transparent background, and then choose a white background, and you'll easily create a qualified passport photo. The built-in image editor helps you get more editing options and requires no additional plugins or downloads.

Here's how to create a passport photo in Fotor:

  1. Open Fotor, find "Templates" and select a preset size template from "ID Photo" on the left toolbar.
  2. Click the "Change photo" button in the canvas, or directly drag and drop the photo to canvas. Fotor will automatically recognize the portrait and change the background to white.
  3. Resize and center the portrait, if your photo is too dark, you can use the "Adjust" tool in the toolbar above the canvas to adjust the brightness, contrast, hue, etc.
  4. Click the download button on the top right of the canvas to download photos in JPG, PNG, PDF format.


Many people are confused about whether they can smile in their passport photos. Smiling in passport photos is allowed, as long as it does not interfere with the facial recognition technology used to identify individuals. In this article we will go over the importance of passports, whether or not you can smile in passport photos and how to make professional passport photos, we hope this article will help you!