I'm applying for a Chinese visa. Requirements Photo size: 48mmx33mm, width of head: 15mm to 22mm, height of head: 28mm to 33mm.

I live in Missouri. It sucks. I tried CVS, Walgreens, Walmart. Nobody can do it. All these shops offer standard US passport 2" by 2" photos.

What should I do?

  • 5
    Hmm. It should work to crop a 2x2 photo to 33x48mm. The rest of the measurements are about the same. Of course you can just do a digital photo as well. Jul 10, 2018 at 18:57
  • 16
    Do you own a pair of scissors? 33x48mm is smaller than 2x2 inches
    – Doc
    Jul 10, 2018 at 19:31
  • 11
    @Doc It isn't always the size of the photo. It can also be what is allowed to be shown and their proportions. EG I recently had to get an Australian compliant passport photo. I tried a local place that did US passport photos and got them to scale it to the Australian size. The Australian passport office rejected that pic and pointed me to a place that could provide photos to the required standards.
    – Peter M
    Jul 10, 2018 at 19:43
  • 7
    Did you try a photographer?
    – npl
    Jul 10, 2018 at 21:41
  • 2
    On earth, or just USA?
    – WGroleau
    Jul 11, 2018 at 0:28

9 Answers 9


Costco offers Chinese-visa-compliant photos. There are several Costcos throughout the state, particularly in the Kansas City and St. Louis metropolitan areas.

  • There seem to be several in both the St. Louis area and the Kansas City area.
    – 1006a
    Jul 10, 2018 at 21:35
  • +1 That's where I had my photos taken. Cheap (I think 7.99 CAD) and fast enough. But any place that does passport photos can do it, for a price. If money is no object you can go to a professional portrait photographer (with the requirements) and show your best side. Jul 11, 2018 at 17:18

If you are going through a visa agency, ask them for advice. Often they specifically WANT US-sized photos so they can edit and cut them to the correct size themselves.


I have had success with online visa photo websites. (The one I used was epassportphoto.com but there are others.) You just take a selfie with your smartphone camera and upload it to the website, tell them what country's specs you want, and then they crop it to the right size and make sure the lighting is OK and then send it to a CVS for printing where you can pick it up. (You do have to cut it out yourself using scissors, but they provide the lines to cut along.) It costs on the order of $10-20, similar to what a photo shop would charge. I applied for a Chinese visa with the resulting photographs and the consulate accepted them without complaint or comment.

Note: I have no affiliation with any of these websites.


The standard US Passport photo works for a Chinese Visa. I did this last year and had the pictures taken at CVS and attached to my Chinese Tourist Visa application and it was accepted with no issues.

  • Same here. I got a Chinese work visa last year with a standard passport photo from Walgreens.
    – Jeff Bauer
    Jul 16, 2018 at 20:27
  • I got my photo taken from CVS. They do have Chinese passport photo option
    – Code42
    Sep 29, 2018 at 6:37

I’d take a high-res picture myself, scale it down in a graphics editor to get the head size right, then crop it in the same program. Add a frame of a contrasting color to make it 4x6, print that for less than a buck at Walmart, then cut the frame off with scissors.

  • 1
    High-res so it can be scaled down. Scaling up risks blurring.
    – WGroleau
    Jul 11, 2018 at 0:27
  • It must be noted that visa documents generally have very strict requirements in regards to the background, lighting and shadows. Unless one has professional equipment to take such photos and some knowledge on how to use them I would not risk it if there are any other options.
    – undercat
    Jul 11, 2018 at 11:49
  • Well, that method worked for a U.S. passport. Neither the US websites nor the description above said anything about lighting or shadows. Nor background, but I avoid bad ones whenever possible.
    – WGroleau
    Jul 14, 2018 at 0:53
  • The official samples that I linked do indicate that shadows are a no-go. In my case (getting a US visa) I was asked to redo the photo I made myself even though I tried my best and could see no apparent issues with it. That resulted in having to schedule another consulate appointment and nearly jeopardised my travel plans. You may quite likely be a better photographer than me, but my experience tells me it is a risky gamble which may not be worth taking regardless. I feel this answer has merit but needs to be taken with a bit of caution, just like all other answers suggesting to use photoshop.
    – undercat
    Jul 14, 2018 at 1:25

I used an app called Passport Photo on my smartphone. Had somebody take a picture of me against a light-colored background, emailed the pictures to the travel agency handling my visa application. Worked fine last November.


I did my chinese visa last September. It was confusing for me because some said a standard 2x2 is fine but the consular office article particularly wanted 33x48 mm photo and a completely white background. So I took one at CVS and used a background removal visa photo service. I submitted both of them just in case. I don't know which one they accepted. The one that I took at CVS was not completely white. Do both if you want to go safe.


I used idphoto4you website. You can choose single photo or other printing format (e.g., 4x6) after editing.


try aipassportphoto.com , they generate china visa photo in seconds and create 4*6 printable version for you.

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