The photo of the applicants for a US visa must have some specifications. Providing the right photo in the visa application form is an important part. If your photo does not have the required features, you will have to re-send the photo, thus prolonging the visa application process. In this blog, we have gathered a directory of the essential features of the US visa photo requirements to help you in the visa process.

US visa photo requirements

Your photo should have the following features:

  •  In color
  • Its dimension must be 2 x 2 inches (51 mm and 51 mm)
  • It must be taken within the last six months
  • The background of your photo must be a plain white or off-white background
  • The full face must be visible in your photo with a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
  • When taking a photo, use the regular clothes you wear during the day.
  • It is forbidden to wear a uniform. But people who wear religious clothing are allowed to wear their usual clothing.
  • Avoid wearing a hat that covers your hair and the hairline. If the hat is part of your religious attire, there is nothing wrong with using it, but keep in mind that the whole face should be visible, and the hat should not cast a shadow on your face.
  • You can not use headphones or wireless hands-free devices.
  • You are not allowed to put on your eyeglass unless in rare conditions such as medical reasons. For instance, a person who recently had ocular surgery can put on his/her eyeglass if he/she provides a medical statement. If you need to put on your eyeglass, consider the following:
    • The frame of the eyeglasses must not cover your eyes
    • Glare on your eyeglasses must not obscure the eyes
    • The shadow or the refraction of your eyeglass must not cover your eyes 
  • If you use a hearing aid on a daily basis, you should have it in the photo as well.

US visa photo requirements for nonimmigrant visas

If you are applying for a nonimmigrant visa and have to fill out DS-160 or DS-1648 forms online, follow the instructions in the form. These forms teach you how to attach your digital image to the form. The requirements for a digital photo for a US visa are:

  • The height and width of the photo should be equal.
  • The minimum size should be 600 by 600, and the maximum size should be 1200 by 1200 pixels.
  • The file format must be JPEG.
  • The file size must be 240 KB or less.
  • The compression ratio should be less than or equal to 20: 1.

If you want to scan your current photo, in addition to the above points, you should consider the following:

  • The size of your current photo should be two by two inches (51 by 51 mm).
  • Scan your photo with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch
  • You must first select the digital image stored on your computer.
  • Then resize and rotate if necessary
  • Crop it to 600 by 600 pixels
  • Save the photo to your computer and submit it online.

We recommend that you use professional photography services for visa photos, although you can also take photos yourself. Remember that your photo should not be digitally altered in a way that changes your appearance. 

Some consulates or embassies ask applicants to bring a photo with them on the day of the interview. To find out more, visit the Consulate or Embassy website where you plan to apply for a visa.

Passport Photo Banner

US visa photo requirements for immigrant visas

Applicants for immigrant visas who must complete Form DS-260 must submit two similar photographs during the visa interview. Your photo must be printed on photo quality paper, and its dimensions must be two by two inches or 51 by 51 mm.

US visa photo requirements for the Diversity Visa (DV) Program

Applicants for the Diversity Visa Program must also submit two photographs on the day of the interview. These two photos, as in the previous case, should be printed on photo quality paper, and their dimensions should be 2 by 2 or 51 by 51 mm. These applicants are required to provide their digital photos as part of the needed documents. Your digital photo should have the following features:

  • Its format is JPEG (.jpg)
  • Its volume should be less than or equal to 240 KB
  • The width and height of the photo should be equal and square (600 by 600 megapixels).

You can also scan your current photo. When scanning, make sure the image resolution is 300 pixels per inch.

It is essential to consider the points we have listed because if the quality of the photo is not acceptable, the embassy will reject it, and you need to submit a new photo again. This will prolong the processing time of your documents. Therefore, it is recommended that you go to specialized centers for photography to avoid wasting time and money.

Infographic What are the US Visa Photo Requirements?

US visa photo requirements for your baby

For photography, put the child on his back in a plain white or off-white sheet. In this way, the child’s head is protected, and the background of the photo is appropriately provided. If you are shooting from above, make sure your shadow does not cover the child’s face. You can also place the baby on a car seat in a plain white or off-white sheet and then take a picture. In this way, the child’s head is also protected.

Change of Appearance

If your photo does not show the current change in your face, even if it was taken less than six months ago, you must submit another photo to the consulate. In the following cases, it is necessary to provide a new photo:

  • Trauma in the face
  • Facial surgery
  • Perform or remove tattoos or piercing on the face
  • Severe weight loss or gain
  • Make a gender reassignment

You will not need to submit a new photo if you are still recognizable by your photo visa application. For example, if you have a beard or dye your hair, you don’t need to send a new photo. Also, if your teen under the age of 16 is in the aging process, there is no need to re-submit the photo.

Let’s sum up …

In this article, we have a complete overview of the US visa photo requirements. On the Visa Library website, you can learn about other US visa requirements including the application fee and processing time as well as an explanation of the US visas. In case you have some experience, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the readers choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences in comments is a great help for applicants.

How useful was this article?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this article.


  1. Diane says:

    Thanks to your blog, I have prepared almost all the documentation that is needed. That will be awesome if you answer my question. Can I wear the hijab in the passport photo?

    • support says:

      We appreciate your feedback. Indeed, you can wear the hijab as long as it doesn’t cover your face. Better said, only the use of Niqab is prohibited.