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  #1  
Old 03.08.2009, 09:11
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US Passport photos

Can anybody tell me if photographers here are able to supply passport photos acceptable to US visa authorities? The embassy told me US requirements differ from those in Switzerland and the rest of Europe and the rules are strictly enforced. I got specs off the website and colour, position, size, head height, eye height etc are all listed. Has anybody had difficulty sourcing one that fits the bill?
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Old 03.08.2009, 09:18
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Re: US Passport photos

Yes.

I went to one in Lausanne few years ago, as he was on the list of "recommended" shops, and photos were accepted by the embassy.

This shop is on rue petite chene e.g. the small street that goes uphill from Lausanne gare. The shop is some where in the middle of the street.

neerahi
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Old 03.08.2009, 09:19
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Re: US Passport photos

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Can anybody tell me if photographers here are able to supply passport photos acceptable to US visa authorities? The embassy told me US requirements differ from those in Switzerland and the rest of Europe and the rules are strictly enforced. I got specs off the website and colour, position, size, head height, eye height etc are all listed. Has anybody had difficulty sourcing one that fits the bill?

Most photographers should be able deliver, my suggestion is to bring the
specifications with you... just to be sure.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 03.08.2009, 09:25
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Re: US Passport photos

Photos have be a square 2 inches by 2 inches. The embassy website has a list of recommended photographers.
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Old 03.08.2009, 09:36
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Re: US Passport photos

Yeah, yeah.. sure.
Our local photographer has a copy of most countries specs..
Even Australia.. though not 3rd world countries like New Zealand..
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Old 20.06.2017, 08:14
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Re: US Passport photos

Thought I would update this post since I just had to do this yesterday.

The photographer at Petit-Chène 28 in Lausanne is Photo Tornow. He is still there. I walked in without an appointment and was done in 5 minutes. The photos were ready in 1 hour. Two photos cost 28 CHF.

The C5 envelope that you need to bring with you, I bought at Kramer Krieg for 50 centimes. The "A1 registered postage stamp" that is specified on the US embassy website is now actually a combination of 4 stamps totaling
6 francs 30.
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Old 20.06.2017, 15:16
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Re: US Passport photos

Further update now that I've just arrived back home from the embassy.

They have a photo booth onsite now. Cost is 10 francs.

Watch what you might inadvertently have in your purse\bookbag etc. Phones are fine but laptops, Kindles, etc. are strictly forbidden. They don't provide any way to store anything while you are inside. They told me to walk back to the gare and rent a locker. (Which I am way too lazy to do. I walked around the corner, found a nice hedge, shoved my Kindle into it and retrieved it 15 minutes later when I was done.)
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Old 20.06.2017, 15:57
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Re: US Passport photos

I'm surprised a phone is allowed. I couldn't even take my pedometer in with me when I renounced back in 2013 and it's an old fashioned one which goes in my pocket. They eventually did agree to hold on to it for me and great news - I was allowed to keep my tissue.

Don't know if it's still possible but I remember some reports here on the forum when all the renunciation hoohaa was going on that some of the business premises in that area would allow you to leave your items with them.
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Old 20.06.2017, 16:27
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Re: US Passport photos

Just went there today to do the exact same thing -- renewed my US passport. I got photos taken at Foto Ganz in Stauffacher, which cost 35 Francs for 2 (oof) but was a easy and painless process otherwise (10-15 mins, no appointment) and the photos were readily accepted.
In terms of the embassy, I left my big backpack in a locker in the train station (6 CHF) and took my cellphone, smartwatch, wallet, and papers with me. There were people there with small-ish backpacks that were empty outside of those things as well.
They take your phone and other electronics away at security, and give you a tag to get it back, so at least you can use your phone to safely navigate to the embassy.

So yeah, you can take your phone (just gets left at security), but don't take a huge backpack filled with random crap (leave it at the train station).

Also the photo machine there takes 10 CHF only in coins, and at least one guy in front of me needed to take his photos twice since he didn't do it quite right... Might be worth the peace of mind to just pay FotoPro Ganz or something to do it (they were EXTREMELY familiar with US requirements, and were happy to recite all of them off the top of their head for me).
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Old 20.06.2017, 16:37
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Re: US Passport photos

Husband went at the end of May. I got the C5 envelope with the special A stamp from the post office. A single stamp, but now I don't remember how much it cost. Less than chf 6, i think. Though maybe it was the wrong stamp (see below)

He used foto pro in Winti too....it was easy.

His passport took exactly two weeks to be processed and returned to the embassy in Bern (they will send you an email if you request it), and another two days to get to us.


I thought it was registered mail (R mail, tracked and signed for), but nooo. The passport was happily sitting in our mail box two days after the embassy emailed us to say that it was back from processing.

I went a couple of years ago and they gave me a lot of crap about wearing sunglasses. They wanted to keep them in one of their little bins till I was done. I explained they were prescription and after some back and forth, I got to keep them, so I could see!
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Old 20.06.2017, 16:57
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Re: US Passport photos

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Just went there today to do the exact same thing
Maybe you saw me?! We should have gone for a coffee after. I was the one in the black and white dress getting kicked out of line for having a Kindle in my bag and then miraculously returning 5 minutes later sans Kindle.
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Old 27.07.2017, 16:30
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Re: US Passport photos

Thank you for the information in this post; I would like to give another update, as I went in to Bern for a renewal today.

I arrived at the train station at 10:56 and walked over to the U.S. Embassy and arrived a few minutes before my 11:15 appointment.

The gentleman who took my smartwatch and phone was very polite. He asked me to put any other electronics or cables in the box which makes me think there may be a little more flexibility here than in the past.

I had had a friend take my passport photo against a white wall, and I sized it at the free website idphoto4you and printed it at Migros for 0.15 CHF. This trick often works for cheap ID photos, but this time, the person said the background was a little too dark.

There is indeed a photo booth right there, and it costs 10 CHF for 4 photos. It takes a 10 CHF bill or any coins, but it does not give change.

I took new photos, paid my $110 (credit card accepted as well as CHF), and I was back on the street by 11:30.

All in all, this was a very painless process.
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