To obtain an eTourist, eMedical, or eBusiness Visa for India, travelers must submit a scan of the passport bio page and a separate, recent digital photograph.
As the India eVisa application process is fully electronic, all documents, including the photograph, are uploaded digitally. Without the need to present paperwork in person at an embassy or consulate, the eVisa is the easiest and most convenient way to gain access to India.
Questions often arise regarding India visa photo requirements, in particular the color and size of the image. Selecting a suitable background for the photo and ensuring correct lighting can also cause confusion.
The information below explains the criteria that photos must meet, unacceptable images will result in the India visa request being denied.
India Visa Photo Size and File Specs
It is essential that the traveler’s photo is the correct size. Requirements are strict and images that are too large or too small will not be accepted, in which case a new visa application must be made.
- The minimum size permitted is 10 KB and the maximum 1 MB
- The height and width of the image must be equal, it should not be cropped
- The file must be uploaded in JPEG format, PDFs cannot be uploaded
Other India Visa Photo Specifications
As well as being the correct size, photos for the India eTourist visa, or any of the other types of eVisa, should meet several additional criteria.
Applicants should be aware that failure to submit an image that meets these criteria can lead to delays and rejections.
Is a color or black and white photo required for an India eVisa
The Indian government accepts both color and black and white photographs provided that it offers a clear and accurate representation of the applicant’s features.
Given that color photos generally offer more detail, it is highly recommended that travelers submit a color photo.
Photos should be unaltered by computer software.
What background should I use for the Indian eVisa photo?
A plain, light-colored or white background must be selected. Subjects should position themselves in front of a plain wall and ensure no pictures, decorative wallpaper, or other people, are in the shot.
To avoid casting a shadow on the wall, stand around half a meter away. Shadows on the background may cause the photo to be rejected.
Can I wear glasses in my India visa photo?
It is important that the entire face can be seen clearly in the Indian eVisa photograph. For this reason, spectacles should be removed. Neither prescription glasses nor sunglasses may be worn in the India eVisa picture.
Subjects should also make sure that their eyes are fully open and not have ‘red eye’. Rather than using software to remove it, the photo should be retaken. Avoid using a direct flash to prevent the red-eye effect.
Should I smile in the Indian eVisa photo?
Smiling is not permitted in the India visa photo. Instead, the subject should maintain a neutral expression with the mouth closed. Do not show the teeth in the visa photo.
Smiling is generally not allowed in passport and visa images because it may prevent biometrics from being measured correctly.
If an image is submitted with an unsuitable facial expression, it will not be accepted and a new application will need to be made.
Can I wear a hijab for the India visa photo?
Religious headgear such as a hijab is permitted provided that the full face is visible.
Only items such as scarves or hats worn for religious purposes are allowed. All other accessories which partially cover the face must be removed for the photograph.
How to take the India eVisa digital photograph
Taking all the above points into consideration, here is a brief step-by-step guide to taking a photo suitable for all types of Indian visa:
- Find a white/light plain background, preferably in a room with plenty of natural light
- Remove hats, glasses and any other accessories which cover the face
- Ensure hair is swept away from the face
- Stand around half a meter from the wall
- Face straight at the camera and ensure the full head, from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin, is in the frame
- After taking the photo, check there are no shadows on the background or face and no red eye
- Upload the photo during the eVisa application
Parents and guardians traveling to India with children are reminded that minors need a separate visa for India complete with a digital photograph.
Other Requirements for a Successful Indian eVisa Application
As well as providing a photo that meets the criteria details above, foreign nationals must also meet the other India eVisa requirements, which include being in possession of the following:
- Passport valid for 6 months from the date of arrival in India
- A debit or credit card to pay the India eVisa fees
- A current email address
Travelers complete the eVisa form with basic personal details and passport information before submitting the request for review.
To obtain an eBusiness or eMedical visa for India, further supporting documentation is requested.
The visa will not be granted by the Indian authorities if any mistakes have been made when filling out the form, or if the photograph does not meet the exact specifications.
To avoid delays and possible travel disruption, it is essential that the application is free from errors and that the photograph and all other supporting documentation is submitted correctly.