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Requirements for Smartcard Photograph

The photograph for your smartcard must be of the same standard expected for passports. Therefore your photograph for your smartcard must:

  • be a close-up of your full head and upper shoulders
  • contain no other objects or people and

In your photograph, you must:

  • be facing forward and looking straight at the camera
  • have a neutral expression and your mouth closed
  • have your eyes open, visible and free from reflection or glare from glasses
  • not have hair in front of your eyesnot have a head covering (unless it’s for religious or medical reasons)*
  • not have anything covering your face
  • not have any 'red eye'not have any shadows on your face or behind you

We advise students not to submit selfies as they are often taken at an angle not suitable for smartcard production.

*The University appreciates that for religious or medical reasons, some students may choose to wear a head or facial covering.  However all students at Northumbria University must provide a full face photograph for their smartcard.  Head coverings for religious or medical reasons are permitted in the photograph provided that the student’s face remains fully visible as it is necessary to be able to identify students for access, security and examination purposes.  Anyone asked to remove their facial or head covering for identity verification purposes will be treated with sensitivity and respect.   Where reasonably possible, arrangements will be made for identification checks to be carried out in a private space by a staff member of the same sex. 


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