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Karolina is a seasoned legal expert with a Master of Law and legal advisor credentials, specializing in passport photo compliance. She ensures adherence to international standards set by entities like the US Department of State and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Equipped with her advocate license and extensive legal background, she brings a unique blend of legal acumen and technical knowledge. Her expertise is pivotal in navigating the intricate and rigorous standards set by key global authorities. Her approach, marked by meticulous attention to detail and a deep understanding of international law, ensures stringent adherence to the evolving passport and visa photo regulations worldwide.
2x2 Picture—All You Need to Know
A US passport photo, Green Card photo, US visa photo, or Indian passport photo all have one thing in common—they require a 2x2 inch biometric photo that follows all necessary guidelines laid out by their respective governmental authorities.
It doesn’t matter whether you need a digital image for an online passport renewal or physical prints for traditional paper applications—certain universal guidelines must be followed.
Study the table below to learn about 2x2 photo requirements for US passports, visas, and Green Cards.
|Digital & Print
|Must be in color
|Taken in the last 6 months
Clear image of your face
❌ Not blurry, grainy, or pixelated
|❌ No filters allowed
|Background & Size
|2x2 inches (51x51 mm)
|Head must be between 1–1 3/8 inches (25–35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
|Quality & Resolution
|Matte/Glossy photo paper, 300–600 DPI
|❌ No alterations allowed
The above chart is a quick summary of the US State Department's official requirements for passport photos.
Need some real-life digital photo examples? Have a look at our carousel showing where these applicants went right—and where they went wrong with their passport pictures.
2x2 photo size requirements
One of the most important aspects of 2x2 photos is the sizing. Foreign nationals applying for their first US document may be slightly confused given the imperial units, so to clarify, 2-by-2-inch passport photo size has the following metric equivalents:
- 51x51 millimeter photograph (i.e. the photo’s height is 51 mm and width is 51 mm)
- 5.1x5.1 centimeter photo (i.e. the picture is 5.1 cm in height and 5.1 cm in width)
Additionally, the applicant’s head size must adhere to very specific sizing requirements for US documents. All US Visa, Green Card, and US passport photos must feature the subject’s full face while measuring between 1–1 3/8 inches (25–35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.
2x2 photo—digital specifications
Digital image dimensions are expected to be in a square aspect ratio, i.e. the height and width are equal (2x2 inches)—but what about the image’s size in pixels?
The amount of pixels (px) present in the photo depends on the resolution of the printout and can differ considerably depending on the desired quality or “sharpness” of the photo (commonly expressed in “dots per inch” or DPI for short).
2x2 photos for US documents require a minimum resolution of 300 DPI and, therefore, must have a minimum pixel resolution of 600x600 pixels.
The maximum resolution, on the other hand, is set at 600 DPI or 1200x1200 pixels.
Finally, it is important to remember that only files saved in .JPEG format that are at least 54 kilobytes (kB) in size are eligible for online submission.
Note: In light of the temporary closure of online US passport renewals, the US State Department is only accepting printed passport photos. However, be sure to regularly check their official website in case the service becomes available in the near future.
Where can I print a 2x2 photo?
Looking to get a 2x2 photo printed for one of many official documents, such as a US passport application?
Here are your best options for securing your own photo in person:
The fastest way to find a business to print your photos is by typing “photo printing services near me” into your preferred search engine. Searching the above query will provide you with a map of local stores capable of printing photos—including your 2x2 snaps.
Additionally, it’s a pretty safe bet to look for brand-name retailers in your area, such as Walmart or CVS, since they have their own printing centers.
For additional information, have a look at these pages:
If you’re looking for places specifically focused on passport-sized photos, a quick Google search for “2x2 photo prints near me” makes a good starting point.
2x2 photo prints online
It’s also possible to get physical prints without leaving home with the help of popular photo apps such as Passport Photo Online.
Simply download our Passport Photo Booth App for iOS or Passport Photo Maker App for Android (or upload your photo by using the button at the top of this page), and follow the intuitive instructions to instantly get a digital 2x2 photo—the physical prints will be delivered anywhere in the US within 3 business days!
How does our photo tool work?
Take or upload photo
Take a photo or upload one from your mobile gallery. Follow our guidelines to meet all the requirements.
Get your photo verified
Let AI fine-tune your photo. Order your picture, and have it verified by an expert to ensure 100% compliance.
Enjoy your photo
Download your digital photo instantly, or have your printouts delivered to your doorstep for free!
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