There are several requirements that your green card photo must meet in order to be accepted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The requirements for these photos can be quite strict, so you need to make sure that you carefully read all of the instructions for these photos.
Even a little thing like a photo that does not meet all of the requirements can cause lengthy delays in getting your green card. Make sure you have everything in order so that your path to permanent residency is a smooth one.
Green Card Photo Requirements
The easiest thing to do to ensure that your green card photo meets all of the USCIS photo requirements is to pay a professional visa photo service to take your photograph. However, if you want to take the picture yourself, be sure you follow all of the instructions for taking a permissible photo. Green card photograph requirements are as follows:
- The photo must be in color
- The photo must be properly exposed with no visible shadows
- The resolution of the photo must be in focus
- The print quality must be clear
- The photo must not be digitally altered or retouched
- Your whole head must be presented, from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin
- Your head must be centered within the frame
- You must be facing the camera directly
- You must have a neutral expression
- Your eyes must both be open
- You should not be wearing a uniform except religious clothing that is worn daily
- You should not be wearing a hat or head covering except religious clothing that is worn daily
- No headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or other electronic devices should be visible
- You should not be wearing eyeglasses unless for medical reasons such as recent ocular surgery (you must present a signed statement from a doctor along with the photo)
- The photo must be two inches by two inches (51mm)
- The height of your head must measure between one and 1⅜ inches (25mm to 35mm)
- The photo must be printed on glossy or matte photo paper
You can view both acceptable and unacceptable green card photos examples provided by the U.S. Department of State.
Where Can I Get a Photo for the Green Card?
If you don’t want to run the risk of running into problems taking your own green card photo, there are plenty of options for having a professional service handle the photo for your green card.
Visa photo services exist at shipping centers such as UPS or FedEx. Many pharmacies and drugstores also offer this service. Additionally, you can also get a visa photo through a AAA membership. If you have taken your own photograph but need to get it printed, you can also take it to many retailers like Target.
There are also online services where you can upload a photo that you take. These services are aware of all of the requirements for a green card photo. After you upload your photo, they will resize the image, and make sure it meets the USCIS requirements for a green card photograph. You can then get the photo shipped to you.
Other Common Tips for Green Card Photos
There are other things besides the specific requirements for your photo that you must take into consideration when submitting your green card application.
How Many Green Card Photos Must I Submit
When submitting your green card photos, you should also be aware of how many photographs are needed. If you are submitting your application outside of the United States using Form DS-260, you will need to bring two identical photos that meet the green card requirements to your interview.
For those applying within the United States using Form I-485, a total of eight photos are required. You may also be required to submit photos of your family members. These photos must meet the same requirements as those needed for your green card photo.
What if My Appearance Has Changed?
When applying for your permanent residence card, you are technically allowed to submit a photo that has been taken within the last six months. However, you may need to take a new picture if you have undergone any significant changes to your appearance, including:
- Significant changes in weight
- Gender transition
- Cosmetic surgery
- Facial tattoos
In cases involving minor changes to your appearance, such as a change to your hair or a tan, a new photo will not be required.
How Do I Attach My Photos to My Green Card Application?
The United States Department of States suggests that the best way to attach your green card photo to your permanent residency application is using staples. When stapling your photograph to your application, make sure the picture is placed in the photo square on the application.
The photo should be in the upright position, with all four corners aligned with the square of the application. You should then attach the photograph with a vertical staple in each of the four corners of your passport photo.
Get the Information You Need to Make Sure All of Your Green Card Paperwork Is Filed Correctly
Making sure that your photo meets all of the green card requirements is just one of the many items you need to take care of when applying for permanent residency. Mistakes on any portion of your application could result in delays or your green card being denied. Using an immigration services company to prepare your green card application can improve your odds of approval.
At ImmigrationDirect, we can supply you with the tools you need to complete every step of the green card application process. We can answer your questions and ensure that your application is completed correctly and with all necessary supporting documentation. Applying for a green card takes time and can be a stressful process. Alleviate your concerns by utilizing our services.