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US Visa Photo Requirements

us visa photo requirements

All applicants for U.S. visas must submit photographs which are a vital part of their visa application.  Digital images are required for some visa categories, while photos are required for other visa categories. It is recommended that you use a professional visa photo service to ensure your photo meets all the requirements.

The key requirement is that the photograph clearly identifies the applicant. The photograph must be an unmounted, full-face photo, taken within the past six months. The applicant must be facing the camera directly not looking down or to either side, and the face should cover about 50 percent of the area of the photo. The head of the applicant, including both face and hair, should be shown from the crown of the head to the tip of the chin on top and bottom, and from hairline side-to-side with the ears be exposed.

The photograph should measure 2 inches square with the head centered in the frame. The head (measured from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin) should measure 1 inch to 1 3/8 inches with the eye level 1 1/8 inch to 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the photo. Photos must be in color and must be taken against a white or off-white background. Photos taken in front of busy, patterned, or dark backgrounds will not be accepted.

Head coverings and hats are only acceptable due to religious beliefs, and even then, may not obscure any portion of the face of the applicant.  Sunglasses or other paraphernalia that detract from the face are not acceptable unless required for medical reasons (an eye patch, for example). Photos of military, airline or other personnel wearing hats are not acceptable. Since a separate travel document is issued to each qualified applicant, an individual photo is required of each person. Group photos are not acceptable.

Digital copies should follow the above guide lines for printed copies and in addition need to be resized as follows:

  • Between 600 x 600 px and 1200 x 1200px
  • 24 bit colour using sRGB required
  • US Visa digital photos must be in Jpg format
  • The file size for the digital copies must be no greater than 240kb
  • Compression of no more than 20:1 can be used

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