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Immigration Photo Requirements

USCIS Visa Petition & Immigration Benefit Application Photo Requirements


USCIS requires that you provide photographs of yourself with your visa petition or with certain immigration benefit applications (asylum, adjustment of status, employment authorization, and others). Below are USCIS’ requirements for the “passport-style photographs” that must be sent with petitions/applications that require photos. These photos are required for the DV lottery (diversity visa lottery), Adjustment of Status (green card) Application, all visa applications, U.S. passports, and other immigration benefits.

The below guidance was taken directly from USCIS and the U.S. Department of State, however, the acceptance of your digital images or photos is at the discretion of USCIS, or if you are consular processing then with the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply.

We recommend you use a professional visa/passport photo service to ensure your photo meets all the requirements. This service is offered at most drug store chains like CVS, Duane Reade, Rite Aid, Walgreens , etc.

Online Visa/Passport Photo Services

U.S. Government Online Photo Tool

The U.S. Government provides this tool free of charge. You can take the photo of yourself and then upload your photo and use the tool to crop and resize your image to the proper dimensions.

Examples:

REMEMBER

  1. Submit color photo, taken in last 6 months.
  2. Use a clear image of your face. Do not use filters commonly used on social media.
  3. Have someone else take your photo. No selfies.
  4. Take off your eyeglasses for your photo.
  5. Use a white or off-white background without shadows, texture, or lines.

Your photos must be:

  • In color
  • 2″x 2″ Two inch by two inch in size
  • Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (22 mm and 35 mm) or 50% and 69% of the image’s total height from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. View the Photo Composition Template for more size requirement details.
  • Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
  • Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
  • Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
  • With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
  • Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis
  • Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily.
  • Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.
  • Headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.
  • Eyeglasses are no longer allowed in new visa photos, except in rare circumstances when eyeglasses cannot be removed for medical reasons; e.g., the applicant has recently had ocular surgery and the eyeglasses are necessary to protect the applicant’s eyes. A medical statement signed by a medical professional/health practitioner must be provided in these cases. If the eyeglasses are accepted for medical reasons:
    • The frames of the eyeglasses must not cover the eye(s).
    • There must not be glare on eyeglasses that obscures the eye(s).
    • There must not be shadows or refraction from the eyeglasses that obscures the eye(s). 
  • If you normally wear a hearing device or similar articles, they may be worn in your photo.

Snapshots, magazine photos, low quality vending machine or mobile phone photos, and full-length photographs are not acceptable.

Applicants using Form DS-260 (Consular Processing)
If you are applying for an immigrant visa, using Form DS-260, you must provide two (2) identical photos at your immigrant visa interview. Your photos must be: 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size Printed on photo quality paper.

TAKING THE PHOTO YOURSELF


  • You should be able to see some of the white background above the top of your head down to just above your chest
  • have someone else take the photo don’t try to submit a selfie
  • Head is in the center of the frame
  • solid white background
  • stand 3-6 feet away from the white wall and avoid using flash so you don’t cast a shadow on the wall behind you
  • Keep a neutral face expression looking at the camera straight on
  • Don’t wear glasses or a hat or any sort of uniform
  • Use the DOS photo tool (https://tsg.phototool.state.gov/photo)to upload the photo straight from your phone and crop it to exactly 600×600 pixels (minimum resolution required)
  • You don’t need to use a ruler and measure out the exact dimensions-just make your photo look like the examples.

Paper Photo Head Size Template

  • Photo 2” inches by 2 “
  • The height of the head (top of hair to bottom of chin) should measure 1” to 1”  (25 mm – 35 mm)
  • Make sure the eye height is between 1 ⅛”  to 1 ⅜” (28 mm – 35 mm) from the bottom of the photo

Digital Image Head Size Template

Digital Image Head Size Template

The top of the head, including the hair, to the bottom of the chin must be between 50% and 69% of the image’s total height. The eye height (measured from the bottom of the image to the level of the eyes) should be between 56% and 69% of the image’s height.

