31 December 2007

Photos for your visa

"Yes", I tell visa applicants again and again, "you do need more photos even though you already have a passport if you want a visa". Almost every country wants at least one standard passport-style colour photo attached to each visa application. The general rules are the image should be passport-photo size, usually colour, full face, head on, no hats and usually no glasses, never sunglasses, white or grey background, and taken recently. If you wear religious or cultural headcoverings, you will have to make certain of the requirements. All photos must be identical. Some embassies require the photographers stamp and date on the back, but most do not. Most embassies want one or two, but a handful of embassies demand four! The good news is these are available almost everywhere now, including many pharmacies. And it is always best to have extra copies of both the photos and the visa application forms (filled-in) with you during your travels in case some nasty border guard insists on more paperwork.