Photo Requirements for U.S. Visas
If at the time of the visa interview it is determined that the photo fails these requirements, you will be asked for a new photo. The fact that a photo could be uploaded does not automatically mean that it meets all requirement. You can bring a paper photo to the visa interview.
Please note that applicants for a U.S. Visa have to submit a photo. The following minimum requirements must be met or your application will not be processed. Please see the paragraphs below for more details.
- The photographs must not be older than six months.
- The photographs must measure 5 cm x 5 cm.
- The photographs of the applicant’s head must be between 2.5 cm and 3.5 cm when measured vertically.
- The photographs must be in color and taken against a white background.
- The applicant must face the camera directly, preferably with both ears visible.
The photograph must be an unmounted full face photo, taken within the past six months. A “full face“ photo is one in which the applicant is facing the camera directly. The applicant should not be looking down or to either side, and the face should cover about 50 percent of the area of the photo. Although variations in hair styles and in head coverings (see discussion below) make it difficult to rigorously define the term “face,“ in general, the head of the applicant, including both face and hair, should be shown from crown of the head to tip of chin on top and bottom and from hair line side-to-side. It is preferable that ears be exposed. The key requirement is that the photograph clearly identifies the applicant.
The photograph should measure 2 inches square (roughly 5 cm) with the head centered in the frame. The head (measured from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin) should measure between 1 inch to 1 3/8 inches (25 mm to 35 mm) with the eye level between 1 1/8 inch to 1 3/8 inches (28 mm and 35 mm) from the bottom of the photo. Photos must be in color and taken against a white background. Photos should be printed without borders. Photos taken in front of busy, patterned, or dark backgrounds will not be accepted.
Head coverings and hats are only acceptable if they are worn for religious beliefs, and even then, may not obscure any portion of the face of the applicant. Sunglasses or other accessories detracting from the face as defined above are not acceptable unless required for medical reasons (an eye patch, for example). A photograph depicting a person wearing a traditional facemask or veil that does not permit adequate identification is not acceptable. Photos of military, airline or other personnel wearing hats are not acceptable. Photographs of applicants wearing tribal, national costume or other headgear not specifically religious in nature are not acceptable.