Image pixel dimensions must be in a square aspect ratio (meaning the height must be equal to the width). Minimum acceptable dimensions are 600 pixels (width) x 600 pixels (height). Maximum acceptable dimensions are 1200 pixels (width) x 1200 pixels (height).

Find Photo Tool:  https://tsg.phototool.state.gov/photo

Use the Department of State’s free photo tool to upload a photo from your phone or computer and crop it to exactly 600 x 600.

Scanning an existing photo?

In addition to the digital image requirements, your existing photo must be:

  • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm)
  • Scanned at a resolution of 300 pixels per inch (12 pixels per millimeter)
  • Use the online tool Photo-tool (state.gov)


Digital Image Requirements

The digital image must adhere to the following specifications:

DimensionsThe image dimensions must be in a square aspect ratio (the height must be equal to the width). Minimum acceptable dimensions are 600 x 600 pixels. Maximum acceptable dimensions are 1200 x 1200 pixels. Please review photo requirements for specific dimensions.
ColorThe image must be in color (24 bits per pixel) in sRGB color space which is the common output for most digital cameras.
File FormatThe image must be in JPEG file format
File SizeThe image must be less than or equal to 240 kB (kilobytes).
CompressionThe image may need to be compressed in order for it to be under the maximum file size. The compression ratio should be less than or equal to 20:1.

Taking Photos Of Your Baby Or Toddler

When taking a photo of your baby or toddler, no other person should be in the photo, and your child should be looking at the camera with his or her eyes open.

Tip 1:Lay your baby on his or her back on a plain white or off-white sheet. This will ensure your baby’s head is supported and provide a plain background for the photo. Make certain there are no shadows on your baby’s face, especially if you take a picture from above with the baby lying down.
Tip 2:Cover a car seat with a plain white or off-white sheet and take a picture of your child in the car seat. This will also ensure your baby’s head is supported

Change of Appearance

If your photo(s) or digital image does not reflect your current appearance, even if it is not older than 6 months, the U.S. embassy or consulate will request that you provide a new photo with your application.

Applicants will be requested to obtain a new photo if they have:

  • Undergone significant facial surgery or trauma
  • Added or removed numerous/large facial piercings or tattoos
  • Undergone a significant amount of weight loss or gain
  • Made a gender transition

Generally, if you can still be identified from the photo in your visa application, you will not need to submit a new photo. For example, growing a beard or coloring your hair would not generally be considered a significant change of appearance.

If the appearance of your child under the age of 16 has changed due to the normal aging process, he or she will generally not have to provide a new photo. However, the acceptance of your photo or digital image is at the discretion of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply.


Additional Requirements for Nonimmigrant Visas

Applicants using Form DS-160 or Form DS-1648

If you are applying for a nonimmigrant visa by filling out the DS-160 or DS-1648 online form, the form will instruct you to upload your digital image as part of completing the online visa application form. Review the Digital Image Requirements, which also provide additional requirements if you are scanning an existing photo.

Some embassies and consulates require visa applicants to bring one (1) photo, which meets requirements, to the interview. Review the embassy or consulate instructions where you will apply to learn more.


Additional Requirements for the Diversity Visa (DV) Program

Diversity Visa Program Entrants

If you are entering the Diversity Visa (DV) Program online, you must upload your digital image as part of your entry. Your digital image must be:

  • In JPEG (.jpg) file format
  • Equal to or less than 240 kB (kilobytes) in file size
  • In a square aspect ratio (height must equal width)
  • 600×600 pixels in dimension

Do you want to scan an existing photo? In addition to the digital image requirements, your existing photo must be:

  • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) scanned at 300 pixels per inch (12 pixels per millimeter)

Diversity Visa Program Selectees

Each DV applicant will need to bring two (2) identical photos to the interview. Your photos must be:

  • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size printed on photo quality paper.