US Visa Photo: Specifications and Guidelines [And a Hassle-Free Visa Photo Tool]

Prepare a perfect biometric photo with guaranteed acceptance!

ID photos
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US Visa Photo: Specifications and Guidelines [And a Hassle-Free Visa Photo Tool]
ID photos
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How does it work?

Get the perfect biometric photo in 3 minutes or less.

Check out just how simple it is!

Snap or upload a photo

Snap or upload a photo

That's the only thing you need to do. Snap or upload a photo - we'll take care of the rest.

AI prepares the photo

AI prepares the photo

Artificial Intelligence will check your photo, crop it to the right size and remove the background.

Expert verification

Expert verification

Our Photo Expert will make additional verification to check if your photo meets the official requirements.

Digital or print photos

Digital or print photos

You can download a digital version and order a printout which we will send within 2-4 days. Delivery is free!


Take a biometric photo conveniently without leaving home

You save time and money


Don't waste time, effort or money. You can take your passport photo without leaving home.

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Over 1 million people have used our services within the past 11 years. Our Photo Experts are available 24/7.

Money-back guarantee

We guarantee the authorities will accept your photo(s) or we will refund double your purchase cost!

Satisfaction guarantee

Take as many photo shots as you want - you pay only when you are satisfied.

How to take a photo?

Taking a photo for your ID has never been so easy.

Follow these simple instruction to take the perfect ID photo.


Body-camera distance

The distance between the face and the camera should be about 40 cm. Ideally the photo should be taken by the other person.


Posture: Straight ahead

Place your face in front of the lens. Hold the camera at eye level and keep neutral face expression.



Stand facing the light source, for example an exposed window. The background will be cut out, don't worry about it.

US Visa Photo - Size & Requirements

US Visa Photo: Specifications and Guidelines
Width: 2 in
Height: 2 in
301 dpi
Is it suitable for online submission?
Image definition parameters
Head height: 1.29 in
Bottom of the Photo to the Eye Line: 1.18 in
Is it printable?
Background Color
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More about US Visa Photo - Requirements

U.S. Visa photo requirements

If you want to apply for the U.S. visa, you will need to fill out the visa application form and attach to it two identical photos in color, and submit these documents to the U.S. Embassy. When it comes to the U.S. visa photo requirements, they are set forth by the U.S. Department of State, and must be closely followed in order for your application to be accepted. 

Below we will discuss the photo requirements for the U.S. visa, and also show you how to take and prepare your own U.S. visa photo online. 

U.S. visa photo size

The required photo size is 2 x 2 inches (51 mm x 51 mm). Small framing is also allowed. You can use a dedicated online photo tool to adjust the size of your picture.

In the visa picture, only the face, the area around the collarbone, and upper part of the shoulder should be seen. Remember to place your head exactly in the central spot of the picture and fill 50-69% of the whole photo. Your eyes should be positioned approximately 28-35 mm from the bottom edge.

A cropping tool for your U.S. visa photo will be helpful, as incorrectly cropped pictures are not accepted.

U.S. visa photo - background and lighting

The only allowed background is plain white or off-white background without any shadows. This might be difficult to achieve without any tools while taking pictures at home, but here’s where our Passport Photo Online tool may help by converting any unwanted background into the required white one.

Since unclear or blurry pictures are not accepted, natural light is best. The photo must reflect your natural skin tone. The best idea is to take a picture standing frontally to the window, at about a 2-meter distance, making sure that the light is evenly distributed on your face. You could use a tripod or ask someone to help you as selfies are not acceptable.

Head position and facial expression on the U.S. visa photo

The photo must be taken from the frontal view with your eyes turned directly toward the camera. You must keep your eyes open and your mouth closed - you can’t show your teeth in the photo. A neutral facial expression is recommended, but you can also smile slightly, without exaggerating.

Glasses and hands-free tools in the U.S. visa photo

Glasses aren’t allowed in U.S. visa photos, with the exception of rare occasions, such as having recently undergone eye surgery and wearing glasses for protection. Such applicants should provide a medical statement signed by a medical professional or health practitioner to the embassy or consulate.

Keeping sunglasses on is not allowed either. Headphones and wireless hands-free devices are also not allowed, whereas a hearing device may be worn in the photo.

  • Your eyes must be visible - the frames of the glasses must not cover your eyes.
  • Glare on glasses that obscures the eyes makes the picture unacceptable.
  • Shadows or refraction on your face are not allowed. 

Clothing in the U.S. visa photo

You can wear what you like, e.g. casual-style clothing. Uniforms and camouflage patterns are not allowed. Applicants can wear religious clothing if they wear it on a daily basis. If you do wear traditional religious attire as part of your everyday outfit, you will be required to provide a signed note proving it.

