Wednesday, 9 December 2015

What the fuck?! Passport pictures

What the fuck?! Passport pictures

It starts with different places requiring different sizes:

Thai Embassy Berlin
Thai Embassy Vientiane
Thai Consul Penang

Thai Consulate Ho Chi Minh City
(on internet; but application form says 35 mm x 45 mm)
Thai Embassy Hanoi
Visa Extension at Immigration Chaeng Wattana

And I vaguely remember yet different size for Thai work permit.

Fortunately, wrong size has never been an issue for visa applications or extensions.
In Germany, passport pictures are prohibitively expensive, 
4 passport pictures each time at the same shop: 
23.06.2007 6.50 EUR, 
13.08.2009 8 EUR, 
17.12.2012 8.50 EUR, 
20.04.2015 10 EUR. 
That's an average increase of 5.5% per year.

In Thailand they are cheaper, but choose the place to get them wisely!

I have been to Mr. OK shop (Soi Sribampen, 20 m east of Ibis hotel) for passport pictures (200 Baht, expensive!) and didn’t learn from this mistake. I went to get pictures from my camera printed, twice as expensive as elsewhere (I learnt later), and format of their paper didn’t fit my pictures, so they just cropped the pictures! BLACKLIST!

At Immigration Chaeng Wattana you can get 4 pictures for 100 Baht in basement (haven't used this service, but get photocopies of passport at Immigration 2 Baht per page A4 black and white).

Dec 2015, went to get passport pictures in Suan Phlu. When I saw the lady and her camera, I guessed here sole qualification for this job is possession of a camera and color printer. I guessed right! The first picture she took and showed me on camera screen was out of center and there was reflexion of flash on my glasses. The following was in center, but still reflexion.

I told her that I don’t like the reflexion, she said there is nothing she can do and it won’t be a problem. I had one of these rare moments where I know she is talking bullshit, she might know or not she is talking bullshit, and despite knowing better, I had the pictures printed and paid (120 Baht for 8 pictures). I should have insisted in reflexion-less pictures or walked out (no costs incurred for them so far). Hours later, I realized my mistake! They can’t even cut the pictures correctly, when you stack them you notice size varies! BLACKLIST!

Used one of the pictures with reflexion successfully for visa extension. But for a new Personal Identity Card in Germany, I have to get a new set of pictures (in Thailand; I will not pay 10 Euro for 4 pictures unless you threaten to squeeze my balls!). Print out their extensive requirements and show to photographer, and pay only when pictures match requirements!

Copyright 2015 ChristianPFC


  1. These rules for passp foto's are for EU in general and due to the new biometric passports. In most cases next/beside/opposite any EU-embassy in BKK will be a fotoshop that knows exactly the rules about this and may even promise to get you a new set for free if nr 1 is not approved.
    100 bt is normal price in Thai shops for 4 pix, some automats around Khaosarn want 120 bt. Cheapest I have seen in EUR is 3 eur for 4-also automat-Slovakia.

  2. Why not just take your glasses off when having photo done ?

  3. Talking of taking glasses off. Anyone else noticed Brucenyc is letting Latinpox take over. You can never keep the identities apart.

  4. Once you have a good set of photos why not make copy of them on high grade/photo stock paper. That is what I do and much cheaper than new photos. Francois

  5. I used all the 8 poor quality passport pictures. Then went to a photographer to get new pictures, explaining requirents for German passport or ID card. Got 12 pictures for 240 Baht (alternatively 6 for 220), and they look fine. The idea to take off my glasses off is brilliant, thank you! I wonder why there is no rule: no glasses on passport pictures?

    The take-home message is: if you get passport pictures at a shop that does photocopy, passport pictures, hotel/flight/tour booking, money change and laundry service; the pictures might be of poor quality (reflexion on my glasses, poor print).

    Related: a friend told me of a friend who was at Immigration in Chaeng Wattana and officer refused his pictures because they were the same as a year before (pictures have to be less than 6 months old). He had to go to new pictures.


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