canadian pr card photo specification

Canadian PR Card Photo Specification & Requirements

If you’re applying for a Canadian permanent resident (PR) card, you’ll need a photo that meets certain specifications. Here’s everything you need to know about Canadian PR card photo specifications to make you pass all the requirements.

What Is a Canadian PR Card – and Do I Need One?

A valid PR card from the Canadian government proves that you can live and work permanently in the country. If you are a permanent resident of Canada, you will need a PR card to return to the country after traveling abroad.

You need a PR card if:

  • You are a lawful permanent resident. This includes children.
  • You intend to travel outside of Canada.
  • You intend to return to Canada via any commercial transportation, such as a bus, train, plane, or boat.

The government automatically issues a PR card if you recently got your permanent residency. However, it has an expiration date, and you’ll have to apply for a renewal before it expires.

When applying for a PR card, you must submit two (2) photos of yourself. You must follow the Canadian PR card photo specifications when submitting your application. Otherwise, the government will return your application, and you will need to start again.

What Are the Canadian PR Card Photo Specifications?

Here are the requirements you must comply with when applying for a PR card. Each Canadian PR card photo specification is essential to keep all photos clear and uniform.

  1. The photos you provide must show how you currently look. This means the images should not be older than six months. 
  2. The photos must be specifically for the PR card application. Either black and white or colored images are okay. However, the pictures should be the same. You cannot use altered photos or photos you took from an existing image.
  3. If you use a colored photo, it should depict your natural skin tone. The government won’t accept low- or high-contrast pictures. 
  4. Only a professional photographer or studio can take your photo. Ensure your photographer knows how to take photos for PR cards and other documents.
  5. The photos should be clear and in focus.
  6. The size of the photos should be 50 millimeters wide by 70 millimeters high (2 inches wide by 2 and 3/4 inches high).
  7. The size of your face inside the photo should be between 31 and 36 millimeters (1 and 1/4 inches and 1 and 7/16 inches). This is from the top of your head to your chin.
  8. Your background should be white or light-colored. Remove any objects behind you and avoid making shadows.
  9. You should maintain a neutral expression in the photo.
  10. Your photo should be well-lit, without any glare or reflections.
  11. Your photos need to be a full head and shoulders, with your face at the center. Sit so that your face and shoulders are directly in the camera’s center. 

What Else Do You Need to Apply for a Canadian PR Card?

At the back of the photo, write the following:

  1. Your full name
  2. Your birth date
  3. The name and address of the photography studio 
  4. The date you took the image

The photographer can stamp or handwrite this info. Don’t use stick-on labels.

Tips for Getting Approved Quickly & Easily 

Aside from the above Canadian PR card photo requirements, here are additional tips to increase your chances of approval.

Put on a Neutral Attire

It will help if you avoid including anything potentially offensive in your photo. Always wear dark, neutral, or conservative colors.

Don’t Wear White

White shirts blend with the background. You’d look like a floating head as a result, so avoid wearing white shirts or shirts that will blend in with the light-colored background.

Don’t Wear Hectic Patterns

Shirts with a lot of texture or busy patterns can be distracting. Find a shirt with small, understated designs if you must wear one.

Remove Headwear

You can’t wear hats or other headwear in your photos unless you have a religious or medical reason to do so. If you need to wear a hat, ensure that your whole face is visible and that the hat doesn’t cover your eyes.

Be Careful When Wearing Glasses

Don’t wear your glasses in your photos if you can. However, the Canadian government will accept your glasses if you meet the following criteria

  1. Your eyes are visible
  2. The glass frame does not cover your eyes 
  3. The lens doesn’t reflect the light

Wear Something Timeless 

Be evergreen and neutral with your wardrobe, hair, and makeup. Your photo might look dated too soon if you don’t.

Get Multiple Copies

While you only need two photos, get several copies just in case you need to reapply. It will also be helpful for job applications and other instances in which you need a professional picture.

Consult a Reputable Photo Studio

The Canadian government requires a professional studio to take your photos. A professional service is the best way to ensure that it will pass Canadian PR card photo specifications. Hire a studio with the right equipment, competent staff, and expertise in PR card photoshoots.

However, remember that the Canadian government ultimately decides whether to accept your application.

If you or a loved one needs PR card photos in Calgary or the surrounding area, look no further than Photo Studio Calgary. We’re your one-stop destination for any photo documentation and ID service. 

Wrapping Up Our Guide to Canadian PR Card Photo Specifications

As we conclude our guide to Canadian PR card photo requirements, there are a few things worth mentioning:

Make sure you use a high-quality photo. The last thing you want is a rejection because of a blurry or low-quality photo.

Wear something comfortable. If you feel good about what you wear, you will look sharper and more confident.

Finally, get your photos taken by a professional photographer. A pro knows how to take great photos that meet all requirements.

Photo Studio Calgary can help you renew your PR card in Canada. As the No. 1 photo studio in Calgary, we will ensure that your new PR card photo meets all the requirements.