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September 28, 2012

The right image

I’m going to apply for my Trans-Siberian visas next month. I’ll be needing visas for Belrus, Russia, Mongolia and China. The snag is that the Chinese visa only lasts for three months from the date that its issued, whereas I understand the other ones (Russia, Mongolia and Belarus) work on specific dates. More on this in a later post – I’m in the hands of the Real Russia visa team, who so far sound like real experts.

Anyway, in preparation for the red tape ahead, I went to get some passport type photos taken yesterday. Thankfully I visited my local branch of Jessops (in Edinburgh) who have a 10 minute passport photo service – and they were just brilliant. It turns out that the size and way the photo is taken (your head size) needs to be different for each visa. I had not even considered this – but ten minutes later I had them cut and sized correctly (two sizes) and some spares. I discovered that Kodak still have a UK franchise website that shows the exact specifications by country, link here

So for example –

Russia & Mongolia – 35mm x 45mm, head takes up 60-70% of photo
China & Belarus – 2 x 2 inches, head takes up 60-70% of photo

These a very different from the spec of a UK passport photo, which is now taken and cropped really close for biometric reasons..

Thanks to Dave, as I’m guessing he has saved me from some delay in getting the visas issued. One step closer my papers “being in order” I hope!