Photo Requirements for
U.S.Visa & Immigration Applications

 


Most U.S. immigration applications require you to submit two "passport-style" photos. It's possible to take these photos yourself to print or upload digitally with your application. However, the photo requirements are very specific.


and make sure your photos meet immigration requirements!


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Photo Requirements Overview

What Is a Passport-Style Photo?

A passport-style photo is a 2 x 2 inch photograph that meets the U.S. Department of State's (DOS) passport photo specifications. Most U.S. immigration applications (including visa applications and adjustment of status applications) require this type of photograph.

What Are the General Photo Requirements
for Visa and Immigration Applications?

The general photo requirements are:

  • The photo should be the right size, which depends on whether it's a printed photo
    or digital photo.
  • The photo should be in color. Black and white photos are not accepted by the DOS.
  • The photo should be taken within six months of submitting your immigration
    or passport application. It should reflect how you look when you submit your
    application.
  • The photo background should be white or off-white.
  • You should be looking directly into the camera with your full face showing.
  • You should have a neutral expression (not smiling, laughing or frowning) and both
    eyes should be open.
  • There should be nothing in your photo except your face. For example, do not wear
    earphones or show your hand in the photo. If you're taking a photo of an infant,
    make sure no one's hands are in the photo.

What Are the Photo Requirements for Printed Photos?

Printed photos must meet the general requirements and:

  • The photo should be on photo-quality paper.
  • The photo should be 51 x 51 mm (2 x 2 inches).
  • The height of your head (top of hair to bottom of chin) should measure between 2
    mm and 35 mm (1 inch to 1 3/8 inches).
  • The height of your eyes should be between 28 mm and 35 mm (1 1/8 inches to 1
    3/8 inches) from the bottom of the photo.
General requirements for printed photos

What Are the Photo Requirements for Digital Photos?

Digital photos must meet the general requirements and:

  • The photo should be square (the height equal to the width).
  • The photo dimensions should be between 600 x 600 pixels and 1200 x 1200 pixels.
  • 59% to 69% of the photo should be the height of your head (top of hair to
    bottom of chin).
  • The height of your eyes should be between 56% and 69% of the image's height.
General requirements for digital photos
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Photo Examples for Color and Lighting

Photo Color:

Color problems are generally caused by the type of light you are using. Florescent lighting could cause the picture to have a yellow tint. You may be able to change the color by making sure your camera settings match the type of light you are using.

Example for wrong color and lighting
Example for perfect color and lighting

Photo Contrast:

Contrast problems can be caused by too much
or too little light OR by the wrong camera settings.

Example for wrong contrast
Example for wrong contrast

Photo Brightness:

Be sure your photo is not too dark or too bright.

Example for wrong brightness
Example for perfect brightness
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Photo Examples for Position of Head

Head Size:

You can crop the image to make sure the height of your head meets the requirements

Example for wrong head position
Example for perfect head position

Head Placement:

You can crop the image to make sure the height of your head is centered.

Example for wrong head placement
Example for perfect head placement

Head Placement:

Be sure you are directly facing the camera.

Example for wrong head placement
Example for perfect head placement

Head Placement:

Be sure your head is not tilted.

Example for wrong head placement
Example for perfect head placement
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Photo Examples for Head Coverings
(Hats, Head Scarves, Hijabs and Burkas)

Head scarves, hijabs and burkas:

If you wear a head covering for religious reasons, your full face
should be visible (including your forehead, cheeks, chin and mouth).

Example for wrong head covering
Example for wrong head covering
Example for perfect head covering

Hats:

Hats are not permitted in photos.

Example for wrong head covering
Example for perfect head covering

Photo Examples for Children

Children should not have pacifiers in their mouths.
A parent should not be visible in the photograph.

Photo Examples for Children
Photo Examples for Children
Photo Examples for Children
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