It is necessary that you submit a photograph at one moment of the visa application process to the United States. This is a fundamental part of your application. Some visa categories require digital photos and other need regular photos. Some embassies require both. It depends on the embassy you submit your application to, whether you have to supply a digital photo o a regular printed photo, or both. We recommend that you take this photograph in a professional photo venue that has specific standards concerning the picture required for the United States visa. This way you will surely meet all requirements and thus, have no type of inconvenience.

These are some of those requirements:

It is a must that the photo has color. No black and white or altered photos are allowed. About the measurements, the applicant´s head should be between an inch and 1 3/8 inches (22mm to 35mm), or 50% to 69% of the total length of the image, from the bottom of the chin to the uppermost part of the head. The photo cannot be more than six months old, and it needs to reflect your current image You must take the picture with a white or off-white background.

You must be facing directly towards the camera, with a neutral expression and both eyes open. Take the picture wearing clothes you use normally. Do not wear uniforms in the photo, except if it is religious clothing that you wear on a daily basis. Don´t wear a hat or any element that covers your hairline, unless you use it daily for religious purposes. In any case, your face should be visible. The item in your head cannot produce shadows in your face.

Get rid of headphones, hands-free devices or any other similar element for the photo

You cannot wear eyeglasses for the picture, with only some rare exceptions in which the applicant has had recent eye surgery, and they are necessary to protect sight. In those cases, you need a signed medical statement. If the eyeglasses are for medical reasons:

  • Their frame cannot cover your eyes
  • There cannot be any shimmer in the glasses that hide your eyes
  • There can´t be shadows or refraction that shade your eyes

If you usually wear a hearing device or anything similar to listen better, you can use this in the photo. There are examples you can find that show acceptable and non-acceptable photos. Scanned or copied driver´s licenses or any other sort of official documents are not valid. Furthermore, snapshots, magazine photos, low-quality photos from a booth, smartphone photos o full sized pictures are unacceptable.

Digital photos have their own set of standards:

The dimensions of the image must have a square aspect relation (height must equal the width). The minimum sizes accepted are 600 x 600 pixels and the maximum dimensions allowed are 1200 x 1200 pixels.

The image must have color (25 bits per pixel) in sRGB color space, which is the most common outlet for most digital cameras out there. The image must have a JPEG format, and it must equal 240 kB or have less than that. You may need to compress the image, in which case the conversion rate must be less than or equal 20:1.

Do you want to scan your photo?

Your photo must have 2 x 2 inches (51mm x 51mm), and you must scan it with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch (12 pixels per millimeter). These are particular parameters that are also very strict.

In the State Department website, you will find an online tool that will allow you to choose a digital image that´s stored in your computer, resize and rotate it if necessary and edit it, so you get a square image that´s specifically 600 x 600 pixels. You can then save the image on your computer and then print it.

We strongly recommend that you use a professional photo service that has specific standards regarding photos for US visas. Nevertheless, you can also take the picture yourself. Please consider that the images that you cannot digitally modify the image in a way that affects your appearance. It is the embassy or consulate to which you apply who will have the last say regarding the acceptance or denial of your photo. So keep all this in mind during your visa procedure, follow the instructions, and you´ll have no trouble with your picture. Start your visa procedure today with Visa USA Now for further information.

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