The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has significantly simplified its guidelines for passport photographers, condensing the previous multi-page document to an easy-to-understand ‘one-pager’, pictured below.
The new guide assumes a level of photographic knowledge from passport photographers, so some of the more basic instructions – such as basic camera settings – have been dropped, providing photographers with a clear idea of the important technical standards for passport photos.
One important change relates to background colour – the guidelines now indicate a preference for white or light grey backgrounds. An ideal passport image is provided as a reference, with non-acceptable images at the bottom of the poster – supported by plain English descriptions – to illustrate key errors leading to rejected passport photos
‘The facial recognition technology now used in conjunction with Australian passports makes border processing more efficient and reduces the potential for identity fraud,’ Jeremy Hawson, Australian Passport Office, DFAT, explained to PhotoCounter.
‘We advise clients that if their photo does not meet our requirements – which are based on international standards – their passport may not work with automated border crossing technologies such as SmartGate. We are keen to improve the quality of photos submitted with passport applications and hope that the new guidance for photographers will assist in this regard.’