Your photo is a vital part of your visa application. To learn more, review the information below on how to provide a suitable photo. Digital images are required for some visa categories, while photos are required for other visa categories. The acceptance of your digital image or photo is at the discretion of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply.
We recommend you use a professional visa photo service to ensure your photo meets all the requirements.
Your photos or digital images must be:
- In color
- 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.
- If you normally wear glasses (without tinted lenses), a hearing device, or similar articles, they may be worn in your photo.
- Dark glasses or glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable.
- Glare on glasses is not acceptable in your photo. Glare can be avoided with a slight downward tilt of the glasses or by removing the glasses or by turning off the camera flash.
Photos copied or digitally scanned from driver’s licenses or other official documents are not acceptable. In addition, snapshots, magazine photos, low quality vending machine or mobile phone photos, and full-length photographs are not acceptable.
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.
While we recommend you use a professional visa photo service to ensure your photo meets all the requirements, you may take the photo yourself. Photos must not be digitally enhanced or altered to change your appearance in any way. Please review the following technical requirements and references for guidance on taking your own photo.
Use the Department of State’s free photo tool to:
This tool requires Adobe Flash Player 10 or later.
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.|
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.