Size & format

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While Swiss passport photos were almost exclusively required for Swiss identity documents such as passport, identity card and driving license, the intended uses have proliferated nowadays. More and more universities print the pictures of their students on student cards, in some countries, a photo of the owner decorates the so-called health card, and more and more membership cards obtain a photo.

Swiss passport photos and biometric passport photos

Biometrisches Passbild mit Lineal

In addition to traditional Swiss passport photos one distinguishes the new biometric passport photos. They are, just like the ‘usual’ predecessors 35 mm x 45 mm (or 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm) in size and have no border.

Back in the days, the picture for a passport photo was taken in half-profile. Since today virtually all official documents in the Switzerland require biometric passport photos, you can no longer avoid a frontal shot.

Digital passport photo size

In various forums one asks for the “digital size” or similar terms. The background here is that there is no equivalent of the real size 35 mm x 45 mm in pixels or similar. If you would like to print a picture at a specific size, most programs do not help. Here, another unit, the DPI (dots per inch) plays an important role. 72 dpi is the common value for web graphics. For printing mostly 300 dpi are used.

If one does not have a graphics program in hand, where the print size in cm can be specified, a small calculation is needed. An inch is equal to 2.54 cm. A picture which should be printed at 300 dpi in size, should have a size of about 413 px × 532 px.

The equivalent of the Swiss standard passport format of 3.5 cm × 4.5 cm for some of the DPI values are listed below:

DPI Width in pixeln Height in pixeln
72 99 px 128 px
100 138 px 177 px
150 207 px 266 px
300 413 px 532 px
600 826 px 1064 px

Biometric characteristics

So far, standard Swiss passport photos were recorded in the so-called half-profile containing a part of the upper body.
Biometric passports are different. 64-75% of the height of the photo should be filled with the face height, i.e. between 29-34 mm. In addition, the face must be centered in the middle of the passport photo. More information can be found in the article “How do I make a biometric passport photo?”

In our passport photo generator you can crop your photo on the desired format and align your face using a template.


Create passport photo now »

Correct dimensions in detail

How to align the face or the head on the photo, is determined by the biometric passport photo template. The easiest way to adapt future passport photos can be undertaken via the above-linked passport photo generator. We now below briefly summarize the sizes.

The length of the passport photo is 45 mm, the width 35 mm.

Above the head an area of 5 mm should remain free. The frontally photographed face is aligned centrally on the passport photo. It should be between 29 mm and 34 mm in height.