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Guidance on photos for use on your Sentinel card

In order for your sponsor to obtain your Sentinel card, you must provide them with a current and valid digital photograph. The following rules and guidelines set out the standards which the photograph must meet in order to ensure that it is acceptable for use on your Sentinel card.


  • You must supply a digital photo for your sponsor to apply for your Sentinel card
  • Your photo must have been taken in the last month
  • Your application will be rejected if your photo does not meet the rules set out on this page
  • You must get a new photo when you replace your card, even if your appearance has not changed.

The quality of your digital photo

Your photo must be:

  • clear and in focus
  • in colour
  • unaltered by computer software
  • at least 600 pixels wide and 750 pixels tall
  • at least 50KB and no more than 4MB
  • in JPEG format

What your digital photo must show

The digital photo must:

  • contain no other objects or people
  • be taken against a plain light-coloured background
  • be in clear contrast to the background
  • not have ‘red eye’

In your photo you must:

  • be facing forwards and looking straight at the camera
  • have a plain expression and your mouth closed
  • have your eyes open and visible
  • not have hair in front of your eyes
  • not have a head covering (unless it’s for religious or medical reasons)
  • not have anything covering your face
  • not have any shadows on your face or behind you
  • not wear sunglasses or tinted glasses. You can wear other glasses if you need to, but your eyes must be visible without any glare or reflection.

See below for examples of acceptable and unacceptable photos

How to get a digital photo

To obtain a digital photo, you can:

  • take a photo on a device that takes digital photos – digital camera, smartphone etc.
  • go to a photo shop and ask them to take a digital photo that meets the guidelines above.

Examples of acceptable and unacceptable photos

Examples of acceptable and unacceptable photos. Image taken from the UK Passport website