Jewelry and piercings are acceptable in the photo if they do not obscure your face.

Hats and head coverings in the U.S. visa photo

You may wear a hijab or hat only if they don’t cover your face below the hairline, and you can prove that they are a part of traditional religious attire. Applicants must submit a signed document stating that they wear items such as a hijab or yarmulke for religious reasons. Niqabs which cover most of the face are not allowed, neither are headbands or massive, decorative hair accessories as they may obscure your face. In the photo your full face must be visible without being obscured by shadows.

Using filters and Photoshop 

Applicants cannot use graphic design programs or filters to correct their face and/or the background. Any alterations, such as background removal, should be handled by photo professionals who are familiar with the visa photo requirements and have prepared tons of similar photos. 

How old can your photo for a U.S. visa be?

It’s crucial to remember that your photo must not be older than 6 months. However, if your appearance has changed significantly within the last 6 months, you must submit a new picture. This requirement does not apply to changes in hairstyle or having grown a beard. Also, children and teenagers under 16 years old will not be asked to provide a new photo for their U.S. visa, even if they have changed due to their natural growth process. Applicants need to submit a new image for a U.S. visa if: 

  • they have had a gender change.
  • they have undergone significant facial surgery or experienced a permanent facial deformation.
  • they have added or removed tattoos or piercings on their face.
  • they have lost or gained a significant amount of weight.

You may be asking yourself: where do I take a U.S. visa photo near me?

Many candidates want to know whether it is possible to take a picture for their U.S. visa with a smartphone or digital camera. Understandably, many people wish to avoid visiting a professional photographic studio or even a drugstore for many reasons such as travel expenses or time. You’re in luck if you live in a big city and don’t need to spend one or two hours on the bus or subway, followed by waiting in line and then for the photographer. 

In uncertain times such as pandemics, many people also might want to avoid spending time in public places due to obvious reasons, caring about their health and that of their loved ones. Is there any better and safer solution? 

Try and trust our online photo editor which adjusts the background, crops, resizes, and checks your photo, with all this taking no more than a couple of minutes!

Upload your pictures on, follow simple instructions, and our tool will do the job for you!

U.S. visa photo tool - take and check images online 

If you are looking for a reliable online software to take your U.S. visa photo without leaving your comfortable place, test now!

The software is a professional ready-to-use solution that supports you at every stage of the process: uploading images, resizing, cropping, editing, and checking the final photos to be sure pictures meet the official requirements.

Every picture prepared with has the guarantee of acceptance by the institution you are applying to. You can order a digital image to be sent to your email address to print on your own in a print shop or pharmacy in your area. Alternatively, will print images and deliver them to your preferred address.

Let’s sum up - save your time and money, and forget about visiting photo booths or photo centers. Use our photo software from the comfort of your home and take perfect photos for a U.S. visa with guaranteed compliance.

Photo requirements are based on:
Last update: 6/6/23

About the document

Visa to the United States is a document that allows non-American citizens to apply for permission to enter the territory of the United States. The U.S. Embassy in the United Kingdom, located in London, is an authority responsible for the issuance of U.S. visas. The document itself does not authorize foreign travelers to enter the country. A U.S. visa allows travel to the land border crossing, where foreign travelers have the possibility to obtain permission to enter the territory of the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

What size is the U.S. visa photo?

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The U.S. visa photo should be 2x2 inches.

Can I take the U.S. visa photo myself?

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Yes you can! In fact, it is much easier and faster than going to a photo studio or drugstore. The easiest way is to download a photo app. All you have to do is take a picture of yourself or upload an existing one. The app will do the rest!

Can the U.S. visa photo be submitted online?

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Yes. When applying for a U.S. Visa, you must fill out the DS-160 Application form. You can submit your visa photos on the same website!

Yes you can. Make sure that the makeup is not too heavy and that it doesn't hide some of your facial features, such as scars or tattoos. We suggest using natural and light makeup.

No. You cannot wear prescription glasses or sunglasses in your photo. If you have a medical condition and can't take your glasses off (for example due to a recent surgery), you may keep them on. Just make sure the frames do not cover your eyes.

The background in the U.S. visa photo should be white.

You can wear almost anything you want. Only uniforms and camouflage patterns are forbidden. You can wear religious clothing if you wear it everyday. Other than that, you can wear your regular clothes! You might want to wear something a bit darker so your top doesn't blend in with the background.

Most U.S. visas cost 160 dollars. This includes student, business, exchange, and tourist visas. Work and religious visas cost a bit more.