How To Cut Passport Photo: UK Guide

picture of scissors and other stationery

When applying for official documents, you should be as attentive as ever. There’s no room for mistakes: it’s not uncommon to face rejection because of a small detail (say, your application may be invalidated by a minor misspelling). Even the little things matter, and it’s okay if you obsess over them a bit when getting your British passport.

Suppose you’ve got yourself a printout with two passport-size photos in it. How should you cut each picture correctly (that is, without getting your application rejected)?

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Do I Even Need To Cut Passport Photos In UK?

Without any doubt, you do. The government website clearly states that, if you’re applying offline, His Majesty’s Passport Office will only take two pictures which must be separated from each other.

‘Why so?’, you may wonder. Is it so hard for HMPO employees to cut your photo for you? They surely have special cutters to do that in seconds!

They do have these but it doesn’t mean we can send them whatever piece of photo paper we want. HMPO processes thousands of pictures, and by carefully cutting out each photo you make their important work a little bit easier.

How To Cut Passport Photos

Here are some easy step-by-step instructions:

  • Step 1. Print out a template with at least two photos for your British passport. It can come from either a photo booth, photographic services studio or your own printer as long as the image is reproduced on photo paper.
  • Step 2. Take a pair of scissors. Needless to say, they should be straight, sharp and big enough. If you try to use small and/or blunt scissors, the cutting line will end up jagged and tattered.
  • Step 3. Carefully cut out each photo. You can cut right at the edge of each headshot as long as the resulting size is 35×45 mm. However, it might be safer to leave a 5 mm border so that you don’t damage the photo if scissors go the wrong way (HMPO remove the border if they need to).

That’s it, now you’re off to enclose the cutouts in your application form!

Where To Get Cuttable Template With Photos For British Passport

In case you were wondering how to make a printable pattern (like the one below), we can help you with that, too.

converted picture

You don’t even need to leave home, as the nearest passport photo service is already here. Just upload your image and get a correctly cropped printable template back in seconds and for free!