Applying for Canadian documents? Here are some tips on taking required 5×7 cm photos

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Canada is unique for many reasons: its nature, culture, and history, but have you ever thought that even in the bureaucratic sense, Canada also differs from other countries? While most other countries demand smaller photos for their documents — like 2×2 inches for the US and 35×45 mm for EU countries — Canada requires 5×7 cm photos.

Bureaucratic processes, including submitting compliant photos, can be harder than it looks. But even with these unique size requirements, the tips in this article will help you make the process as smooth as possible.

How to edit a 5×7 photo in Photoshop

Using Photoshop or a similar program, you can edit, crop, and resize your photo for Canadian documents yourself. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Photoshop and load your photo using the Browse menu;
  2. Click the Crop tool on the toolbar on the left;
  3. Select the photo using the crop tool, ensuring your face is in the horizontal centre of the photo. The photo should include the shoulders and some space above your head;
  4. Set the required aspect ratio: 50 in width and 70 in height;
  5. Press Enter to crop your photo.

To check you have the right dimensions and resolution for printing, click the Image menu. Select Image size and set it to 5×7 cm, then select the print resolution: the minimum is 300 DPI, and 600 DPI is recommended.

How to crop a 5×7 photo online

If you do not have photo editing programs, you can use online tools to get your photo done. Here we’ll see several options, in short, so you can pick what’s most fitting for you.

Boasting a lot of features based on AI, can resize your photo in an instant. In the context of this article, though, we’ll only check the passport photo service.

The service has several options for photo formats based on country, including the Canadian 5×7 cm format. Besides cropping and resizing, can also change the background of your image to fulfil the background requirement.

The service works on a credit-based payment. Free registered users get 5 credits. If you have no credit left but still want to use the site’s services, you will need to buy credits based on the plan you need.


This service focuses more on identity documents, specifically passports, which may be preferable for those who want a more straightforward program. Instead of a credit-based payment, the payment here is made per service.

123passportphoto claims a repertoire of more than 50 countries to choose from, including different photo formats required for Canada. The service can also change your photo’s background to white.


Though the service’s name may create the impression that it focuses on visas, Visafoto can also format portraits for different documents worldwide, including 5×7 photos for Canadian passports.

The payment method for this program is also straightforward. Besides cropping and resizing, Visafoto also changes backgrounds to the required plain white. It also takes care of head-to-frame proportions (your face has to occupy 70-80% of the photo) and fixes head tilt and red eyes.

How to print a 5×7 cm photo out of a digital image

Some online passport photo tools, such as those we mentioned above, provide printable templates so that you do not have to reformat and lay out your pictures before printing.

If you cropped your photo, you would need to set it depending on the paper you will print it on. This will be easier if you have set your picture not only to the correct proportions but also to the correct size and resolution.

If you’re printing yourself, ensure that your printer supports high-quality photo printing. Then it’s off to the paper: glossy is preferred. The optimal choice is A6 size photo paper, used for printing postcards. One sheet will hold two 5×7 photos.

If you do not have a fitting printer, you can have your photos printed at pharmacies, post offices and retail stores all over Canada that offer printing services. Some spots also support online orders, so you can upload your photo to their print system, pay online, and pick it up at the store. The online method may even be cheaper in some cases, as some shops charge such printing as if you took your photo in the store — which is more expensive — in case of in-person orders.

Canadian passport photo do and don’ts

To make sure you get the best photo you can so that you’ll like your photo for as long as you have your passports, follow our tips:

Do: keep a neutral facial expression

Identity photos, including passport photos, are used to identify the holder’s face as close as it is to everyday reality. A neutral facial expression is considered the most natural, and this way, you can be more easily identified, including with biometric technology.

Don’t: look tense

There’s a thin line between looking neutral and tense. To avoid looking tense in your passport photo, smile subtly by slightly raising the corners of your lips and smiling with your eyes.

Do: wear everyday clothing

Back to the point of everyday identification, you may simply wear something you would every day. While there’s no set dress code, something like smart casual will usually do.

Don’t: wear a uniform — and other outfit suggestions

Passport photos usually do not accept uniforms, except for religious clothing worn every day.

We suppose some common sense wouldn’t hurt either: avoid clothes that may be seen as “improper,” such as shirts with curse words and others.

Also, avoid unnecessary accessories, especially those that can obscure your facial features.